Why “It’s Time” went viral.
This weekend 6 of my friends on facebook shared the same video. It’s Time is a beautiful video by the non-profit Get Up! advocating for marriage equality which has gotten over 1.8 million views and 13,000 comments in the past 4 days. So why are people sharing it like crazy?
Chip & Dan Heath claim in their book Made to Stick that there are 6 elements of ideas that stick.
And guess what? This videos got all of them:
1. It’s Simple- It’s a love story. It’s got one core message- It’s Time- which is powerfully placed right after the audience sees the two men embrace.
2. It’s Unexpected- By only showing one half of the couple and then revealing that the partner behind the camera is male, the video challenges the audience to think about how their narratives for same sex couples might be different than for straight couples. Unexpected ideas stick because surprises makes us pay attention and think. The element of surprise works in this video because the surprise (It’s another man.) relates back to the core message (Why should it matter that it’s another man?).
“To be satisfying, surprise must be “post-dictable.” The twist makes sense after you think about it, but it’s not something you would have seen coming.”
3. It’s Concrete- The story is told through a sequence of small moments, as if filmed by the unseen partner, that illustrate a larger story- from meeting, moving in together, dealing with sickness, to getting engaged. All of these moments are relatable and feel genuine. Stories that are concrete help people understand and remember.
4. It’s Credible- Convincing details make the viewer imagine that this could be their love story.
“Vivid details boost credibility.”
5. It’s Emotional- The video focuses on one couple’s story, not facts or stats. There is fun, frustration, tenderness, vulnerablity, fear and love. It’s the range of emotions that makes it identifiable. Stories that are identifiable make people care because they see themselves in another person’s struggle.
“How can we make people care about our ideas? We get them to take off their Analytical Hats. We create empathy for specific individuals. We show how our ideas are associated with things that people already care about.”
6. It’s a Story- It’s got a logical beginning, middle and end that progresses smoothly and quickly. The story keeps you hooked from the very beginning.
“Stories have the amazing dual power to simulate and to inspire.”