Can Crest Go Viral?

What makes a video go viral? Humour? Humiliation? Star power? It seems that the answer is all of the above. Take, for example, Natalie Portman rapping in a Saturday Night Live Digital Short.

Or there are the videos of people that were probably meant to remain private and have now become public fodder. Think something like Chocolate Rain. Some poor soul, with an even poorer voice, makes a video, and suddenly he’s a household name. (What is his name again?) Both videos, Chocolate Rain and Portman, have been watched millions of times each.

Enter Crest. You know, that monster tooth-care brand that is sold in just about every store, like, ever. They have recently launched a full-fledged online video campaign to market their 3D Whitening Strips, and plan to release six “comedic” videos in total via Youtube and Facebook. Bypassing the television commercial market completely is a big move, but Proctor and Gamble, who make Crest, saw the success of their other product Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” commercials, and clearly thought it possible. The difference is that the Old Spice commercial began as a Superbowl campaign – one where millions of people watch it in one go. Also, it was funny and awesome.

The new Crest 3D White commercial is not awesome, clever, or very funny. It likely won’t go viral. Could a horse with a broken leg win the Triple Crown?

Trying to force a video to go viral is like trying to hatch a penguin’s egg without its mama around to squat on it. Obscure analogy? Ok, let me reword it: It’s simple – it just cannot be done.

Though it’s very possible to reach a huge amount of people with a viral video, we don’t see TV commercials being replaced by web shorts any time soon. And even if it’s much cheaper and easier to make one video, post it online, and see what happens, the stress of watching a ‘potential viral video’ not go viral will keep too many advertising executives awake at night.

What do you think?

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