Viral Video Trend in Recent Commercials

What does shaving, Cadillacs, and Cheerios all have in common? More than may realize. Recently, there’s been viral video trends in commercials being produced, and these new visual styles are gaining viral momentum.Below are three commercials for Dollar Shave Club, Cadillac, and Peanut Butter Cheerios. Each of these commercials are very effective and have some interesting elements that have pushed them into the “viral video” category.

Avoiding Viewer Drop Out

Each of these videos are engaging and hooks the viewers to watch them all the way through. For online videos, this is a great challenge but these videos successfully reduced viewer drop out. Here are a few reasons why I believe these three similar commercials have been incredibly successful:

The Single(-ish) Take

All of these videos appear to be one take. But, if you watch closely, you’ll see the cuts. But, they are so subtle and hidden that it appears to be a single take, or at least a single continuous thought.This one-take tactic is powerful in storytelling, but it’s also very hard to pull off. The production process is a bit complicated–solid planning, scripting, coordination and many takes are required. But, when done right, it works extremely well as shown the videos below.

Constant Motion, The Art of Steadicam

Each one of these videos are constantly moving. From start to finish, we are walking with the talent as he tells a story.The videos start with what appears to be a steady shot, but then it starts to move and continues to move throughout the whole commercial. This requires some solid SteadiCam work and tremendous amounts of blocking, planning and practice to pull it off cleanly.

Witty Banter and Excellent Writing

As with any video, excellent writing will always differentiate your story from the rest. People want to hear and watch a good story. It is essential for videos to hook and engage viewers if you want it to be effective.Each of these tells a good story. They are short, fun and catches us by surprise as the story unfolds. And, all of that starts with good writing.

Overly Confident yet Snappy Talent Talking to the Camera

Your on-camera talent can make or break the video. With the Cadillac and Cheerios spots, it’s obvious that they hired trained, professional talent.Dollar Shave Club is unique in that the CEO of the startup company was the on-screen talent. Typically, that is hard to pull off, but Michael Dubin played the part well. And, made news. It helps that he did improvisational comedy for awhile.


And, these videos are funny. You laugh. You snicker. You relate.The majority of videos that go viral typically have a comedic element. And, comedy is not easy to create. It takes good writing, good production and good talent to pull it off.

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