Rule Four: Ultimately, It’s All About Humanity

To create the strong, personal connection that viral video is all about, ultimately, it’s all about humanity.

The Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments

We want to see raw humanity, not glossy perfection.

JK Wedding Entrance Dance (75+ million views) doesn’t have the greatest dancers.  They’re not actors, they’re not high-cheekboned models, and they’re not sporting the latest in fashionable wedding wear.  And that’s great!  Because instead of actors, dancers or models, we see real people we can relate to.  And if you allow your video to show the imperfections of humanity, you’ll have a far better chance to go viral.

Blendtec’s Will it Blend? series (over 200 million total views) nails this, making brilliant use of CEO Tom Dickson’s natural personality.  He’s a bit goofy, and it would have been so easy for Blendtec to have gone with a polished, professional spokesman and a detailed scripting of the Blendtec value propositions.

But Dickson can’t be beat.  He comes off as a real guy, and we really connect with him and his ongoing mission to blenderize everything under the sun.

Time and time again, people tell us that their favorite moment in our videos is not one of the big crazy stunts we do.  Their favorite moment is when we throw our arms up over our heads in triumph.  That simple moment of celebration gives people something to connect with.

So as you work to create your own unforgettable video, remember to keep the humanity in focus. Let us see who you really are, like Tom Dickson does in the Blendtec videos.  Give us at least one moment of emotion to connect with, like our arms up at the end of our Coke & Mentos videos.

Ultimately, that humanity is what it’s all about.

You’ll find more details on the four rules and lots of ways to apply them in our book, The Viral Video Manifesto.

Illustration by Chris Peterson.