It’s time for another installment of our Viral Video Secrets series, and today I’d like to discuss the idea generation phase of the viral video creation process.
A common strategy for this phase is to sit down and brainstorm ideas that would make a great video. ‘What dialogue would make the audience laugh?’ ‘Which special effects could we use to wow the viewer?’ and so on. This is not a bad strategy, and has proven successful quite often (ex. Evian’s Roller Babies, Old Spice), but there is another faction in the viral video creation world that I believe is equally effective and often overlooked.
The strategy to which I refer is based on a fundamental shift on how you look at viral videos. Rather than thinking of ideas to make a great video, think instead about ideas and concepts that would be great to do, and then simply capture that idea on video. This distinction is a slightly challenging to wrap your head around at first, but lets looks at some examples.
One of my personal favorites is Volkswagen’s ‘The Fun Theory‘ campaign. There are several videos in this series, but below we have the video entitled ‘Piano Stairs’
This video has over 14 million views on YouTube, and it didn’t get them with witty dialogue or stunning visual effects; just a great idea, that people will do positive things more often if they’re fun to do, captured on film.
I think one of the most powerful aspects of viral campaigns of this nature is that people do not feel like they are being advertised to. There is no real marketing message, no corporate spokesperson just some minor branding and people doing things that are fun, funny, impressive, motivational and so on. As a result people are more inclined to simply enjoy the video and share it with friends.
Another example, this time from Levi Strauss.
The branding on this video is even less obvious. Unless you’re really paying attention you wouldn’t even notice that the jeans in the video are all Levi’s.
So how does a company benefit from a video of this nature you ask? Simple, by creating an enjoyable and memorable experience they build positive goodwill with the viewers of the video, and whether it’s registered by the viewer or not, their opinions of the brand associated with the video have been altered for the better.
Lastly, I will leave you with another of my favorites from T-Mobile.
I hope you enjoyed this installment of our Viral Video Secrets, and even more so I hope it has inspired you with some ideas of your own to go and do something great (just make sure to get it on video!).
Manager of Online Marketing