I’ve noticed a disturbing trend recently. My clients who are new to “online video” frequently call it by another name: “viral video,” as in “We want to create a viral video.”
Your New Media Evangelist has nothing against the word by itself, but when placed before the word “video,” both my systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements increase significantly.
The phrase creates a distortion field that inhibits a communicator’s ability to focus, frequently putting them into a delusional state of believing that they’re the next Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, or Tim Street.
I’m begging you. For the love of all that’s holy, please eliminate the phrase “viral video” from your pre-production vocabulary. Trust me, the phrase will drain all of your budget and leave you with moving pictures that your kids will call “lame.”
Instead of trying to manufacture million of downloads, try creating useful videos that tell good stories. If millions of people just happen to forward that video to all of their friends, then I’ll consider lifting my embargo. But not before.
A video’s virality can only be determined AFTER it is released.