This Video Did Not Go Viral

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Above is a video we released last week at Deutsch LA for Volkswagen.

In a matter of a few days, with only one broadcast airing, we’ve already picked up over 6 million views.

The LA Times wrote a nice complimentary article, with the headline – VW’s Super Bowl teaser video ‘The Bark Side’ goes viral.

The headline is untrue. We did not go viral.

This video is popular because people chose to spread it – not because the video shared itself.

We attempted to pack the video with cultural currency targeted at specific communities on the web that actively share content. We paid attention to the kind of content they share. And then we put the video where they would find it. But none of that guaranteed us success before hand.

You can design for popularity, but you cannot guarantee it. Popularity is a stochastic process. There is no such thing as a viral video, no matter how hard we as an industry want to believe it or try to sell it.

I’ve written on this subject before, and suggest you read this article if you want to follow me further down the rabbit hole – stop saying viral video.

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