Tech Grumps Podcast and Semi Viral Video

Two bits of news today:

Firstly on Monday I was a guest on the Tech Grumps podcast for the 3rd time in the last few months.  This time we talked Apple taking over education, love on the nets and more.  Listen to the episode here.

The podcast is basically an excuse for a bunch of tech enthusiasts (read geeks) to grump and moan about the darker (or just anoying) side of tech world.  The regular hosts include BBC Senior Producer Ian Forrester (@cubicgarden) and David Eastman plus loads of guests more interesting than me.

Find and listen to the latest episode of the Tech Grumps Podcast over here:


The second bit of news is that one of the videos I produced at the Munich EJC last year seems to have been picked up in a number of places over the last month and is now getting about 4,000 views a day on youtube. As I publish this it's up to 127,000 hits.

Even after trawling through Youtube Analitics I have idea of reasons for this one video suddenly taking off (apart from it being one of the best acts at the whole festival) and it just goes to prove yet again that video virality is more luck than science.

Any thoughts?

Walking on Water: A Viral Video Campaig

Mid Month Meanderings #2 - Looking sideways at this great viral video campaign from Hi-Tec:

This really works because the way it is shot completely straight as a mini documentary (along with a blog, practice clips, facebook group, etc.) all built on a fake sport based on the water repellent properties of the runner's shoes.  Genius! 
Remember, it's best not to but if you are going to fake something, at least get some good actors like these guys and not like the fools BMW used for their Table Cloth stunt (even the peeps in the vesta version were better).
Thanks to the Digital Buzz Blog for this one.

Next post: Looking Forward to some exciting future gigs!

2 Kids + 2 Guitars + Camera Phone = Viral Video

So here's how to become an instant internet celebrity:

The kids are pushing viewers to watch their properly recorded version of this track which seems to miss the point entirely.  It's the passion and rawness of the original which grabs you.  The fact that the other kid with the camera phone has no clue either only adds to it!

Lesson for all us creative types?  Its the passion and talent not the slick production values that grab people!

International Woman's Day Video

Over the last few weeks I have been involved in planning and directing a video of the International Woman's Day celebration in Manchester.  Here is the result:


Directed and Produced by Nathan Rae
Original Music by Michele Harris:
Choreography by Naomi Sumners:

This video had two goals.  Firstly to be a fun activity for all the participants and in this respect it was a major success!  Comments like "It was one of the highlights of the day!" and "We had so much fun!" came thick and fast as everyone involved really enjoyed it.

Secondly it was to be a "viral" video to raise the profile of International Woman's Day.  There were a couple of problems with the filming as a quite a few people had already left the event so the Monastery wasn't as full as it should have been.  Also, some women joined in for the filming without learning the dance (not their fault and they enjoyed themselves as well) but I didn't notice this at the time.  And lastly we only filmed it twice when I think we would have got it much better on the third take.  But over all I'm very happy with the resulting video as we only had one hour to learn the dance, rehearse and shoot which is really not long enough.

And about it going viral?  We'll just have to see.

Next week I'll be releasing a short "Making Of" video as I also filmed the rehearsals.

Does This Inspire You?

Lip syncing a song is a very easy idea that has been done to death on Youtube and sits a couple of notches lower than karaoke on the "talent needed" graph.
That us until it's done on a large scale with hundreds of high school students working together as a team to create something fun and inspiring:   

This video obviously took a fair bit of planning, a steadicam and, as I said before, teamwork, but there's no reason why you can't do something similar at you school or workplace. Try showing this video to you boss/teacher/manager and pitching it as a Friday afternoon team building, moral boosting low cost, high reward activity.

Remember, projects like this should never be used as a reward for good behaviour or increased productivity but to encourage it.  



Viral Video for SMEs

One of my non-business, non-artistic family videos reached a significant milestone this weekend.  Seren's Birth Video has now been seen over 100,000 times on You-tube alone.  (Warning: Graphic Childbirth Scenes! Not Safe For Work!)  See it here.  After the initial spike it is now viewed about a thousand times a week, varying slightly depending if it has been featured in a blog post or on a child birth forum.

Although 100,000 views isn't enough to consider it a real viral video, it got me thinking about how viral videos can help small businesses grow...

Image: Kentbye CC2What is a Viral Video?

A viral video is a video that gains widespread popularity on the Internet by many people passing it on through email, instant messaging, blogs, facebook, twitter and other media sharing websites.  The video is transmitted in a similar way to a real virus, jumping from one person to another using pre-existing relationships.

What is a Viral Marketing Video?

The aim of a Viral Marketing video is to use the viral nature of the medium and use the viewer to pass a brand building video on, without you having to pay any distribution costs.  If the video is good enough the viewers become willing and knowing participants in this game, not minding that they are advertising for you for no monetary payment, as you have earned the favour by entertaining them for a minuet or two.

What are the Benefits of a Viral Marketing Video?

As a general rule, I would say a video needs to have over half a million views to be considered a really successful viral video, but anything over a couple of hundred thousand views will create a buzz around your brand and have a real impact on your business.  A Viral Marketing Video can help a small to medium sized business in at least four ways.  I'll explain using a couple of well known examples.

"Will It Blend?" from Blendtech.  1 min 37 sec.

1.  Increase Sales.

The "Will It Blend" series has been massively successful with over 80 million views, directly increasing sales.  Although you will most likely never get this many views and only a few percent of viewers will be potential customers, that still could be many thousands people who are looking for your product or service.

2.  Strengthen Brand Identity.

Blendtech and Tom Dickinson are now a nationally recognised brands in the USA, mainly through the "Will it Blend" series.  Customers and fans buy "Will it Blend" t-shirts as they want to associate themselves with the quirkyness and fun they see in the videos.  Other companies and organisations also want to assosiate with Dickinson and Blendtech and actually send their products to them to be blended.
When someone receives a video from someone they like, admire, trust or respect, part of the positive feeling that they have for that person is transferred onto your brand.  This is the same phenomenon that traditional marketing exploits by using celebrities to feature in adverts.

"Matress Dominoes World Record" from Bensons for Beds. 1 min 10 sec.

3.  Coverage in the Local and National Media.

If a video goes viral it is often picked up national media outlets which then increases the impact to brand awareness and sales.  The Bensons' World Record video was picked up by most national newspapers (e.g.Mail, Guardian, Express), Channel 4 News and received even more attention when Blue Peter did the same stunt a few months later. 
Even a mildly successful video will draw the attention of your our local or regional newspapers and radio stations who are always on the look out for the latest local hero or celebrity. 

4.  Increase Employee Moral.

Even if the Bensons Beds video had not gone viral and none of the previous three benefits came about, the moral boost for the staff alone would have made the exercise worth while.  "The staff got together to do something different, fun and slightly risky!"  Sounds familiar?  Just like a standard team building day trip out?  Though when you film a video together it builds your brand externally as well as internally.  If you needer a larger cast for your video, consider inviting your employees family and friends along to help out.  This will encourage a community feel during filming, which is good in it's self, but it should come across well in the video as well.
Having a successful Viral Video out on the web also makes your business a more desirable place to work and you will find recruiting better quality staff a bit easier.

In my next blog post I will talk about number of useful things to consider when planning your Viral Marketing Video.  Any questions to or comment using the comment form below.  Please subscribe to this blog using this feed.

Reminder:  My film "Lift" is being shown at the Exposures Film Festival this Wednesday 18th November at 4.30pm.  See here for more details.