Viral Video Vanguard

Wrapping up 2012: What we’ve learnt in Video

Spot the difference: ‘I want to make a viral video’ and ‘I want to make a video viral’.

If you found it, get yourself a cookie and enjoy the rest of the blog by calling it ‘light reading material’. If haven’t, put on your huge hipster glasses, pick up a highlighter, mark lines on the blog and then realize that the permanent marker isn’t coming off your expensive computer screen.

In 2012 ‘Viral Videos’ entered the Indian consciousness. Clients wanted them, social media enthusiasts where ranking them, and kids with hipster glasses and iPhones were ‘making’ them. But what makes a Video Viral? Is it the number of views? If yes, at what figure does a video become ‘Viral’? Mind you, this is a country in which selling 5,000 copies of book makes it a ‘Best Seller’.
Unlike how ‘blue’ can be an inherent quality of ‘film’, ‘viral’ isnt in the DNA of a video clip. What makes it enter popular thought is the relentless, often unpaid and unanticipated, sharing of the video across social channels (including conversation, which is social, unless of course, all your friends are imaginary). I don’t think there is a recipe for making a video viral, but we’ve noticed a trend.
In my opinion video creation to dissemination affects the number of view on two benchmarks: ‘quality’ and ‘time’. ‘Quality’ is what clients mean when they say ‘This should be more Hollywood like’. Its the relentless pursuit of the right framing, color correction, effects, filters and the other options that you discover on Youtube. It is a time consuming and money gurgling effort, that requires the patience and persistence of Sachin Tendulkar fans. But your end product needs to be PERFECT, a single glitch or a misplaced line and it crumbles. Go all the way or go home.
The other is time. Your video may not be good looking, the sound may be off and a monkey on LSD may have edited it, but if you are the first to upload the clip or come up with a new angle on an old story, the views are yours for the taking. It’s often these videos, made on shoestring budgets, that can be easily branded and spread. Time is the essence, every second, every minute and every hour counts.
Between the two approaches, Ok quality and late releases, lies the time-waste-land of a majority of Youtube videos, lying unnoticed unless an algorithm in the cloud recommends it to you.
If you still haven’t found the difference between the first two sentences of this blog, then let me explain them. If you want a video to be seen, concentrate on ‘making it viral’, push it, post it and share it; this will help views. But people will only come back to your video if it’s stunning or topical, if it’s not one or the other, you might as well watch TV. That’s what 2012 has taught us.



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  • Hey

    Feb 14th 2013

    The new harlem shake vids are awesome... An agency in our field just put one out and then it's like everyone in the industry followed. Have to get on the band wagon :)

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