Viral Videos Do Not Happen – They Are Caused

I see ad people. Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.

T-Mobile Conquers Trafalgar SquareI have blogged about flash mobs in the past, both in its purest form (Improv Everywhere creating street performances just for fun) – and in its commercial form (T-Mobile trying to cash in on the trend). If you do not share my notion on mind share, that’s fine. A reader of mine (which may or may not work in an ad agency) actually called these public space disruptions an “experiential advertising that actually provides real value for the audience”. Yeah, right. Reading blogs like the one by Israeli ad agency Mizbala gives you a scary glimpse into the psyche of these people. They actually call these well-funded acts ‘guerrilla marketing‘.

A couple of hours ago I received an email from Unruly Media, a London-based “viral video seeding specialist that works with global brands and agencies to harness and engage the social web”. I thought posting the email would shed some light on the behind-the-scenes activities that make a video go viral. All emphases mine:

From: Sal Azar <[redacted]>
To: Shahar Golan
Subject: Early Warning: T-Mobile Flash Mob Assets Available to FRGDR Tonight
Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009 5:57 pm
Hi Shahar,
The next T-Mobile flash mob is happening tonight from 6-7pm in Trafalgar Square, London. It’s the follow up to the hugely successful T-Mobile Dance in Liverpool Street and we’re hoping to have live footage from the event edited and available within 2 to 3 hours of this evening’s event.
We want to make sure that the video is with influential bloggers and online commentators as soon as is humanly possible and we will send you a link to the content (and additional campaign information) the moment it’s edited and uploaded.
If you’d like me to send across the video source file or if you have any other questions about the campaign, please feel free to drop me a line.
We’re also looking for partners to run the clip (and the official TV ad when it launches next week) on a commercial basis. I don’t know whether you’d feel this was appropriate for FRGDR, but if you’re interested, we can give you a video player to embed, pay you an initial fee for posting the video and a small additional amount for each UK view of the clip. If this is something you’re interested in doing, please drop me a line and I can send you details of how to sign up for the campaign on the Unruly Network.
If you want to check us out, please take a look at We adhere to a strict code of ethics, which you can read here:
Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions, and if you’re anywhere near Trafalgar Square between 6 and 7pm, come along and join in the fun.
Kind regards,

About Unruly Media
Unruly Media is a video-seeding specialist that works with global brands and agencies to harness and engage the social web. Its international viral seeding network encompasses thousands of blogs, media sharing sites and entertainment hubs, enabling brands to connect with influential, niche, and mainstream audiences on their own turf.
Unruly Media provides clients with a comprehensive viral seeding service, encompassing the planning, execution and evaluation of both paid and organic seeding. It has evolved branding metrics to provide qualitative and quantitative data around rich media formats. Clients include MTV, MySpace, Pot Noodle, Nokia and the BBC.

Salwa Azar
Campaign Manager, Unruly Media
Unruly Media
91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL, UK
+44 [redacted]
+44 [redacted]

Update: A couple of minutes ago I got this follow-up email.

From: Sal Azar <[redacted]>
To: all
Subject: Video Assets for T-Mobile Trafalgar Square Karaoke
Date: Friday, May 01, 2009 2:05 am
First of all – please accept my apologies for this being a blind email. It’s taken longer than anticipated to get the early footage uploaded, and we know some of you are waiting up to receive the assets before heading off to bed. The Flash mob in Trafalgar Square this evening was a total blast – 18,000 people belting out rock hits was quite a spectacle! You can see the initial footage and additional information about the campaign here:
If you click on the “Share This” link beneath the video player, you’ll be able to embed, email, FB, Tweet, and download the clip. Alternatively, if you’d like the source file, please drop me a line and I’ll get it across to you in the morning.
Really sorry it’s taken us longer than expected to get this over to you and please drop me a line if there’s anything I can help you with.
Best regards,

2 thoughts on “Viral Videos Do Not Happen – They Are Caused”

  1. Pingback: ויראלי שמיראלי, העיקר שיהיה מצחיק. או סקסי | ביט אינטראקטיב

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