Every so often, a client will ask us if we can produce a “viral” video. You know, the ones that are included in emails from your friends, or are posted on your friends’ Facebook walls. These videos often gain so many views that they are picked up by the mainstream media and become an overnight sensation, like the recent Keenan Cahill phenomena. I think that some marketers think that there’s a “viral” button, just like the “Easy Button” in the Staples’ commercials. We produce the video, press the “viral” button, and Voila! the video is all over the web! It doesn’t quite work that way.
A very few marketers understand how to use video on the web. That’s unfortunate, because the use of video increases engagement on virtually every social platform. A video on a Facebook wall increases engagement three times versus no video.
T-Mobile is the head-of-the-class when it comes to understanding how to use video on the web! T-Mobile is in a product category (mobile phones / devices) where “cool” is major brand attribute. As a technology based company, their marketing message is created to encourage the use of their latest devices. Ergo, video that is now easily accessed on phones and tablets. T-Mobile has a history of creating videos and video events that go viral. In fact, they’ve created a brand, Life’s For Sharing, and applied it to their YouTube Channel. They’ve created events that have exploded virally across YouTube and other social platforms, like the Sing-Along in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2009 that included over 13,000 people and has been viewed over 5 million times on YouTube and other social platforms.
Recently, T-Mobile produced a spoof of the upcoming royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton that has racked up over 6 million views in a short time. Just this morning, six of my Facebook friends had shared it!
Watch the video, and follow below to see what made it go viral.
Here are some of the elements that caused this to go “viral:”
First, it’s very topical. We are being inundated with “Royal Wedding!” They tied in to an event that is getting massive press weeks before the event takes place. They don’t have to explain the concept or create a “set-up.”
Secondly, the production value is very high. Great casting for the principals – Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate. The setting, while not Westminster Abby, certainly contributes.
Third, it’s short. There’s a two-minute rule for video. This one runs 2:13. Any longer, and our mouse finger starts to twitch and we’re on to something else. Studies show a huge dropoff in video engagement right around the two minute mark.
Fourth, it’s fun! Many people watch it more than once. That’s what causes it to go viral. People see it and want to share it with their friends.
Lastly, there’s no sales message. Just the T-Mobil do-dee-do-dee-do sounder at the end. T-Mobile doesn’t have to tell us that they are cool, we get that because they gave us the cool video. Lots of people have bookmarked the Life’s For Sharing You Tube Channel because they’ve come to expect entraining videos from T-Mobile. They’ve created a strong audience base for this and future productions. And, isn’t that what “social” is all about?
What do you think? Leave a comment below.