This past Monday (September 28), the city of Edmonton was able to help Mable Tooke’s wish come true. Mable has been fighting Leukemia for 2 years. While in the hospital for treatment, she grew attached to Spiderman through his adventures in comic books and his TV show.

The City of Edmonton, including the Mayor, police, and its citizens, put their support behind #SpiderMable  as she was on the case of finding out who kidnapped Oilers Captain Andrew Ference.

The story of this 6 year old running all over the city to find a lost hockey player was tracked on Twitter around the world.  The event received tweets with an origin as far away as Brazil, China, and Australia. As with other things that have gone viral, there are certain traits which we can all appreciate.

Emotion: There is an emotion tied to the background story of the event. The raw emotion of hearing about a young child having to go through cancer treatment is not something that many can relate to, but it is something that we can feel. In the case of #SpiderMabel, there was also the emotion of finding a beloved hockey player from our favourite team. The authenticity of the invite was developed with a breaking story being broadcasted on local airways asking for the help of #SpiderMabel. Seeing the children of Andrew Ference asking for #SpiderMabel to return their father to their home increased the emotion of the event.


Dreams: In the case of #SpiderMabel, there are very few kids in North America that have not dreamed about being a superhero for a day. During that day where #SpiderMabel was running around Edmonton doing different activities, we were all being superheroes along with her.  The things that she was doing were all things that we have dreamed of doing ourselves.


Financial: There was no financial consideration involved at all with #SpiderMabel. Thinking back to other viral events, like #BatKid, the event did not have an attachment to anything fiscal. In the day and age that we are currently living, it is not often that something happens and there isn’t a financial consideration attached to it. #SpiderMabel, however, has been able to use her new found fame to raise money for the Children’s Wish Foundation via autograph signings and t-shirt sales.

What do you think are the common elements or components of having something go viral? Have you ever tried to make something go viral? What went right or wrong? I would love to hear.

Have an awesome week.


Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc (www.L6SBC.ca). L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinic on a bi-weekly basis.


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