Exploring the dark side of viral and how it affects marketing strategy.

Topping the list of doing-dumb-stuff-for-views isthe choking challenge’, which was exactly what it implies, the hot water challenge’ which involved sipping boiling water through a straw (or pouring it on your friend), and the ever-notorious ‘tide pod challenge’ where internet users swallowed laundry detergent.

Currently trending is ‘the skull breaker challenge’, and it’s no better than it sounds: 

Three people stand in a row, the middle person jumps and the outer two kick their feet out from under them, risking concussion, broken necks and fractured wrists.

Why do these short-sighted challenges go viral? Ultimately, the more shocking a clip, the more people share it and unfortunately, clips of people getting badly injured are very, very shocking. 

The desire to go viral and become a short-lived micro-celebrity by any means necessary has officially outweighed common sense.

Responsible marketing in the digital age is more important than ever before. To go viral without injury, a marketing strategy needs to be safe but intriguing; pure but wild. Brand Cartel ran a campaign for Soweto’s largest mall when they served the world’s longest sandwich, at 4km long! Safe enough to avoid controversy, yet crazy enough to garner a lot of attention.

Chat to the Brand Cartel to pull off viral-worthy moments without breaking any necks.