Goats. The missing ingredient
So here’s something for the weekend. Goats. I've always thought they were inherently funny and now it seems the internet – and so presumably the world – agrees with me.
It all started with goats yelling like humans – a video uploaded to YouTube 23 days ago. Watch it now. But before you do, put your coffee down because you might end up spraying it all over your screen.
Back? Now you know why this video has had 9.5 million views. Yes 9.5 million views.
But goats don’t just stop there. Inspired content creators have created goat music video ‘mash-ups’, and you can see a compilation of the best here, in HD no less.
It all adds up to a staggering amount of created content in free media and a trend that is sweeping the internet – there’s got to be a lesson or two for us marketers here.
"Make it viral"
Depending upon who says this, they could (at worst) mean one of two things:
Marketer: "I don’t have much budget, and I want something that is going to capture my consumers' imaginations so that it becomes really popular, I get massive amounts of exposure, and I look really, really good to my boss."
Agency: "We'd love to do a TV ad but we can’t. Anyway, it’s OK, we can be far riskier with this, and tell the client that keeping their logo off is a great idea."
So what can we learn from screaming goats about how to make something that has a chance of going viral?
Here, for the first time in marketing history, are some special 'rules'. (Well, clearly not the first time – but I'm pretty sure that a set of guidelines inspired by a medium-sized, farmyard ungulate will be unique.)
Here's an exceptionally sweet-looking one to get you in the mood...
The Screaming Goat Rules for Great Viral Videos
1. Make it very, very funny – ideally as ridiculous as possible.
2. Your brand personality must be at the heart of it, but don't ram home loads of sales messages – unless you do it in a really, really amusing way like Dollar Shave Club.
4. Make sure other marketing activity is in place and continues the story. There is no point attracting lots of attention and having people visit your website if you aren't making the most of this new phenomenon you've just created.
5. Most viral videos don't go Gangnam Style so be prepared to fail – but make sure you have loads of fun on the way.