Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Uncontrollable Relationship: Virality and The Emotional Impact.

This week I want to share with you a very nice experience I lived with my coworkers last week, and I say nice, because it gave me a very positive feeling, which came to confirm (again) a post I published some time ago, which was titled "Viral Begins With An Emotional Impact"

And to cut to the chase, I included a link to the video that led to this very special experience. It corresponds to the new McDonald's campaign the company is launching in Spain. A spectacular piece (from my personal perspective). Here you have it and let's comment it after you see it.

The same message, two completely different reactions.

As I mentioned to you, when I saw the video for the first time I brought tears of emotion and joy, because it made me think a lot about Juan Vicente, my late father, and my two kids, Daniel Alejandro and Gabriel David.

In any case, I shared it on all my social profiles and, that same afternoon when I first saw it, I wanted to show it to my officemates, Ramiro and Santiago, convinced that they'd feel as good as I felt when I saw it, and how I feel every time I see it since then.

But what happened next was a very interesting lesson for me.

Ramiro, who has a young child, was deeply touched, he shed some tears and, as the video progressed, he kept saying: "¡Wow!", "¡¡What a strong piece!!". Obviously he had been impacted in a positive way, as it happened to me, and the emotions the video was creating on him were very difficult to hide.

However, to Santiago, the issue was very different: When he saw the first few seconds of the video, he turned around and left the room, and did not want to watch it. At least, not that day. He simply turned and walked away, visibly touched as well, but in a completely different way.

In my case and Ramiro's, the video had an impact on our emotions as parents, we could see ourselves reflected on the video, living life with our children and going through the different stages we all known, with their corresponding challenges and satisfactions.

In the case of Santiago, (my partner Ramiro explained it to me) the video touched a completely different set of emotions, because Santiago lost his father when he was still very young, and he has had to stand up to life only with his mother and siblings ever since, therefore, the message on the video was falling into a zone of strong and perhaps painful memories and emotions.

Ramiro and I share the video with our friends and in our circles. Santiago did not. The reason was obvious: The way the video impacted on him was very different.

That is why I can't believe it when people assure they can creat "viral" content.

I'm sure you can create high quality content with an extraordinary creativity and a message that can generate a profound impact and cause strong emotions on people. Of that I have no doubt, but how that message affects its recipient is a perfectly  personal decision and will depend, as in the case I described above, on what exists in each person's life.

Think for a moment when the person receives the message: The set of images, sounds, text, and music is interpreted by its brain and, based on that interpretation, it develops a particular response, neither you nor anyone else can control (perhaps predict) but not control, much less manipulate such response in any way.

It is at that very moment when you lose control of the message's effect of the message will cause, and is the beauty of it all: Your greatest effort should focus on developing a unique content and broadcast by all means possible and appropriate.

The rest is up to your audience. What a wonderful challenge!

And to end this post, I do share with you here another video, which is one that also navigates on a shady area: Some people find it abusive, some other like it. What do you think?

Related post in this blog:
Viral begins with an Emotional Impact.

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