If you have not seen, or at least heard of the Chewbacca Mask Lady who broke all records for viral content, then you might have been on an intergalactic space voyage or not a peruser of social media (I know there are some of you left out there). It certainly was super hard to miss if you spend any time connected to social media.

In case you were in a galaxy far, far away, here it is in the latest format:

This viral video of unfettered joy has had more than 150 million views at the time of this writing. The previous record for the most-viewed Facebook Live post that it blew out of our atmosphere was Buzzfeed’s “watermelon elastic” stream with only 10 million or so views.

Why did this video kill it?

The big question is why did this video kill it? What did the author, Candace Payne, do to cause a world-wide explosion?


For starters, she teased us. When she started the video, she created huge amounts of anticipation. We wanted to see what she was going to pull out of that box (even though we knew it has something to do with Chewbacca already!). This is a key principle when marketing any idea—create anticipation to the roll out.

How many of you have watched your children view product unboxing videos…yep you heard that right, you watch other people open things….ON YOUTUBE.


Next, she used an emotional trigger. When she actually went ahead and put the mask on, she picked something that we, as a culture, are emotionally attached to. Most of us, both in the former generations and the current generations have grown up with Star Wars. So we all had an instant connection with the funny mask she wore and laughed about, and maybe even felt a twang of nostalgia.


Third, she was completely authentic and infectious in sharing a private moment (albeit all across YouTube). She shared her humor and we joined in with her laughter. We all love to laugh. And now, we all love to laugh with Candace Payne. She laughed until she cried. And, most likely, some of us shed some tears too as we laughed at her laughing so hard at herself.


And another thing we love is when people are willing to laugh at themselves and poke at foibles of others. Candace was very self-deprecating. She made fun of her weight as well as needled people for their judgments about that topic.


People in this day and age are looking for real people and reality—they don’t want glossy, fake, things. You feel like someone is pulling one over on you and you do not like it.


And last, but certainly not least, she found something that brought her joy and she shared that joy with others. And, we all connected with that part of ourselves that like those precious little, simple moments that give us joy.

In the world of relationships (and marketing and sales),

…if you can make people laugh,

…if you can make them nostalgic,

…if you can trigger an emotion,

…if you can find something that people can connect to,

…if you can surprise them,

…if you can make them feel like a VIP (you are sharing in a special event),

you can possibly have a viral video, meeting, presentation, conversation like this one at your next interaction. And if you are trying to sell your employees, friends or kids on your idea, a video like this one is pure, solid gold.