Rant about the the term "viral videos"
I read the terms "virals", "viral ads", "viral videos" everywhere used incorrectly.
The so called viral ads are advertisements that are created with the intention to be distributed through social media channels, such as video sharing sites, blogs, traditional news channels and any other non-payed media. These ads usually feature content that is funny, unusually helpful, amazing, surprising or controversial in nature. The main advantage of such distribution is the low or non-existent media cost. Secondarily, these ads are usually introduced to the consumer by their friends, which makes the context more personal and thus the viewer will be more perceptive to the message.
However these ads most of the time should not be called virals. Going viral means the ad has been distributed by a significantly high number of people through various channels. What constitutes a high number is a subjective matter, but clearly something that got 1000 views on YouTube did not yet go viral. Viral starts at tens of thousands of views or impressions.
Instead of the incorrect term "viral ads" for ads created for the social space, I would like to coin the phrase "social ad", which is more descriptive in my opinion and doesn't depend on how much the ad was distributed.
In the event a social ad gets shared extensively the adjective viral can be added. Proper use would be "social ad that went viral", "viral social ad" or it can be simply shortened to "viral ad".
I would suggest put the minimum number of views or impressions for social ads created for an international audience at 100,000 uniques before it can be called a viral. On a national level depending on the size of the subculture even 10,000 uniques can be enough to qualify.
Let me know what you think!