I’m not an expert… I don’t make viral videos… My background is comms so my job is to work out ideas and what might work with teams across Channel 4 - including our in-house agency 4Creative – plus external suppliers who can put it together for us and basically see where it goes.It requires me to seek out the most creative and innovative ways to make people aware of our content and engage with it. This could be via simple Twitter Q&As with the Fresh Meat cast to full on integrated campaigns that span Comms, Marketing, Multiplatform, Online, Commercial and so on…. And “viral” videos.I want this session to be as interactive as possible so suggestions, interjections, comments. Please just pipe up as we go along. There are a few videos in here but technology permitting we should be able to bring up your examples as well. When putting it together Ann said 20 mins presentation, 20 mins Q&A. 15 minutes telling people lunch was nearly here.And apologies if the examples chosen aren't the most current, or trendy, they're just good illustrations of what a viral video is and what has worked in the past.
This is a brief top down run through on What are the key components? Not a how to but an overview of various constituent parts that make up viral video. Something to make you think.Covering of the benefits and pitfalls for your brand? Both positive and negative.And finally a little bit aboutreturn on investment targeting and audience engagement.
I’ve loosely themed viral video under these three areas. It’s by no means perfect, and if there are more to add please do say,, but it’s a good way to categorise.What is a viral? Wikipedia A viral video is one that becomes popular through the process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email. Viral videos often contain humorous content and include televised comedy sketches, such as The Lonely Island's Lazy Sunday and Dick in a Box, amateur video clips like NumaNuma videos, The Evolution of Dance, Chocolate Rain; and web-only productions such as I Got a Crush... on Obama. Some eyewitness events have been caught on video and have "gone viral" such as the Battle at Kruger.ORIGINAL and UGC- Fenton Original - http://youtu.be/3GRSbr0EYYUStar Wars Kid / Charlie Bit My Finger / NumaNuma / Kruger / Evolution of DanceAt some point in the chain its reached a tipping point, and reached a bigger audience, and then theyre on Oprah. It happens organically.COMMISIONED – Old Spicehttp://youtu.be/owGykVbfgUE T-Mobile Flashmob / Volkswagen Darth Vader / Evian Babies / OK GO / Susan BoyleThis comes in two forms. Content that is just so good people want to share it like Susan Boyle or has been created with the express intent of seeing if it would go viral. Nike do some brilliant campaigns. Ronaldinho cross bar being another.MASH-UPs - Songify - http://youtu.be/sP4NMoJcFd4 CasseteBoy /Then we have mash-ups. These are a true internet phenomenon. Unique, clever, often funny, theyre made by individuals to show what they can do - often with little regard to rights! And brands who are craetive and willing to play around.So as examples we have…. Please work.
Huge. Was it Benton? Was it Fenton? For days afterwards there were stories trying to find out who Fenton was. Then stories about his owner being charged. I emailed this link – yes emailed – to my work and got it back so many times.
Then we have I think we are all now familiar with this stand out campaign that was not only a viral but part of an integrated campaign. The come backs…
AndSongify. An app you can use to make music they took an eHarmony video that had already gone viral and made this. It has now had close to 15 million views. Other examples would be the Obama Lady Gaga mash up that did the rounds or my personal favourite all the Downfall mash ups
Again. This is just my personal opnion but a vdeo that could go viral has to have three properties.
MESSAGEDon’t make an ad. Brand recognition is secondary much of the time. Just make something that’s good.Its about a great concept, executed well.Doesn’t have to cost the earth.Online video isn’t just about the “big idea”, but also the “long idea”. Ideas so rich in potential, that they unfold over years, rather than months.Only messages that are both memorable and sufficiently interesting to be passed on to others have the potential to spur a viral marketing phenomenon. Making a message more memorable and interesting or simply more infectious, is often not a matter of major changes but minor adjustments.MESSNENGERGiving the right message to the right messengers. You would be surprised how many times people think a video will just fly. It has to be seeded.Three types of messengers required to ensure the transformation of an ordinary message into a viral one: individuals who are ‘on the pulse’ (information specialists) that want thigs first and want to be the first to share. Social hubs are people with large numbers of connections; they know people and have the ability to connectdifferent groups. And salespeople might be needed who receive the message from these sources and, amplify it by making it more relevant and persuasive, and transmitting it to their social hub.ENVIRONMENTThe environment is crucial in successful viral comms– small changes can lead to huge results, and people are much more sensitive to environment. The timing and context of the campaign launch must be right.Plan, and plan again. Don’t call it a viral. Take your time.Title and thumbnail. Easy to forget how important these are.The Superbowl is the perfect example for the right environment. It’s a created market where VW, Toyota are now extending the reach of heir campaigns. Honda’s Ferris Bueller ad racked up more than 12 million views on YouTube and 11,480 shares in the 24 hours before the Superbowl.
Great message, right messenger, right environment. Straight after it went viral. The Star Wars and Jurassic Park one went Viral as well. Fenton Werewolf- http://youtu.be/rFppcyRMRM4
This was good creatively but too late and didn’t get to the right messengers.Fenton – B/W Football - http://youtu.be/XQAydiz3inA
The Sun P3 - http://youtu.be/i0LGW8urTOs Danny MacAskill – Red Bulll - http://youtu.be/Cj6ho1-G6tw Sesame Street - http://youtu.be/kB4P_VMNGYQ DanielFreilich - http://youtu.be/4I9h2d8hw6g Fenton T-Mobile shows how reactive they are to what is happening in social. Does anyone know what this video is marketing? This shows how you don’t need the brand forced down your throat. Be confident in your creative. The pay off is at the end. The same as the Dove commercial. The Sun mash up is a perfect fit for the brand. Cheeky, irreverent. Has 4m hits so far. Old Spice has 17mOk this is Sesame Street but it illustrates a point, It went from an old brand to a new and interesting and innovative brand that had even infiltrated Children’s programmes. Similar to Fenton.Dr Dan Freilich, U.S. Senate Candidate from Vermont, shows off his fun side in this parody ad of the "Old Spice Man“. Not sure how well it went down with polloing but you have to admire his gumption and bravery.
T – Mobile – 40 seconds - http://youtu.be/K-EvvfMXEwU?t=39s
But can it go too far? One of my favourite campaign virals. Also be aware that others can hijack your brand. There are few barriers to getting content out there now and by follows the three elements described video you don’t want seen can become a problem.
Orhave I just been talking bollocksWe have been testing the water. Creating mischief. Having fun.We’re lucky because we have a lot of great content but this can sometimes hinder what we want to do and become complacent.We are given license to try new things and innovate. SYRIA - Syria’s Torture Machine - http://youtu.be/zjo2MwVVVdg Targeted at a very niche audience. Difficult concept to get across. Not expecting huge volume. Just hit the right audience. Looks too much like an ad. But the mail picked it up and that’s where the greatest volume of views came from.GORDON - John Lewis - http://youtu.be/J_Zst74Zl4wConceived as a TV spot but we let it go early online. Posted to a few C4 accounts and emailed food bloggers.Gordon tweeted about it because others had brought our C4 tweet to his attention.. John Lewis wanted to advertise around it when it was on-air.The Smiths got upset because of music rights. But anyway.E4 –https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150375834718933Quick, dirty, on a camera phone. CheapRight for the audience. High levels of engagement on the FB page.Doesn’t need bells and whistles sometimes.BLACK MIRROR - http://youtu.be/xFIRmnRHNUM and http://youtu.be/7UVhu7lqwaM Not really a viral. We created a hoax. We thought asiri hack would have traction with an audience that would be interested in the concepts behind Black Mirroe. We knew apple fanboys would buy into it and it also captured the zeitgeist. They wanted to believe. Lots of coverage, lots of discussion. 6 weeks out from before on-air trails were on. Does however highlight one of the elemnts listed at the start. Are you hitting the right audience or aiming at everyone? It did go everywhere but… And it was only part of the campaign.
Don’t be afraid to take others ideas on board. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Content content content. If the video is rubbish it wont go, no matter how hard you push it. It could even be damaging to your brand. And please remember to make provision to push it. Making something then hoping it takes off on You tube is equivalent to recording a hit record then playing it in your garage and expecting people to hear it.Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are rules to abide by. No one wants to get on the wrong side of Ofcom or piss off The Smiths but The Bank Job viral projection. We tried it. Worked in some ways.Make Bradford British. Just because you were born in a stable doesn’t make you a racehorse. Provocative video content that we don’t want to be shared but start debate. Was going to show them here but they're not ready yet. Gypsy wedding videos,
We have 20 minutes till lunch. Marty Broekman - http://youtu.be/YVhS0KBQVjw Old Spice NEW - http://youtu.be/PvYP_d2S1Pg
Video: Creating the Viral EffectColin Watkins, Digital Communications Manager, Channel 4
AgendaThe key components of a viral videoThe ‘potential’ for the brandDoes it engage the right audience?
What is a ‘viral’ video?User generated contentCommissioned contentMash-ups