Twitter Facebook Vimeo

Creating viral work for your portfolio

1 min, 24 sec read
12:00 PM | 20 June 2014
by Jim Compton-hall
   •       •    Read later
Want your writing featured?

You cannot create virality, only encourage it. While putting together ideas for your portfolios and student work it's important to think through how you might build word of mouth and initiate an idea that spreads like a virus.

A video can become viral but you can't make a viral video. Viral means something has reached lots of people in a short amount of time. Just like with a disease, you can't make a pandemic. You might be able to synthesise a disease with seemingly all the right properties to make it contagious, but you still need other people to spread it.

If your video is just spec work, then it is not viral. If it is live work but hasn't been released yet, then it is not viral. If it has gone live but people aren't sharing it, it is not viral. It can only become a viral video when it spreads (and then stops being one when people stop sharing it).

Therefore, when "we would create a viral video" pops up in a portfolio or piece of student work, it feels very amateurish. If video virality is part of your plan then you need to go into much more detail and form a solid plan. How is this video going to appeal to your audience? What's in it that they'll want to share? How will you seed the video to encourage it to go viral? Will you send it to any specific blogs, news sites, Twitter users?

Check out these examples of branded content that have recently been viral. See if you can figure out why they went viral.

Coca-Cola Friendly Twist

evian Spider-Man – The Amazing Baby & me 2

A First Drive

Please log in or sign up before participating in the conversation.

More stories

  1. We live in difficult times

    Tony Cullingham explains that in these competitive times if you want to land a job in creative advertising, you and your portfolio need to shine through.

  2. Where to find ideas

    Ricky Richards talks about coming up with ideas in this age of distraction and gives you the clues to finding those unique ideas.

  3. The career path that has no path

    Creative Director, Jeremy Garner, explores the exciting opportunity surrounding careers in the ever changing creative industries.

  4. Google ReMind

    The rate of people being diagnosed with alzheimer’s is growing rapidly, with now 1 in 3 seniors dying of this incurable disease. Students from Miami Ad School has an idea to raise awareness.

  5. 8 ways to smash your last year at university

    Csilla Kulcsar, ex graduate of Middlesex University writes about 8 tips for smashing your last year at university.

  6. Book Review: The Typography Idea Book by Steven Heller & Gail Anderson

    We review Stephen Heller & Gail Anderson's collaborative effort, The Typography Idea Book. A must for anyone interested in typography, art direction, and graphic design.