Coca-Cola Shows Stories Are Inherently Viral

The recent Internet phenomenon surrounding Coca-Cola’s innovative video commercial demonstrates just how powerful an effectively-told story can be. As reported in an online Fast Company article by Ravi Sawhney, the video launched on youtube.com on January 12 and within two weeks had gained 1 million views. If you haven’t’ seen it already, take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqT_dPApj9U

What makes this particular video so engaging? First, it easily achieves the overall mission of any communications:

  • Grab attention
  • Clearly convey information
  • Make it clear to the audience what you want them to do

The video uses the tool of storytelling especially well. Set in a familiar, everyday environment and featuring an ordinary-looking Coke machine, the video hooks you right away by arousing your curiosity. What’s so different about this machine? What’s going to happen? How will people react? The strong dose of humor seals the deal. As any trainer knows, when people are laughing and having a good time, they give up their normal skepticism and resistance and willingly welcome the message. They get the point effortlessly.

As this video illustrates, stories touch people’s hearts as well as their minds; they reveal something about ourselves as we observe other people’s behavior; and they deliver a message in a memorable way. How did you react? What do you think is the most effective part of the video?

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