Saying that things have “gone viral” or has “broken the internet” is thrown around a lot nowadays- even in our lectures and seminars. The internet is a fast paced creative playground where viral content can take form of; videos, pictures, GIFs, memes and activism which is spread through social media.
The internet community is a powerful force. It has broken cultural boundaries by throwing K-Pop into the spotlight, with the record breaking Gangnam Style that has a mind blowing 2.5 billion views, and has spread quality internet videos such as Keyboard Cat.
Most viral sensations are accidental, the pinnacle being the Miss Universe crowning in 2015. The internet community like the accidental viral as they feel more realistic and a exclusive joke as the internet can pick up any idea a run with it. Such as the Leonardo DiCaprio Oscar meme, Leo’s repeated loss at the oscars caused the sympathetic internet to make pictures and gifs of him holding oscars or wishing he had one. This year though he received an oscar, defeating the purpose of the meme, yet on the internet it still lives on. Other accidental viral include; John Cena, Damn Daniel and many, many more.
However the fight to become viral from companies, and people seeking attention, has clogged up the internet with ‘wannabe viral content’. People have tried to make viral content with such tactics as clickbait, a great example being the extremely over exaggerated title of this post, and making absurd or controversial content. Many campaigns have failed as the internet can often sense forced viral content. Yet many marketing campaigns do get through, such as Dumb Ways To Die and Old Spice.
The truth is none really knows how to make viral content, there are some correlations and similarities, as it can be hit or miss (How to Make Something Go Viral). But nonetheless thats what’s so great about viral memes, you never know what’s coming next…