I have often noted how difficult it is to ensure that something will “go viral.” While there are certainly some key boxes to check which can help get you going on the right path, a viral campaign’s ultimate success often (but not always) rests on something more intangible - a consumer’s willingness to independently send the content on to someone else.
In that vein it’s always interesting to watch things that just go viral on their own (or at least appear to). For example, the other day I was Rick Roll’d. I got an email with a link to a YouTube video, and I clicked on it only to spend the next three and a half minutes utterly preplexed as to why my friend would send me to the video of Rick Astley’s 1987 debut single “Never Gonna Give You Up.” A few minutes of searching brought me to the (official?) Urban Dictionary definition of Rick Roll’d which is, “To be tricked, through any method, into clicking a link that takes you to the Rick Astley video ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.”
This is the kind of stuff people love to send to their friends (responses to my own Rick Rolls ranged from “THIS IS AMAZING” to “I hate you” ). And at the end of the day, who the hell knows why it takes off? What marketer would have been like, “20 year old Rick Astley + brand new lame slogan = viral success”? Just the latest reminder that their is no magic bullet or secret formula for this stuff. So, without further ado, lean back and get Rick Roll’d.
EDIT: An anonymous tipster informed me that if you listen to five Never Gonna Give You Ups simultaneously it sounds like galloping horses. And indeed it does.
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