Campaign toolkit

Viral spots

Suitable for:

Larger organisations with higher financial resources

What is it?

Online ‘virals’ are short, thought provoking videos that are designed to be so popular with the target audience that they get passed on to other members of the audience. Virals work as a sort of self-generating dissemination technique.


  • When successful, the viral will help you promote your campaign without your direct intervention as it is passed from user to user.
  • It is also a tool that can win the hearts of a young audience.
  • A good viral has a long life and reminds the audience about your campaign.


  • Production of a viral may be expensive, and given the user-generated nature of a viral there is no guarantee that it will be disseminated as widely as you may expect.

Essential elements

  • There are three essential elements for a viral. It must be:
    • Funny
    • Shocking
    • Or touching.
  • Don’t think of a viral as a standard video to communicate your campaign aims. It is not an educational video.
  • The trick is to find a form that is ‘viral’ enough to be passed between users but still contains elements of what you want to communicate.


  • This needs to appeal to a fairly young audience. They generally only forward virals that make an emotional connection with them.
  • For example: The ‘free hugs campaign’, unrelated to Occupational Health & Safety campaigns, was a viral video that achieved massive success, and has been viewed by millions of people around the world.

How to spread your viral video

There are two main routes to executing a viral seeding campaign:

  • Placing the virals into relevant blogs, aggregators, portals and community sites. This is generally free or low cost.
  • Media placement by paying for an advertorial or placement within key influencers' portals, community sites or newsletters. There are a number of key influencer sites that provide this service.