The most successful intentional viral video of all time?

She really loves cats, OK?

It’s hard to make a video go viral. Generally speaking, the most popular viral videos are serendipitous. They were made spontaneously and then everything goes just right and they spread like, well, a virus. 

Think about David After Dentist. Some guy filmed his kid coming down off anesthesia because it was a funny moment he wanted to capture. He didn’t film it with the expectation that it would eventually get over 98 MILLION VIEWS (yes!)—he just uploaded it and through a perfect storm of happenstance, the thing took off, and took on a life of its own. Now, of course, it’s an industry, but I’m pretty sure David’s dad didn’t hit “rec” on his camcorder with that expectation. 

In the interactive advertising world, clients ask agencies to “create” viral videos all the time. This has always struck me as an oxymoron, because the very essence of the most memorable virals is their unintentionality. In fact, users love to “out” viral videos that are uncovered as “fake,” and discourage people from sharing them.   

And what usually happens is that the expensive, painstakingly made “intentional” viral video is launched and everyone at the brand company and the ad agency clicks on it and shares it with their friends, and maybe it gets a respectable number of views, but it doesn’t come close to really going viral. 

Which makes it all the more amazing to me that eHarmony Video bio has gotten over 14 million views. It is totally fake and was clearly made to be a viral. It even seemed like every blogger who linked to it suspected it was bogus, and yet it still got a crazy amount of views. 

Watch out for Cara Hartmann, the woman behind this video. Not only is she a convincing actress (and a funny, but NSFW, tweeter), but watch the other two videos on her channel (conveniently embedded below), and you’ll see eHarmony Video bio was no accident. This woman has brilliant Internet instincts. And she’s hilarious.