Within our industry, the holy grail is creating a successful viral video production. I’ve even seen some companies promise this as part of their spiel.
Of course you can. All you need are 3 simple things (please note the sarcasm – smiley face). You will note one common theme running through these. Control.
Find someone that we all aspire to be like and get them to champion your film. In the case of the viral “Double Rainbow” it was the American Comedian Jimmy Kimmel.
This film had been on YouTube for a matter of months with no interest and it was Kimmel’s Tweet (Kimmel has almost 2 million followers on Twitter) that brought it into the public eye.
We want films to become something that we can be part of..
“because we don’t just enjoy now, we participate” says Kevin Allocca – Trends Manager at YouTube.
The community have the power to create the likes of Rebecca Black and The Bieber!
We can also take a film and make it our own, creating our own personal spin offs. Take Fenton for example:
There are many different versions of this now on YouTube – from Star Wars to Chariots of Fire, the American Were Wolf in London, Jurassic Park etc etc – EE have also done the movie version of it:
When you feel a part of the film, the community are more engaged and likely to share it.
The Dollar Shave Club is complete genius and a rare example of how you can create a viral. Why does it work? It’s all to do with one question:
Are the blades any good? And then the unexpected hits you.
We think that, crucially, ‘the expected’ should get a mention here. Our favourite set of films here in the office are the “Never Say No To Panda” commercials. They engage and are totally unexpected.
Although the outcome in the first film ticks the box of ‘unexpected’, by the second film, as soon as that music starts, the viewer knows what’s coming and this makes it even funnier. They are building on a theme.
Anyone can make a viral in 3 easy steps and next time someone says…
“we’ll make you a viral”
…agree with them and go shoot some video! Alternatively, you could take into account that most of the infamous virals we have all grown to love…Charlie Bit My Finger, Fenton, Panda Sneezing, Nyan Cat, Cat Mom hugs baby Kitten, Talking Twin Babies, Mountain Biker Gets Taken Out By Buck…
…were not created as virals – it was us, the viewer, that decided it should be so.
The three points we talk about above are hard to plan and largely out of the creator’s control, because even if you make a cracking film, it’s the community that will decide what will be projected to the heights of YouTube fame amongst millions of competing videos.
And as Kevin Allocoa says:
2 days of video get uploaded to YouTube every minute. Only that which is truly unique and unexpected can stand out
It’s healthy to create films with the notion of them becoming viral in the back of your mind. However, please keep your whits about you if someone says that they can make you a viral video, keep your brand intact and not spend thousands advertising it. By ‘brand intact’, we mean that filming something outrageous might get you loads of views, but is it on message with your brand and will it deliver the results you want?
Be creative in your film making, encourage people to engage, but know that you are not the one who can call it a viral – only the viewership hold that power.
Watch Kevin’s presentation here it’s well worth 3 minutes of your time.
Needless to say, you won’t find any ‘viral video promises’ on our video production page.