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Going Viral - is there a formula?

Just like you, I'm sure you've read or seen plenty of images and articles on #TheDress (You know the one, the White and Gold or was it Blue and Black?). One article I particularly liked was on Linkedin Pulse: "Virality = (Pathos + Ethos + Logos) x (Timeliness + Relevance)" which focused on the the viral effect of #TheDress. The article was a great insight into how something as simple as the colour of a dress can cause such a great debate starting on social media, BBC news, US Chat shows and trending across the globe.

I really enjoyed reading what Tai Tran had to say on Viral Marketing and particular liked one of his statements (as per below). After reading articles I always like to scroll through the comments, there are always differences in opinions, and as I suspected based on this content, there was some terrific insight specifically on viral marketing and a comment from Kirsten Wright stood out to me.

First comment I liked was written by the author of the Blog (in the body of the article), Tai Tran, Digital Marketing at Apple. Forbes 30 Under 30. LinkedIn Top Voice: "It is impossible to predict what will be viral tomorrow or even today. The Tumblr user who uploaded #thedress most likely did not expect for it to go viral and break the internet the following day. That is the wonder of viral content. Like any trend, viral content comes and goes. Some will make little sense such as the #thedress while others will generate value such as the ALS Bucket Challenge and Chevy's Purple Your Profile campaign."

And the other was in the comments section, written by Kirsten Wright: "I think most of us find this compelling because we expect others to see the same colors as we see most of the time. In preschool we learn which color is blue, what's red, what's green, what's white, et cetera. So when we find something that deviates from this (not explained by color blindness), we're captivated by the science behind it and how our brains work differently.

This is something that isn't apparent in everyday observations, so when it makes such a BOLD appearance as two distinct groups with very divided opinions on something as SIMPLE as color, it's pretty interesting. I think the fact that it's simple and relate-able for almost everybody is WHY it's captivating, and that's why it's gone viral"

Which Team?

Whether you are team "Black & Blue" or "White & Gold", there is no getting away from the fact this dress certainly captured the attention of almost everybody, as we all wanted our say on which team we belonged to. One thing is certain, you will never have any idea when, where or why a post can go viral. As for me, I'm team #White&Gold. For more information on the the Science behind #TheDress, there is a great article in Wired Magazine "The Science of Why No One Agrees on the Color of This Dress" written by Adam Rogers.

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