{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

Chasing viral video success can be a thankless task. The rewards are abundant, but chances of success are pretty low. In fact, according to a new study from Millward Brown, the success rate for viral campaigns is about 15%.

The good news for those falling short of viral success: popular campaigns do not always achieve message retention.

Having a large brand and reputable agency working on a campaign is no guarantee that it will become a a viral hit.

Of the 102 ads Millward Brown analyzed, only one in six achieved viral success (which actually sounds pretty high to me). The company defined high viral viewing as an ad that earned more than 1,000 U.K views per week or 5,000 U.S. views.

Millward Brown created the Creative Viral Protection (CVP) metric to help gauge viral success of ads from such brands as Old Spice, E*TRADE and Snickers (chart below). They tracked four main categories: awareness, buzz, celebrity and distinctiveness.

But not all four are necessary for success. And even the popular videos that Millward Brown studied didn't always convey the right marketing message. According to Ann Green, svp of marketing solutions at Millward Brown:

"There was no relation between persuasion and viral potential. It's interesting to notice these viral ads are very engaging, but they may not be ultimately persuasive."

However, that doesn't mean that advertisers should necessarily forgo striving for viral success. Millward Brown sees their new metric as a method of gauging the possibility for success. According to Duncan Southgate, Millward Brown’s global innovation director:

“As an advertiser, your chances of a major viral success are relatively low, but it’s a prize worth aiming for, and our new validated pre-test metric makes it an easier target to hit."

The company provides 10 tips for viral advertising to help achieve viral goals. Some are obvious: creativity matters. But others demonstrate that there are always going to be unknowns in the mix of viral success. Like number 10: "Cross your fingers!"

Images: Old Spice, Millward Brown

Meghan Keane

Published 18 March, 2010 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

721 more posts from this author

Comments (18)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

Jack Thorogood

I think you've put the wrong slant on this: "15% of ads go viral online" should be written as a success story, not a sorry tale. Think how much dross there is in advertising; that a reasonable percentage 'go viral' is quite a surprise.

over 6 years ago

Mike Stenger

Mike Stenger, MikeStenger.com

I find it weird that the Old Spice commercial is doing so well. Never particularly liked that one. I agree with Jack somewhat about 15% should be written as a success story. When you compare it to other areas, it's still quite good. However with a lot of the ads that are out there, companies can really do better and step it up a notch IMO.

over 6 years ago

Nuttakorn Rattanachaisit

Nuttakorn Rattanachaisit, Consultant at Possible Worldwide

To increase the viral rate, the important thing is identifying and approaching to influencer that will give quick spread of new things. It needs to start from niche group who heavily used and spread the word of mouth to their groups and then it will start publicity. 

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

شات

To increase the viral rate, the important thing is identifying and approaching to influencer that will give quick spread of new things. It needs to start from niche group who heavily used and spread

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Martin Duys

I find the definition of viral used rather odd. Surely a viral campaign needs to spread virally? So the success of the campaign should be measured by the ratio bewteen the initial audience to which the campaign was seeded versus the total number of eyeballs that view the campaign in the end, rather than just the total size of the audience?

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Daniel Sevitt

15% sounds awfully high to me.

How many of these were actual online viral successes and how many like Betty White's Snickers campaign were backed by a multi-million dollar TV ad spend?

I'm pretty sure that once you pay to have your video shown at the most watched TV event of the year, you kind of lose your claim to viral-ness! That's a paid campaign that has bled over to YouTube, not a viral video campaign.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

JD

15% success rate is nothing when you're using these success metrics. 5k views in the US? 1,000 views in the UK? Those numbers can be falsified in an afternoon! With those parameters, it's frightening to think that clients are paying for production of the other 85%. One thing overlooked here when talking about virality is speed. Speed is one of the most telling variables in viral success. Strong spikes followed by slowly diminishing view rates is an almost ubiquitous trend here. One final note is that we're talking about viral success but looking at predominantly TV Spots brought online. Using these success metrics in reference to professionally-created content that have massive TV buys behind them skews these results and don't help in identifying what makes something viral.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

شات صوتي

I find the definition of viral used rather odd. Surely a viral campaign needs to spread virally? So the success of the campaign should be measured by the ratio bewteen the initial audience to which the campaign was seeded versus the total number of eyeballs that view the campaign in the end, rather than just the total size of the audience?

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

سعودي كول

I find the definition of viral used rather odd. Surely a viral campaign needs to spread virally? So the success of the campaign should be measured by the ratio bewteen the initial audience to which the campaign was seeded versus the total number of eyeballs that view the campaign in the end, rather than just the total size of the audience

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

دردشة عراقية

thanks alot man for this aticles

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

شات سعودي كول

I find the definition of viral used rather odd. Surely a viral campaign needs to spread virally? So the success of the campaign should be measured by the ratio bewteen the initial audience to which the campaign was seeded versus the total number of eyeballs that view the campaign in the end, rather than just the total size of the audience

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

hayder

thanxx

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

شات الحب

I find the definition of viral used rather odd. Surely a viral campaign needs to spread virally? So the success of the campaign should be measured by the ratio bewteen the initial audience to which the campaign was seeded versus the total number of eyeballs that view the campaign in the end, rather than just the total size of the audience

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

دردشة مصرية

I find the definition of viral used rather odd. Surely a viral campaign needs to spread virally? So the success of the campaign should be measured by the ratio bewteen the initial audience to which the campaign was seeded versus the total number of eyeballs that view the campaign in the end, rather than just the total size of the audience

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

شات مصري

I find the definition of viral used rather odd. Surely a viral campaign needs to spread virally? So the success of the campaign should be measured by the ratio bewteen the initial audience to which the campaign was seeded versus the total number of eyeballs that view the campaign in the end, rather than just the total size of the audience

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

fred

Great post , you are true not all post go viral except best ones that deserve that .

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

توبيكات

Great post , you are true not all post go viral except best ones that deserve that .

almost 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

شات صوتي

Great post , you are true not all post go viral except best ones that deserve thatم

almost 4 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.