Browse Definitions :
Definition

viral ad

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A viral ad is an advertisement that achieves widespread reach because people who view it are inclined to share it among their social networks.

To go viral, an ad must offer the viewer something of value, such as information or entertainment. Beyond that general requirement, there are a number of factors that increase the probability that an ad will be widely shared. A Harvard Business Review research report recommends:

  • Keep branding unobtrusive.
  • Inspire joy or surprise to capture the user's attention immediately.
  • Build emotional ups and downs into the flow of the content.
  • Don't go over the top and make the content too shocking.
  • Target users who are active on social media and likely to be influencers.

Ads can go viral for other reasons as well, not all of which are beneficial to the advertiser. A Microsoft infographic for Office 365 provided figures for the number of employees who worked in various out-of-office situations -- such as in bed, during dinner, in the bathroom and while attending a child's soccer game -- and suggested that Office 365 could increase those numbers. The ad was featured in a Washington Post blog and widely shared on Twitter, where it was roundly criticized as a promotion of overwork at the expense of work-life balance. Microsoft's misstep underlines an important requirement of creating (intentionally) viral ads: Understand your target audience. If there's a conversation about your brand, you don't want it to be about how out of touch you are with your target demographic.

See Seth Godin's TED talk, How to get your ideas to spread:

This was last updated in January 2016

Continue Reading About viral ad

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

    The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is legislation in the state of California that supports an individual's right to ...

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

SearchSecurity

  • endpoint detection and response (EDR)

    Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is a category of tools and technology used for protecting computer hardware devices–called ...

  • ransomware

    Ransomware is a subset of malware in which the data on a victim's computer is locked, typically by encryption, and payment is ...

  • single sign-on (SSO)

    Single sign-on (SSO) is a session and user authentication service that permits an end user to enter one set of login credentials ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

  • business continuity software

    Business continuity software is an application or suite designed to make business continuity planning/business continuity ...

SearchStorage

  • blockchain storage

    Blockchain storage is a way of saving data in a decentralized network which utilizes the unused hard disk space of users across ...

  • disk mirroring (RAID 1)

    RAID 1 is one of the most common RAID levels and the most reliable. Data is written to two places simultaneously, so if one disk ...

  • RAID controller

    A RAID controller is a hardware device or software program used to manage hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid-state drives (SSDs) in...

Close