Use viral video to make your brand funky

Mashable published a list of most innovative viral videos of 2009 at the beginning of December. Even if you don't plan to launch any video campaigns for your funky brand any time soon, you can just watch these videos for fun.

I'd like to draw your attention to one of them, called SIGNS, produced for Schweppes. I've already shared it on the wall of my Facebook fan page.

If you ask me, this video has been produced AGAINST all the normal viral video principles you might have heard of.

Apart from the cool concept, and a potential of "virality", these videos should be S-H-O-R-T. Two minutes max. That's what your video agency would probably tell you.

If you are an up-and-coming funky brand, you should definitely follow this advice. Nobody's attention span on YouTube is very long. You can take a look at most viewed videos to see that pretty much all of them are very short.

But SIGNS is longer than.....12 minutes.

And it works. You have to see the amount of views on YouTube -- more than 3.4 million. Probably after this blog post, the number will be even higher.  And hey, I am not even paid by Schweppes!

Here are some bullet points about this video:

  • Only a BIG brand can afford to pull this through. Twelve minutes?!  Are you kidding me? First of all, you have to have A LOT of cash to spare on this kind of thing.
  • Second of all, you have to have huge brand awareness in place to afford only a subtle mention of your brand name in such a long video (if you watch SIGNS, you'll see the blurry image of  a Schweppes bottle appearing only in one episode, and there aren't even any close-ups).
  • It is clear to me that with this video, Schweppes is targeting mainly its female consumers. If you contest this, post a comment!

What are the take-aways for your funky-to-be brand?

  • If your goal is to build brand awareness, it's not such a good idea to experiment with lengthy videos, unless you're absolutely sure you want a short movie like SIGNS, and have the budget for it.
  • A short and snappy video will work best for you.
  • Make sure you are certain about your target audience. Include as many details about your customers in the pitch to your video producers. Don't just give age, gender and geographical targeting kind of stuff. Think of all the deep emotional connections that your customers have or are most likely to have to your product -- this kind of angle will certainly help you to have a brilliant concept in place.

Finally, keep this in mind: you will never know in advance whether your video will become viral or not. It's a risk you're taking, all you can do is bring your passion into the process, and hope that your video viewers will share it!

If you want to learn more about video production process and place it in the context of your overall brand strategy, ask olga (at) schmoozyfox (dot) com.