While viral videos, those that suddenly experience a tremendous uptick in popularity, can be amusing to watch and share, there’s a significant amount to be learned from commercials that “go viral” when it comes to using videos as a marketing tool for your business. What makes individuals feel so strongly connected to a video that, despite the fact it is essentially a commercial, they want to share it with friends and family members? Here are a few viral commercials from the last few weeks, what makes them stand out, and how you can use their features in your own video marketing endeavors.

Volkswagen’s “Feeling Carefree” featuring A-Ha’s “Take On Me”

Lesson: Use something your target audience will recognize

Volkswagen created a commercial that places a Volkswagen within the iconic pencil sketch animated music video for the song “Take On Me” by 80’s band A-Ha that has now received press coverage from sources like Mashable and USA Today. The lesson here is that Volkswagen knows their target audience incredibly well, as a result of what I’m sure were countless focus groups and surveys behind the scenes. They picked a song and video that would be recognized only by a certain segment of the population. It may have been a somewhat risky move, but one that garnered them a lot of attention, all of it positive.

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s “The Scarecrow”

Lesson: Consider the subtle approach

Currently, the highest-ranking commercial video on Viral Video Chart, a tracking project by several media partners, is the “The Scarecrow”,  a three-minute animated film from Chipotle Mexican Grill that only shows the company as a small logo screen at the very end of the film. The video has been viewed over 5 million times and shared over 260,000 times in the last seven days. It combines the well-known song “World of Pure Imagination” with a cartoon story of company values, and serves a kick off for a game tie-in. For your video marketing, try a new approach that makes your brand a backdrop and puts your values or product in the forefront, like “The Scarecrow” illustrates.

TrueMove “Giving”

Lesson: Never underestimate the power of good rhetoric

This Thai commercial has crossed into the US and set the Internet buzzing. It has been viewed almost 10 million times and shared 910,000 times so far. People are, in effect, sharing a commercial for a product they themselves can never use, since the commercial is for a Thai mobile company and it’s receiving worldwide attention. Never underestimate the power to go internationally viral with a compelling story, since this fable commercial has nothing to do with the product it’s selling.

There is a new crop of viral commercials almost every week, boosted by the power individuals have to share things they find interesting, comical or thought provoking. Following some of the lessons provided by these successes could make your video marketing more successful than ever.

About Ryan Perry

Ryan Perry has taken his 10+ years of business ownership and hands-on marketing skills and focused them on online marketing. In April of 2009, he started Simple Biz Support with an emphasis on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ryan is propelling local business websites to the top of Google, Yahoo and Bing resulting in increased market exposure and revenue for his clients using a variety of internet marketing tools including blogs, article submissions and video. Additionally, Ryan speaks and vlogs (video blogs) about internet marketing, educating business owners how to effectively use various SEO tools and techniques to promote their business on the internet. Ryan currently resides in Santa Rosa, CA. Connect with Ryan on Google+