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How to become a viral phenomenon

Check out the hilarious videos from Rhett and Link.  They are funny musicians who started posting videos to YouTube.  (They may be the next Tenacious D or Flight of the Conchords.)

Link tells us that "It’s never that one video that takes off. It’s like a slow simmer. Over time they find one video that leads to the next one." 

Great advice — and a warning to any marketer who has been promised that some agency can deliver the secret formula for viral success.


  1. Try a lot of things. You never know which one takes off.
  2. You don’t need a big budget or an ad agency.
  3. You do need to be genuinely good.

Here’s my interview with them from Gel 2008:


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  1. reddknight June 3, 2008 at 8:56 am #

    I was prepared to switch into “extreme skepticism” mode at the title but you spun it nicely. “Slow simmer” is an actionable approach vs. “hope to get lucky”.

  2. Tish Grier June 3, 2008 at 10:44 am #

    hmmm…sounds like the “viral phenomenon” is like the proverbial “overnight sensation”–neither of which happens in what we observers believe to be “overnight.” good to know!

  3. BIG Kahuna June 3, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    Andy, please don’t make a broad statement that “You don’t need an agency”. When you want something professional you hire a professional, in any business (just look at all the people that make their own ads – cheesy).
    Sure you can try it on your own but your attempts may hurt your brand identity and image. Most people who are not the professional will indeed do this.
    Be careful about your brand when attempting anything like a viral video. They are not easy and typically require some skill.
    And remember, you can’t make a video go viral, you can only hope it does.

  4. Ramiro Caso June 4, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    Hey Andy, love your blog!! I reched you via Mitch Joel’s SPOS
    Your last post kept me thinking about “viral” content. One of the things I believe is really needed to be viral is authenticity. I work for and ad agency I constantly hear clients getting the “viral” phenomenon the wrong way. The question one should ask is why is people is sharing content. There are few common elements, but one thing is sure, they are all originals in the real sense of the word. I don’t know if much of today’s viral content was intended to be viral in the first place.
    I hope all the above made any sense. Anyway, i’ll keep reading you, it’s a geat blog

  5. doubleagame June 5, 2008 at 11:53 am #

    Not so sure these guys have genuine talent musically you speak of, but they’re natural born marketeers.

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