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The Top Viral Moments of 2015

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As 2015 is coming to an end, we are looking back at some of the viral highlights.

Reflecting on what went viral is a healthy exercise for marketers. When we are thinking about social media successes, we are also thinking about content that has been able to engage audiences at a large scale. In some way, what is going viral is reflective of our zeitgeist. This includes:

  • what interests us
  • what engages us
  • what we like to share with our peers

Within marketing, we encounter similar questions whenever we are brainstorming new campaign ideas. This is why it is essential to reflect and understand what has worked very well this year, and how we can leverage certain elements thereof.

So without further ado, here are my picks for the viral highlights of this year (in no particular order):

1.The Dress (or Dressgate)

Blue and black dress

This picture first made its way to the internet on February 26. On the same day it went viral worldwide, with social media users passionately discussing the colour of the dress. According to a poll by BuzzFeed, the majority of viewers see this dress as “White and Gold” as opposed to “Blue and Black”. Needless to say, this is a very controversial piece of content that has split families and destroyed friendships.

(By the way, it is clearly blue and black!)

2. Left Shark

Dancing shark

During Katy Perry’s rendition of Teenage Dream during this year’s Superbowl halftime show, she was accompanied by two sharks who were dancing alongside her. The one to Katy’s right was nailing it. However, the left one seemed to have lost the plot at some point. By dancing out of rhythm and awkwardly waving around his fins, he has guaranteed himself a spot on this list. Twitter conversations around this incident quickly ensued after the performance. From there on, it didn’t take long for Left Shark to become a major internet meme in 2015.[/text_output][x_video_embed type=”16:9″]

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3. Donald Trump

How can he not be mentioned in such a list. Donald formally announced his run for the 2016 US Presidential elections in mid-June. Since then, it has been impossible for anyone to not come across this highly controversial yet entertaining candidate. One of his very recent proposals was on “closing that internet up” to hinder ISIS recruitment. Furthermore, he is intending to accomplish this by using “our good people”.

Donald Trump

“I won’t want them using our internet.”

After Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, Donald is the next incarnation of everything that we don’t understand about the US.

4. Shia LaBeouf’s Intense Motivational Speech

This particular video appeared in late-May on YouTube and involves the Transformers actor Shia LaBeouf. His over-the-top gestures while delivering a motivational speech, make this video stand out. You won’t be able to watch this video without asking yourself whether Shia has absolutely lost it.

Apparently, the viral clip is only a small excerpt from a video that was shot for a video art project for a London arts college. Students were asked to write a short script for the actor to perform on camera. LaBeouf then ended up performing 36 scripts – including the motivational speech – in a single day!

You haven’t seen it yet? What are you waiting for?! DO IT![/text_output][x_video_embed type=”16:9″]

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