How to Create Video Ads That Go Viral

nicole-story-200By Nicole Story, Vice President of Creative, Poo~Pourri

As creative director of Poo~Pourri’s new production company, Number Two Productions, I write and direct our digital video ads. Each gets millions of views, likes and shares on platforms like YouTube and Facebook. In fact, our videos have more than 250 million total views, and counting.

When people learn that I write Poo~Pourri ads, they often ask, “How do you create videos that become viral?” And while there’s no guarantee your ad will go viral, here’s what I’ve learned about creating video ads that are engaging and entertaining enough for people to share.

1. Start with a nugget of human truth.

The scripts for all of our videos have a nugget of human truth to them. This means that people are able to relate to the video in some way. Dealing with a human truth also allows you to tap into viewers’ emotions. We like to make our viewers laugh, but you can also use human truths that bring feelings of joy, love, etc. You have to make viewers feel something.

2. Open with an engaging intro.

At Poo~Pourri, we like to use a shocking statement and/or visual to open our videos, e.g.,  “You would not believe the mother lode I just dropped.” This is vital to keeping your audience locked in for the first five to fifteen seconds so they don’t scroll or hit that “skip ad” button.

3. Make your product/service the hero.

We typically use a problem/solution format that commonly appears in infomercials, but with a twist. We present a problem tied to a human truth that reminds people of an issue they’ve experienced at some point. For example, everyone has an awkward pooping story. You want your viewers to say, “Yeah, that’s been me!” Then, you set up a moment when your product or service saves the day.

The problem/solution format can take time; so don’t be afraid of a five-minute video slot when working with digital content. Especially if you need time to educate the audience on how your product works. Poo~Pourri was the first toilet spray you use before you go, so it was important to take the time to explain how the product works (and it does).

4. End with a direct call to action.

For Poo~Pourri our call to action is typically “Buy Now,” but you can use “Subscribe,” “Share,” whatever works for the goal of your ad. Without the call to action, you can end up with a video that people watch, but then move on from, without buying, sharing, subscribing, etc.   

5. Give it the gut check.

Last but not least, perform a gut check. Ask yourself, “Would I share this with my friends?” or “Would my neighbor be entertained by this?” If the answer is “Yes!” then, congrats, you’re on the right track to creating viral content.


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