Monday night – our mate the actor Andrew Scott texted as he had seen a video on YouTube from fans wishing him Happy Birthday. Could we upload a response through our Sea Wall YouTube channel? Well, of course. So he recorded a 45” home movie on his i-Phone and mailed it through. We made the briefest of brief announcements on Twitter and Tumblr and late Tuesday morning there it was.
By Weds lunchtime it had received over 11,600 views and racked up over 3,000 notes/favourites on Tumblr. Sea Wall, the film we made with Andrew, only has 3300 Twitter followers and around the same number of people have downloaded it, so we were reaching out well beyond our audience. Virals work best when they are spontaneous, real and essentially unplanned.
Any viral is (logically) latent in its audience – don’t forget – they’re the hosts and they’re human.