Going Viral: A Professional Examination by the Highly Regarded Dr. Shack

The term “viral” as it relates to internet-related phenomena (videos, memes, etc.) has become common over the past couple of years.  Just as a virus can quickly enter the human body, spread and kill someone (too harsh?) can a viral video sweep a nation within a few hours and make something, or someone, famous.  Today, Dr. Shack is going to take a quick look at some unforgettable viral sensations.

Gangnam Style

No need to go deep into the history of Psy’s Gangnam Style—it is the definition of a viral video.  It catapulted Psy into superstardom, and was the first YouTube video to rack up over 1 billion views.  Hell, there are YouTube videos of babies dancing to Gangnam Style that have tens of millions of views.  When your viral video makes other videos go viral, you’re doing OK.


Harlem Shake

With over 12,000 unique videos posted on YouTube between February 1 and February 10, it’s safe to say the Harlem Shake has gone viral.  They’re quick.  They’re funny.  They get millions of hits from idiots like me.   And, Baauer, the artist behind the Harlem Shake, has benefited quite a bit from the virality of these clips—his single topped the iTunes charts in the US and Australia this month.


Dollar Shave Club

This quick, quippy and perfectly scripted video helped launch fledgling Dollar Shave Club into a venture capital-backed business.  In the first 48 hours after the video debuted, over 12,000 new members signed up for Dollar Shave Club.  The fact that the CEO starred in the video makes it all the more meaningful.  Definitely worth a watch if you aren’t one of the 10 million people who have already viewed it.


While it’s hard in some cases to track exactly how these went viral, it’s not too hard to see why.  Does Team Spogo have something like this up its sleeve…?

No, to be honest, we don’t.  We’re going to start brainstorming right now.

Team Spogo thought about making a Harlem Shake video, but it would have looked too much like this.


About david

Co-Founder, Spogo

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