Please, don’t use the ‘v’ word

I’ve sat through too many meetings and presentations recently where someone says ‘…and this will make a great viral’ or ‘…and we can make a great viral out of this.’ or (and this is the one that makes me shudder most violently) ‘here’s some money, make me a viral’.

Please. Stop it. There’s only so much I can take.

The nature of a ‘viral’ is that it is self-propagating. You shouldn’t need to push it, you shouldn’t need to pay another company to seed it and you certainly don’t need to send an email to your whole company telling people to follow a link, send it to their friends and ask them to do it also.

When i get emails from my dad telling me that even by his own standards it is not amusing, you know that you’re bouncing a digital lemon round your e-address book.

Alex Moore over at Snagsta describes this rather nicely as part of his 7 Deadly Sins of Digital with:

They say: “We’ve made this film, can you make it a viral”
You say: “I’m just going outside to suck on an exhaust pipe for 30 minutes – if I make it back I’ll stick it on YouTube for you”

Don’t talk to me about gorilla success (and certainly don’t accuse me of mis-spelling guerrilla). IMO, the reason chocolate-nonsense did so well was that we’d all spent at least 10 years hating Phil Collins for ‘coming in the air tonight’ and now, in the year 2008 we cringe and sigh at how we used to dance and sing along to his music, the time wasted figuring out how to play ‘another day in paradise’ on the piano.

But seriously…

One that worked…