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Posted on 03.25.2014

First Kiss with Success: The Powerful Effect of Viral Video

If you haven't seen the latest viral video sensation, stop right now and watch "First Kiss" before reading any further. Sixty-four million views on YouTube and landing on the first page of Reddit is the last thing filmmaker Tatia Pilieva, or Melissa Coker, founder and creative director of the clothing company WREN, were expecting. Coker was on a shoestring budget but asked Pilieva if she could help create something to showcase her clothing line's fall collection.

Pilieva's idea came from doing something she enjoys when she needs to be cheered up-looking through photos of her husband and her kissing in spots around the world. Her story behind the idea for the shoot can be read in this Huffington Post blog, in which she admits that she wasn't sure if this was the best or worst idea she had ever had. Lucky for her it turned out to be a pretty good one.

WREN, a seven-year-old label based out of Los Angeles, just hit the jackpot. Online sales spiked and this "no-name" brand has effectively gained more PR in one video than they may in their entire lifespan. Many have questioned whether or not this was done as an adverting stunt since the article featured models, musicians, and actors, but all of them are actually just friends of Pilieva who were free for the morning. WREN explicitly stated their involvement too, as you'll notice in the opening scene the video shows "Wren presents," as well as in the credits under "Styling by WREN."

Viral video is extremely powerful in today's ever changing media environment. A good viral video is everlasting. It's distributed through multiple media networks, it ignites social media, is discussed during daytime morning shows, skits are crafted on shows such as Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon, often leading to interviews and stardom for those involved. Why are they so powerful you ask? They tend to evoke an emotional response out of people and it gives them something or someone they can relate to. Often, most viral videos are not created with the mindset that the video will go viral. It has to be funny, engaging and give people that emotional response causing them to share with friends and family.

What are some other viral videos that are your favorites? What made you want to share them with others?


Katelyn Fish is an Account Executive at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Katelyn’s blogs here. Connect with Katelyn at Katelyn@lovell.com, or @katelynfish.

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