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The Cold Never Bothered You Anyway


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Presentation by Ryan Vemmer

Published in: Technology
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The Cold Never Bothered You Anyway

  1. 1. THE COLD NEVER BOTHERED YOU ANYWAY: Presenter: Ryan Vemmer, Producer for Digital Media Moses Brown School, Providence, RI
  3. 3. In January, we created a snow day video that truly went viral globally, appearing on American news broadcasts (Good Morning America and Access Hollywood) and international outlets (BBC Trending). The video currently has more than 3.7 million YouTube views. How in the world did this happen? Prior to this our YouTube traffic had been average at best. #BBK12UC
  4. 4. Like a lot of schools, we were inspired by the success of previous snow day videos done by other schools. We wanted to try to do our own. Our Director of Communications Adam Olenn hatched the idea of doing a “Let It Go” parody involving our Head of School. We thought: Who knows, maybe we’ll get some interest and go viral, you know maybe 50,000 views or something. How cool would that be?? #BBK12UC
  5. 5. The process: -Writing lyrics/recording the song (and concerns about copyright) -Scripting/storyboard -Biggest challenge: scheduling the Head of School! -Shooting -Editing (until 3 am the morning before Blizzard of 2015 hit!) #BBK12UC
  6. 6. Keep in mind: -The blizzard came as a surprise, but our intention was to have it ready to go for the first snow storm (with no scrambling). -Not knowing how long we had to make it, we did fast “run & gun” style video shooting in little windows of available time over a period of a few weeks. #BBK12UC
  7. 7. The tools: •  HD camcorder (Canon VIXIA HF G20) •  Low-cost steadycam •  LED lights •  Green screen •  Final Cut Pro X •  Booking a recording studio (cost under $200) #BBK12UC
  8. 8. #BBK12UC
  9. 9. The Video: “School Is Closed” #BBK12UC View:
  10. 10. Sharing/promoting: We… -Sent an e-blast to our full community, including alumni (which we don’t typically do for snow days) -Posted to YouTube and our website video gallery -Social media: Twitter, Instagram (picture with link in description), Facebook. We boosted the post on FB more than once, and used Twitter aggressively -- tagging media outlets the day the storm hit and also the next day. Local media picked it up, then Boston’s NPR… from there it grew and grew and grew. -3.7 million YouTube views are just the beginning of the story if you consider TV exposure, for example. #BBK12UC
  11. 11. What helped this video go viral? According to a related Forbes article from 2014: “Having a piece of content go viral is like winning the Internet’s version of the lottery. It’s incredibly difficult to achieve and often hard to replicate. For every viral video success, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of failures. Even Upworthy, the king of virality, only has 0.3 percent of posts going viral.” #BBK12UC
  12. 12. What helped this video go viral? Key traits of a viral video (Source: Forbes): -Be Short and Sweet -Be Upbeat -Be Timely -Be Involved (engagement) -Be Informative -Be Inspiring #BBK12UC
  13. 13. What helped our video go viral? Another article, this time on, probably best describes why our video succeeded: CAPTURING LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE Offering content “that people are going to want to talk about and pass along.” The article quotes Eric Schiffer, CEO of “You’ve got to be putting out something unique and different: man bites dog, man bites shark.” #BBK12UC
  14. 14. What helped our video go viral? Essentially, most of the lightning in our bottle was due to a clever idea shared at JUST THE RIGHT TIME. #BBK12UC
  15. 15. But what does this really get you (or not get you), practically speaking?: -It gets you a lot of national and global attention, and a lot of school pride that you are making headlines for something fun/ positive. And it’s a big win for a Communications office. -Interactions with other schools across the world. -A big boost in YouTube subscribers and web traffic (at least temporarily), SEO benefits, and increased followers on Twitter and Facebook. -It will NOT necessarily translate into A LOT more inquiries for your Admissions office or a bunch of donations for your Development/Advancement office. #BBK12UC
  16. 16. Given that going viral is so difficult/hard to predict, should you still try?: -Yes!! -Even if your video doesn’t make it on The Today Show, your community will still enjoy it and you can still get a larger number of hits than you typically get. In turn, further building your followers, web traffic, etc. -And it’s fun to try. And to keep trying… #BBK12UC
  17. 17. Oh, and we made a sequel: #BBK12UC View:
  18. 18. Questions? Contact: Ryan Vemmer #BBK12UC