Anglophiles stop crying : no matter how deep your sorrow after Brexit is, advertising and social networks are always there to turn any event into something memorable that goes viral.

In the last few weeks the world has kept its eyes on the future of United Kingdom after Brexit, now we move on to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean as it’s time to celebrate the American Independence Day, in memory of  4th July, 1776 when United States achieved long-awaited Independence from Great Britain.

What do Brexit and July 4 have in common? Both events have driven great engagement on social media. So we had a look to what has been trending on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean to see what it takes to create amazing viral contents.

Use the H Factor

H as Humour. British humour runs in the blood of the Brits, no matter if the Stock Exchange is collapsing and social tension is reaching new peaks in the Country. So after Brexit, even amid despair, many jokes have gotten laughs around the world.

Irony was always queen, here are some of the funniest we gathered:

Telling their pets they have become non-EU citizens is for some the toughest challenge


Self-explanatory image and thousands of like.

Create empathy and sense of identity

Humour is nothing without empathy. Knowing your audience is key because you need to offer content they can identify with. Empathy is the stepping stone to success for any marketing campaign, especially for those events that can sharply divide the public opinion.
Let’s look at the examples we mentioned concerning the EU Referendum in Britain. In many Countries the main arguments would have been patriotism or xenophobia. Sadly both arguments where clearly used by the leave side, but much of what we have seen on social networks abounded with irony, because British people can be heavy on self-deprecation and humour whereas others cannot.

July 4 is the day in which Americans celebrate the Founding Fathers of the Country and people who have fought for freedom, there is little room for irony. So fine-tuning with the Independence Day mood means digging into patriotism and rediscovering American roots. So if we accept that consumism is to some extent an expression of the American identity, it won’t surprise you that advertising is the best celebration of the American Way of Life.  So here is a brand-new example of campaign based on feelings of identity and belonging against xenophobia that went viral launching the hashtag #WeAreAmerica. 

Non-profit Ad Council chooses former wrestler John Cena for the #WeAreAmerica campaign against discrimination.

Cry for likes

Entertainment plays with high-arousal emotions, but not all of them are positive. On the contrary, we often look for a emotional combinations that often include melancholy and bittersweet responses.

If we look at 4th July advertising campaigns, it’s crystal clear that American creative minds more willing to indulge in patriotism and sob stories.

Last year on 4th July Guinness and Duracell have launched two campaigns that were definitively aimed at an American public and would have been less successful if proposed to a European public.

Here they are for you with our warning: keep tissues at hand.

Words are unnecessary Nessuna parola e tanta emozione nello spot Guinness “Empty Chair“, all’interno della campagna “Made of More“.

Duracell tells the iconic story of a soldier that comes back home. Independence Day is when American people thank their national heroes and this is a recurring topic used and abused together with family and patriotism.

Use self-explanatory pictures

Let’s face it, when we post our content it’s hard to gain the attention of our audience, especially now that Facebook has changed the way it shows contents and will show posts from friends and family higher up in the feeds..

Our attention span is now so low that we tend to share posts within 10 seconds from the moment we first see them, without even reading what’s written.

Do we really have to surrender to an attention span that does not reach beyond 140 characters?  Unless very few exceptions, for viral contents the answer is yes We have already mentioned that Snapchat’s video views have soared to 10 billion per day, beating Facebook at its own game. But the maximum video length it allows is 10 seconds and it works.

This does not mean that viral contents are simple, but that they convey meaning visually

When pictures show some kind of imbalance, users tend to get curious. This in turn leads to looking at it twice or for longer. Let’s have look at another example from the post-Brexit vote:

This 2.0 still life does not need any caption, thanks to the perfect timing it is clear that the picture hints at the fact that our Europe Britain is doomed to eat beans all life long.

That is a perfect example of “self-explanatory” picture and something any British person could easily relate to. It’s funny and thanks to the perfect timing it immediately went viral.

Challenge the ego

No one loves to feel dumb and social network give us the power to keep control on the challenges we accept, let us feel smart and tell others how good we are.  How often have we taken a trivial test just because according to the headline “95% of people could’t answer all the questions”?.

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Show embarrassment (of others)

We know it’s not 100% politically correct, but we know since long that people often enjoy seeing other people in embarrassing situations. Otherwise candid cameras would not exist. It’s like people sometimes just want to get the “I’m better than this” effect. You don’t know what we are talking about? Then what’s the reason why this interview titled “Americans don’t know why they celebrate Independence Day” has gone viral?