Source: Evian
Source: Evian

Dancing babies, talking babies, clever dancing and talking dogs, cats, cats and cats. Have we had enough yet?

Apparently not.

Thanks to a string of recent advertising videos landing in inboxes, Facebook and Twitter feeds across the world, Evian is the newest contender in the fight to go viral. The bottled water company’s newest baby commercial had more than 30 million views in its first six days, and now boasts more than 47 million views.

Going viral is nothing new. However several brands have cashed in on this digital trend in recent weeks, including Kmart and Dove. The recent success is sure to have brands everywhere asking, “how do I get in on the action?”

Evian is an international company trying to appeal people across the globe. And what’s more universal than a baby?

The video’s absence of spoken words turns the baby and music turn into a universal language of sorts. Pair that with a good soundtrack and fabulous CGI, a bit of humor, and it’s easy to see why it was an instant success with worldwide appeal.

So, where to start in your own quest for viral gold? This likely goes without saying, but before you begin having grand ideas of going viral, you need to do something interesting. You also need to be willing to take a risk. Remember, just because you create it, doesn’t mean they will watch.

If you’re willing to take a risk and the idea is sound, here are three steps to help make the viral leap.

Celebrity endorsement

An easy way to gain attention is to get a celebrity to share the video. It’s not uncommon to pay a famous person connected to a brand to tweet videos. With follower numbers in the millions, it’s quite possibly the easiest way to quickly access eyeballs that are a willing and engaged audience.

Take for example, Jay-Z who has 2.5 million followers. Even if only half watch the video, that’s still more than one million instant views with massive retweet capabilities.

Buy. Buy. Buy.

A second tactic is to simply buy your way through it. There are an increasing number of avenues available to seed the video by purchasing premium online real estate, like Facebook or even YouTube and Twitter, which will let you purchase top rankings.

Test drive your creative

To determine if your content is up to snuff, I recommend a test drive of sorts. A traditional television buy is very expensive and the Internet offers a great opportunity to test your creative. If it works online, it can work on TV. The perfect example of this is K-Mart’s Viral hit “Ship My Pants”. After the positive feedback, the company considered cutting the campaign into 30 second spots. The viral Internet community is becoming one giant, and cost-effective, focus group.

A word of caution before beginning a viral campaign: Forced taglines can go wrong quickly. KFC’s recent ad is a bit of a failure in this sense. Predicting that “I ate the bones,” would become the next “Where’s the beef?” was misguided because it offers no cultural insight.  “Where’s the beef” spoke directly to the mindset of the 80’s, success and excess. The phrase fit the times. “I ate the bones” is just a statement. And frankly, it’s a bit gross.