How to make a viral video – 6 easy steps

It’s every advertising person’s nightmare.
The client calls in for a briefing.
Then demands “Make me a viral video!”

This is a watershed moment.
You usually want a gong to sound at that time, lightning to strike followed by a thunderbolt. You want the earth to shake and the whole universe destroyed.
You’ve just been asked to do the impossible.

Get this: you CANNOT make a viral video.
There is no such thing as a viral video.
There is only a video that goes viral.
You are a mere mortal. You can make a video. If it’s good it will have an impact. If it’s great it may win awards. But you never ever know what it is that will make a video go viral.
We can only try. And sometimes succeed.
So here’s what we learnt when some of our bright young sparks shared an idea, that became a video and we thought we’d share it further!
It was an ordinary day. So ordinary, it was a Thursday. The time was inching towards lunch. A slow-moving crowd was trickling into the cafeteria in one of our facilities in Mumbai.
While some lined up at the food counters, others warmed their homemade lunches desultorily in the microwave and made their way lethargically to a table.
And then.
And then there was music.
And then this happened…

From nowhere and everywhere, an enthusiastic bunch took over the lunch time buzz, and before we knew it, we were in the middle of a flash mob!
And here’s what we learnt on what makes a video viral. Some quick lessons.

    Employees are kings of content. We did know that some employees were planning a flash mob. In an organization that was almost 50,000 people at that time – the larger numbers were youngsters. The idea came from them. All we did was enable them to stage their flash mob in conjunction with the facilities. We felt the pulse. And we respected it.
    How is a viral video aligned with values, you ask.  In Capgemini, it is. Fun is one of our 7 values.  We thought ‘a bit of song and dance’ in the cafeteria would liven up a lazy Thursday. It did. For several Thursdays after! 
    It’s great if your viral video has a raison d’etre, a reason to be. A reason to have people stop in their tracks and listen. And then you deliver a message. The best virality comes from something that’s pure logic – a message that couldn’t have been conveyed better. What was our message here? Capgemini was looking forward to the annual city-wise celebration, JASHN, on the following Saturday. Hosted by the people, for the people, JASHN is a location-wide office celebration that puts the entire organization’s talent on show. The flash mob was planned to urge the audience to be there, to be part of it, and to whet their appetite for more!
    Once we knew what was happening, all we did was allow the employees their 15 minutes of fame. The cafeteria was carefully but unobtrusively rearranged to enable the ‘drama’. They recorded the tracks themselves. Some ‘friends’ of the flashmobsters offered to take videos. Before we knew it the videos were shared on their personal timelines. We ensured we shared them further.
    The numbers grew exponentially. It was shared, and shared further. Across media. Channels. Till it moved up to the feature page. We gloated over the numbers but it was the comments we savoured. Especially when they came from the employees of the competitions. Our organization was seen as the one where you could have ‘fun’. What better a way to send your value system message out. Through our very own young ambassadors! Oh yes, the video also got shared with a new name, “Sunny Leone Dance Fever” (don’t ask why) which has over 7,70,000 views!

    More about the outstanding numbers:

    • A Google search on the “Capgemini Flash Mob” shows 14,300 results in 0.28 seconds.
    • The overall reach of 1Mn+ happened in a span of 1month (646K only on Facebook)
    • An exponential burst of reach delivered over 170K video views
    • 220K Facebook fans interacted with our FB post in various ways over 23K likes, shares and comments


    Have fun making a video, or organizing a using a flash mob and hoping it goes viral, but make sure you are on the right side of the law. Flash mobs can be fun. But as visible they are to the public, they are that much in the eye of the competition and the vigilantes. Here are two links that can give you some additional ‘safeguards’ to make sure your flashmob or whatever your subject, is as much fun as any other, as viral as the past successes, but also as safe as a well-firewalled server!

Referral links:

  1. The Basics of Flash Mob Law –
  2. A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning an AWESOME Flash Mob –

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