Virtually everyone has heard of the infamous dress – it’s even got its own Wikipedia page. The entry reckons within a week of the image appearing, more than 10 million tweets had mentioned it.
Achieving such astonishing virality would be a dream for digital marketers. Journalists have described the dress phenomenon as generating vertical growth, instead of a more typical bell curve.
BuzzFeed built extensive features around the dress and in doing so generating ad revenue. By 1 March, say some estimates, the original BuzzFeed article had received over 37 million hits.
So why do we have such an insatiable appetite for posting and sharing seemingly irrelevant material? Whether it’s a dress, or the Gangnam style video, which to date has some 2 billion Youtube views, our hunger for utterly meaningless debate and content consumption seems undiminished.
It all makes the DM battleground a vastly crowded space. Shining through is harder and harder.
A Guardian article reckons most people share things they feel some attachment to. Whether that’s a political viewpoint, what colour dress they see, or which of us associate with the anti-cool Gangnam may not matter.
If this attachment theory is true, there’s a whole new world of virality out there to leverage. All digital marketers need to do is conceptualise how sharing an image, which they want to go viral, could be made into a personal statement.
That way, sharing images that illustrate our point of view, we also share what digital marketers want us to see. And it’s not just cats and cure babies that pull on the emotional heart strings of social media users.