The Myth of Virality and What Marketers Can Learn From Justin Bieber

The current social strategy of many Marketing and Ad Agencies goes something like: “It doesn’t matter if the content is good, as long as we get a celebrity to tweet it, the thing will go viral!”

The prevailing consensus is that if a Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber tweets your content out to their followers, the inherent size of their audience will cause a viral loop, exploding the campaign into the news feeds and inboxes of everyone and their grandmother.

This fallacy is perpetuated by the ‘hip,’ ‘disruptive’ agencies as they focus on buzz words like ‘share-ability’ and ‘social’ (read in a loathing, sarcastic voice while I make air quotes). If a campaign has a presence on every social network in the known universe, with custom widgets that all connect to each other, then its success is just a matter of turning a key and watching the crowd swarm. Right?


This strategy is not only absurdly lazy, but is ineffective, irresponsible, and even a little offensive to the intelligence of your desired audience. And yet, campaign after campaign saturates the Internet, towing along promises of fame, virality and ubiquity.

Any producer or agency that has had an Internet hit will tell you that content?s value, not “share-ability,” is the most important key to virality.

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About the Author

Christiano Covino is the CEO and Founder of Mischievious Studios, a digital entertainment studio based in Hollywood, California. Mischievious Studios works to blur the line between advertising and entertainment by creating entertaining online commercial content and engaging brand-sponsored entertainment (Branded WebSeries, Films, Sponsorships). Mischievious Studios also produces and programs content for MischiefTube their YouTube channel that receives over 30 million views annually. When not creating a splash online, Mischievious Studios develops and produces feature films. Passionate about innovation, Christiano helps Mischievious Studios stay on the cutting edge and develop new opportunities in the fast-changing entertainment landscape.