Saturday 24 September 2016

Friday5: How to Capitalize on Viral Trends

At the beginning of November, the magazine Veja São Paulo (one of the largest regional publications in Brazil), published an article about people who spend more than $50,000 BRL ($22,000 USD) in just one night at São Paulo’s nightclubs. Entrepreneur Alexander de Almeida agreed to record a video for the magazine on YouTube. He provided tips to be “The King of the VIP Area.” In less than two weeks, the video reached more than 5.3 million views. De Almeida’s ridiculous behavior, tips and catchphrases became an overnight sensation in Brazil. Paula Nadal from Edelman São Paulo outlines how Edelman was able to capitalize on this cultural sensation.

1. Be Connected and Understand the Culture

The article and video went live and almost instantly hundreds of memes, video parodies and a Facebook page (which earned more than 215,000 fans in a week) emerged. For us, the lesson is: be connected. To stay ahead and on top of trends it’s crucial to know what’s going on in the news. Once connected and informed on trends in a region, it’s imperative to predict the community’s reaction.

In Brazil, to demonstrate displeasure with the article and de Almeida’s views, people just laughed – it’s our self-effacing humor that is unique and, in my point of view, a huge part of our culture. Part of our job is to know how clients work within the context of how people think, react and live in a region with a unique culture.

2. Creative Newsroom Rocks!

Numerous brands created their own memes about “The King” to drive engagement on their social channels. In one of his tips, de Almeida said that “some things add value to the VIP area.” Immediately, saying that “something adds value to…” turned into a meme. The Edelman team in São Paulo was able to work with our creative newsroom to stay on top of the trend and create really engaging content for our clients.

3. Timing is Crucial

It’s crucial to act quickly when an opportunity presents itself. This really makes all the difference! The team worked in real time to identify the opportunities to produce engaging content around the news article and video. It’s not as difficult when you have people dedicated to the brand all the time, but when you have to approve the content with another team, it could take precious minutes. The Edelman teams were able to connect and align quickly in order to capitalize on the opportunity early and stay current as well as relevant in the conversation.

4. Know Your Audience

Brazilians like to laugh, but not all brands can use humorous content or capitalize on funny viral trends like “The King of the VIP area.” So, we need to know our audience very well before creating and publishing content. Know how the audience will react and if they’ll appreciate the content. The last thing we want to do is alienate a section of our audience.

5. Know When to Stop!

Viral trends move fast. One day it’s the talk of the Internet, the next day no one cares. It’s important to know when to stop and move forward with other content.  Our challenge is to stay on top of trends, insert the brand, and build engagement and cultural relevance, then know when audience has moved on from the topic.

What are some other examples of a brand reacting quickly to a viral trend? How did they know when to stop?

Image credit: Downing Street

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