Bob Ross Painting Party

Who would think that a simple painting party would have the content to go viral all over social media?

(February 2017) Chris Nervegna, a 22-year-old from New Jersey, hosted a birthday party in his home with his closest friends, but with a little twist. It was Bob Ross themed. For those unfamiliar with Bob Ross, he is an American painter, art instructor and television host who is broadcasted on Netflix with his own series called “Chill With Bob Ross.” After watching a few episodes, Bob Ross became Nervegna’s inspiration for his upcoming birthday party.

Preparing for the party, Nervegna and his friends purchased priming canvases, paints and pressed play on a lesson from Bob Ross. Later that night, the birthday boy tweeted some images from the party and captioned it “HAD A BOB ROSS PAINTING PARTY. BEST DAY EVER.” The photos showed the group painting together, close ups of finished canvases, and a group shot of all their hard work put to an end. As for tweet interactions, Nervegna ended up with 32.6k retweets and 110k likes in only three days.

Jonah Berger, the author of “Contagious,” explains to his readers STEPPS, six ideas on how and why things go viral. Pertaining to Nervegna’s tweet example, he used Social Currency (step number one) through his creativity of the party and posting the pictures to the public. As an outsider, viewers of the tweet saw the party as a fun and different idea, something they have never seen before. They wished they were at that party and Nervegna is showing that off.

Step number two, triggers, was the epitome of the tweet going viral. A Bob Ross painting party? Who has ever heard of that? The public is entertained by creative, new plans for social gatherings. Normally, 22-year-olds are out getting drunk for their birthday party, not home in a low-key setting painting with their closest friends. Not only was the party different, but another trigger was the 90’s nostalgia. Twitter users that remembered Bob Ross from their childhood were brought back to their past and reminisced on the good ole’ days. Step number three, emotion, also ties into nostalgia from Bob Ross and caused the outpour of interactions on social media.

Step number four; the public. This idea was so simple and so easily accessible to the public that it expanded like wild fire and inspired other to host the same kind of painting party for themselves. A few days later, other Twitter users responded to Nervegna’s tweet with photos from their own inspired Bob Ross party and the interactions on his original tweet were continuing to grow.

As time went on, the tweet was pushed into the “wholesome tweets” category and contributed to cute things on the social media platform that people love. Quotes like “I wish my friends were like that” and “this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!” were waving in and gave the tweet practical value (step number five) and became a story (step number six).

Nervegna’s Bob Ross painting party reached extreme virality and is shown through Jonah Berger’s steps on how to produce contagious content.

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