The viral video question

Don't be viral, just be great

I was talking with two colleagues this week, and the subject of the iconic Dollar Shave Club viral video came up. What I like about this video is that it illustrates a number of important points about video marketing;
  • It has gone viral but without being designed to go 'viral'. There just isn't a formula for that.
  • It's a viral video that is actually selling something. Home movies on YouTube of skateboarding cats are all very well, and they obviously get into the public conscious, but as businesses they are not models we should aim for.
  • Going viral is not the important point. Millions of people watching your corporate video may make you feel good about yourself, but millions of people buying your product is a much better outcome. Or even thousands. The beauty of the Dollar Shave Club video is that it had an astronomic impact on sales.
  • The cost of producing the video is hugely disproportionate to the result. The production values are high enough to soar above a 'home movie' approach, but are still affordable, and it allows the viewer to connect with the company in a personal, friendly way.
  • The idea is key. It is not derivative of its sector, or bland. It is creative, but it is not 'flash over substance'.
  • It is short and the pace never lags.
  • It succeeds in selling because it focuses on the USP, and it knows what its audience wants to hear.
Creativity is an overused word these days. Being famous is accessible to anyone. Going viral is seen as a holy grail. The answer to the viral video question: Just work on informing, connecting and engaging. Miracles take a little longer.