When a viral format almost becomes “viral”, or?

I am not allowed to vote in the US. If I was, I would vote for Obama, but that’s not the point with this post. The point is a little phenomenon that I think we have seen tipping these last few weeks. It’s the idea where you as a user:

Get a video from a friend, with your own name mysteriously included in the video, and then pass the same clip on to your friends, but with their names in the video.

The most recent one I bumped into was this one:

No doubt one of the best made videos of this kind I have seen so far.

I first encountered this idea and wrote about it (Swedish) in August 2007. It was the Dexter-campaign. Then in January 2008 I encountered and wrote about (Swedish) Carmenhasacrushonyou.com (now only active as Carmenhadacrushonyou.com).

During the last couple of weeks I have written about two more similar campaigns, with the same idea behind it. And here comes the third.

It seems what we are seeing here is a format that works. And one of the reasons I previously mentioned was that it was new to most people. It seems that will not be the case for much longer, if we see even more campaigns with this basic idea. So, it’s time to tweak it and twist it a bit. Create something even more “wow”, something that is new again, something that is even more personally relevant.

Otherwise, the audience will have been “inoculated” against this viral format for some time, and not be as likely to pass it on. In biological terms, the virus has to mutate.

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