Let’s have a video! You might have seen this one – four and a half million people have already, after all: it’s the one with the button in the Belgian town square marked “PUSH TO ADD DRAMA”.

It’s spreading fast – but why? Asking that question can be a bit of a fool’s errand – you can come up with reasons for everything that “goes viral” which are equally true of hundreds of things that don’t. Generally, the more specific you get the more you’re post-rationalising, so I like to keep things simple. Emotion matters, and if you want an ad to spread the emotion that matters most is surprise. (I’m going to spoil your surprise now and tell you there’s a PDF behind that link to an article by someone at BrainJuicer going into more detail about this stuff.)

Is this ad surprising? In one way you might say it isn’t. I mean, there’s a button, and it says “PUSH TO ADD DRAMA”, and someone presses it, and there is drama. But of course the kind of drama might be surprising, and more than that this is an ad about surprise – the reactions of other people. Who’s in on it? Who isn’t? When do they realise what’s happening?

Surprising or not, it’s clever and funny, so watch it now and you might still be able to surprise your friends with it.


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