Whilst searching through the internet this morning (100% work related I promise!) I happened across an article that listed the top viral videos being viewed across the globe.

Now as we all know – a video that goes ‘viral’ can be a wonderful way for a brand to reach a huge audience. After all – getting over a billion people views on your Youtube video, such as PSY did with his video Gangnam Style, is an incredible feat and one that offers a huge payoff in terms of brand exposure.

Apparently last year, 72 hours of video were uploaded to Youtube every minute. So to say that competition is fierce in the fight for recognition by the masses would be an incredible understatement.

So what does any of this have to do with Experiential marketing meeting Digital?


Recorded consumer experience remains the best way for any brand to gain authentic content. There is no better way to capture incredible video footage than the live environment. Participants of a branded experience are often experiencing activities for the first time. This means that expressions and reactions are always genuine.

If you look at any viral video chart, you will often find that ‘trending’ viral footage often comes off the back of consumer experience.

These videos that become ‘viral’ however, are not always created off the back of a ‘positive’ consumer experience.

Nivea’s recent video offering entitled the ‘stress test’ involves the filming of innocent passengers at an airport, who are being shown newspapers and video bulletins that frame the passengers as wanted criminals.

The results to date –  over 6 million views (and counting) 13’000 likes, and 1000 dislikes.

Does the end result justify the means? perhaps – as with any analysis, this is an entirely personal and subjective point of view.

But not every successful viral video is borne of a negative situation. Coca Cola for a while now, have been responsible for creating incredibly powerful, positive video content that concentrates on ‘happiness’. You may recall last years efforts with their Skyfall video that gave passengers at a busy train station the opportunity to be ‘James Bond’ for a brief moment whilst they ran through a carefully controlled human obstacle course to complete a task.

Coca Cola are again riding high in the charts with their ‘small world machines’ video where they created an experience designed to bring together India & Pakistan, 2 countries that have been divided for the last 60 years. The experience relied on a video set up in both countries that joined screens via a video link. when people touched hands across the screens, they were rewarded with a can of Coca Cola.

You can see for yourself that the people taking part are genuinely happy and amazed by what Coca Cola created. Whilst people’s opinions are sure to differ in respects to Coca Cola’s agenda for creating this experience, the fact of the matter is that the experience was positive for those that took part and the obvious joy created is infectious.

Experiential marketing agencies are always looking at ways to bring positivity, excitement and delight into consumers lives. It is what we live for because we understand that the more people who come into contact with your brand and walk away feeling positive, the more likely your brand will gain that all important talkability factor. The more positivity you can build around your brand, the more brand advocacy you are likely to attract.

The world of digital is perhaps ruled more by the numbers – the more impressions, views and click throughs digital campaign can deliver – the better the ROI.

There is always a danger when a brand uses misfortune and uncomfortable viewing to achieve the objectives. Some brands take the decision to walk that tightrope and only they can decide if this is right or wrong.

Brands have the opportunity to bring Experiential partners and digital agencies together and create ultra-positive video content. Combining creative forces and unifying budgets may help to keep things on track.

The Experiential partner will always have an eye on the ball regarding the consumer – the digital partners can ensure that the content is created and distributed in the most effective manner.

With consumers eyeballs increasingly focused on their screens, brands need to make sure that the content being created still has the consumer at heart – not just the metrics.

Hotcow is a multi-award winning Experiential Marketing agency. We get brands in front of consumers in ways that persuade them to buy. We fully implement our ideas; nothing needs to be farmed out. For more information or free consultation, contact us