Video Essentials

What Brands Need to Know About Holiday Viral Videos

Those video-loving people at the Viral Ad Network (VAN), a video advertising agency, have done the homework for you in order to learn what makes Christmas videos go viral. Using their TubeRank viral planning tool, they’ve analyzed successful user-generated Christmas videos from the past several years to determine what resonates with viewers. The idea is that brands can use these triggers to create their own holiday hits.

Here’s what VAN says succeeds during the holidays:

1. Elaborate lighting displays shine bright.

People love watching epic Christmas light shows online. We’re talking giant productions with themes, timed music, and enough wattage to light up the moon. A really spectacular lighting display can get millions of hits in only a few days, says VAN.

WrapCat2. Cats and dogs rule, as always.

People love pet videos anytime of year, but when those cute pets are combined with wrapping paper, trees, and ornaments, the effect is irresistible. VAN notes that one video called “Puppy’s First Christmas” got almost 6 million views in just a few days. Want that kind of success? You’d better get a really cute kitty or puppy.

3. Gift reaction shots are hot, even when the gift is not.

Seeing someone get the gift they really want is great. Seeing someone obviously disappointed at their presents is even better. Whether its kids tearing open an Xbox or parents playing cruel pranks on their little ones, gift-opening is a lot of fun to watch.

4. Flash mobs and sing-alongs make people happy.

Flash mobs might feel a little dated at this point, but they still do well on YouTube. Flash mobs combine a good song with the element of surprise.

Study these lessons and create some holiday video buzz for your brand. If it’s too late for 2013, start planning something elaborate for 2014.

Scroll down to view VAN’s full Christmas trend report.


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