Virality Isn’t Limited To Big Brands – Your Content Just Needs To Strike The Right Emotional Chords

New research: Top 10 emotions that make us share content

A viral hit is the holy grail for marketers these days: Not only does it generate a ton of awareness, but it also repositions a brand as an industry leader thanks to endorsements in the form of shares and retweets.


Consider GoldieBlox’s highly successful “Princess Machine,” which helped the retailer make their mark in the toy industry. This playful video follows a trio of girls as they test their latest engineering endeavor, and although the campaign ran into a bit of snag regarding music licensing, there’s no denying it was successful: Not only did it generate more eight million views in a week, but it helped the company earn a 30-second Super Bowl ad.


So what is it about this campaign and other viral hits that make people click ‘share?’


New research points to key emotional drivers, so to get a better understanding of what these influential triggers look like, my team at Fractl used the Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance (PAD) model to analyze the emotional responses to some of the top images from Reddit’s r/pics community. Our results revealed that there are three ideal emotional combinations for viral content.


Here I’ll walk you through our findings and provide examples of what successful campaigns look like for different combinations.




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