The New “Viral”


Vaccination has been a highly controversial topic in recent years, resulting in a slew of “Anti-Vaxxers” and the School Vaccination Law in California, which mandates that children that attend public school must be vaccinated.

British Columbia’s ImmunizeBC and agency Rethink Vancouver have teamed up to create a unique mailing campaign to promote vaccination, appropriately called “Viral”. The trailer for the campaign states that “Measles is one of the most contagious diseases on the planet, but as you know, it’s making a comeback.”

However, the kicker is the actual mailing campaign: when exposed to sunlight, the UV-responsive ink on the paper appears suddenly in a rash of bright red spots, reminiscent of–you guessed it–measles. The alarming card shows how fast measles can spread, and reminds recipients that “not vaccinating your children puts us all at risk”.

This comes after particularly alarming reports of measles spreading throughout the United States, including an outbreak at Disneyland, and reminds parents to vaccinate their children or risk them being a public health hazard.

What Sparks Our Fire: Ingenious campaigns that post important public health reminders

Viral Schmiral

So by now, if you have an internet connection, you’ve seen the black and white video of beautiful people awkwardly kissing over an acoustic indie song. It’s awkward, and cute, and thought provoking, and totally an advertisement for WREN, but we’re not going to talk about that right now. However, for purposes of narrative symmetry, here’s the video that’s been all over every single one of your feeds.

The video itself has just shy of 60 million views, and it’s always increasing. The reasons for the virality of the content are hard to pinpoint. Some reasons could be the inherent desire that people have to see intimate and personal moments captured on video, the fact that all the people in this video are very very pretty, the vague subversiveness of including gay, lesbian, mixed-race, mixed-age couples in addition to the young heterosexual couples, or any number of things related to those reasons. Whatever the cause, the video strikes just the right resonant note with many, if not all who watch it.

And almost everyone is tired of it. The purity of the video has come and gone, the parodies have come and gone, the analysis of the video has been beaten into the dust by feminists, sociologists, and advertising apologetics and haters. That’s the trouble with highly viral campaigns. There is a huge amount of interaction in the first days of the campaign, and then interest slackens off and dies. But hey, we’re talking about it, so maybe it’s working more than we think.

Here’s a video of puppies.

What Sparks Our Fire: We like viral videos, but we like it more when they go away.

What do you think made this video go viral?

You Stay Classy, San Diego

I’ve been inappropriately laughing too much in preparing this post. I can’t help it.

Make it stop. Oh God, make it stop.


It’s literally everywhere. The viral marketing for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is as ubiquitous as it is expansive. From Dodge Durango TV spots to appearances on local TV stations that quickly go viral, Will Ferrell’s most iconic character, 1970’s TV anchor Ron Burgundy is featured on every possible medium in a movie marketing scheme that simply has never been done before.

The success of the original Anchorman movie hinged mostly on the comedic improvisation abilities of the ensemble cast, featuring Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate, and David Koechner, and fans of the original are wary of a sequel, fearing perhaps that they won’t be able to capture the same magic again. This may be why such an extensive campaign is called for, as the the viral videos don’t use material from the movie and instead go out of their way to show that, yes, Will Ferrell has still got it.

What Sparks Our Fire: Honestly, we just can’t wait. We’re so excited we could punch grizzly bears.

Are you in a glass case of emotion?