5 lessons in virality from ‘Saturday Night Live’

PR and marketing pros can pick up a few campaign tips from the sketch show, which celebrated its 40th anniversary Sunday night.

“Saturday Night Live” celebrated 40 years of making audiences laugh Sunday night with a special anniversary show memorializing the skits that made the show a classic.

The broadcast was NBC’s top-rated entertainment special in 10 years, and it dominated trending hashtags throughout the night as audiences took to social media to share thoughts, links and pictures.

Many brands seek the recipe that makes content go viral; though there’s not one ingredient in the special sauce that guarantees a hit online, PR and marketing pros can learn a lot from SNL’s success throughout the years.

Here are five lessons in virality:

1. Bring back the good stuff.

One of the high points of the evening was Melissa McCarthy’s tribute to Chris Farley’s iconic character Matt Foley. Foley was the motivational speaker who lived in a van down by the river and was a viewer favorite in the 1990s, but the appeal hasn’t gone away 20 years later.

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