July 4, 2007

The future of viral is . . . longer

Viral video is finally coming of age. Historically viral videos were the bastard son of TV ads, and generally run if a client didn’t have the full budget for a TV campaign but liked the idea of creating a video commercial. Because of this, viral videos tended to take the same format – usually a 30 to 45 second spot, structured in a similar way as a TV spot, but generally with a surprise Easter egg at the end.

Five or so years on, and virals are starting to slowly move out of this format and mature into their own longer and often more engaging medium – a change largely driven by broadband and YouTube.

Our recent campaign with E3 for Triumph motorbikes is a great example of viral getting longer. The campaign runs at 3 minutes long, and takes a documentary format. And the results prove that this works not only from the numbers (180,000 views in the first 3 weeks) but also from a brand engagement level, with over 7,200 positive online conversations being started about Triumph as a result of the campaign.

The recent arrival of’s ad proposition to the UK isles is also something to watch in this area. We’ve worked closely with in the US on a series called the Kensington Report, which is based around a true “advertainment” model – where product messages are integrated into the film creative – and will be doing more in the coming months with UK advertisers.

We predict that longer and more engaging creative is definitely the future of viral over the coming 12 months – and hopefully much of it coming out of the Rubber stable