Contagious: Smile Virus

Happiness is the main driver for social media sharing. Emotions layered with and related to happiness make up the majority of this list of the top drivers of viral content.

Why? Why do we smile and why are we so prone to smile back, share a smiley or a funny-baby video?

Psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott discovered that our first emotional action in life is to respond to our mother’s smile with a smile of our own. Obviously, joy and happiness are hard-wired into all of us.

Smile is viral because it is vital.

A quality time of having a good laugh with someone creates something very important for human existence — a bond between the ones that enjoy this time together. Laughing is a great tool that human kind developed in order to survive.

Let us have a what does this mean in practice.

We will have a closer look at the famous dog Tuna lisping for Phophola (Kofola). This is one of many examples when an internet Meme is employed in the service of a brand in order to meet its marketing goals.

Kofola, a black fizzy soft drink not only looks like Coca Cola but in some Central European countries it also enjoys market leader position like Coca Cola does in most other countries in Europe and beyond. In recent years, Kofola’s strategy is to maintain its customers by creating flavour editions. This time it is Kofola with apricot targeting the youngsters with 0,5 l packaging.

This Phophola campaign with Tuna was a viral success (check all Kofola campaigns here). The first weekend and campaign videos have reached 1 million views without a paid campaign.

More intense smiles

Thanks to the popular Meme, Phophola Ads generated much stronger smiles on people’s faces than “usual” Ads and thus people were prone to share this smile-generator with other. It also targeted the wished-for audience — the task was to target 15–22 years old and really, the more teen the bigger smile respond.

The more they saw it the more they love it

This is also an aspect of a viral video. People did not get fed up by these commercials that quickly — the opposite seems to be true: the more times they saw it the more they liked it.

For more emotion tracking visit

Phophola is one of many funny viral campaigns and all such campaigns serve (apart from selling something) a beautiful purpose of uniting people in a good laugh. If you should remember one sentence from this post, then remember this one:

Fun is not private, we are wired to share it with others.

by Maria Gablíková

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