Everyone’s trying to do it. Create something engaging and compelling, syndicate it across multiple platforms, encourage sharing and watch it go viral. It’s a great strategy – or it would be if every other client in every industry on earth wasn’t doing the exact same thing at the exact same time, with the exact same objective.

The result: your customers, targets and prospects are surrounded by tsunamis of commercial-based stuff to read, watch and comment on, all floating on an ocean of cat videos and genuinely creative non-professional efforts.

To break through, some advertisers are beginning to resort to tactics with the whiff of desperation – outrageous and borderline dangerous stunts to try to catch people’s attention. And while some of them do go viral, what kind of story is being written for those brands? Is it really the messaging they want to represent them?

When you think about brands, what is the content that has resonated the most with you recently? Is it a stunt meant to go viral that landed with a thud? A high-concept marketing event that landed on Buzzfeed? Or a great story, beautifully shot, that you talked about, shared and then watched again and again?

It doesn’t have to be a commercial – truly great content shows up on every platform. The key is to be both engaging and relevant to the brand. It’s like being thrown a lifesaver when you’re drowning in cats.