We could make a viral video!

A sentence that anyone working in marketing or PR will recognise.

The only appropriate reaction to that sentence?

There is no way you’re making a viral video.

The best you can do is produce a top quality video and then hope it goes viral.

Of course, there are situations where you might have a topical idea, that, well executed, might have a higher than average chance of going viral.

Take this film of Casey Neistat spraypainting a brand new Apple Watch Sport gold for example. As you’ll know from reading this blog, the cheapest model of the Apple Watch starts at £299 for the Sport version and goes into the 5 digits for the gold Edition version.

Not only does Casey not have the £13,500 lying around, he has a history of modding his tech to feel like his own so this film was not at all a surprise coming from him.

Posted 24 April 2015, the day the first Apple Watches were being shipped to lucky customers around the world, the film has racked up over 750,000 views.

Why is this film of a dude spray-painting an Apple Watch gold so popular?

  • It’s a very well produced, edited and shot film
  • At under three minutes, it’s about as much time as the YouTube generation can focus on without getting distracted
  • The Apple Watch is the tech gadget of the moment (year?) and everyone wants it
  • The film was posted on the very same day that Apple Watch became publicly available (well, to those lucky few that pre-ordered and received it)
  • Everybody wants to know how you get the gold Apple Watch for cheap!
  • He has a lot of fans: Neistat has an immensely popular YouTube channel: 580,000 subscribers and an excellent daily vlog that is about a month old and regularly racks up 200,000 views per episode. He’s also pretty big on Twitter and Snapchat. His fans (me included) expect good content from him – and we’re rarely disappointed – and they’re happy to share his films with their friends. That’s exactly what I did when I first saw the film: I Tweeted it at two of my friends who I know received their Apple Watches

Has it gone, well, viral?

A quick Google shows us that not only has the film been popular on YouTube, it’s also generated coverage around the web – I’m counting around 226 hits on Google News – so it shouldn’t be long until it’s also picked up by traditional media.

I’m seeing coverage in the US, India, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Rebuplic, Turkey and Portugal.

Topsy is showing over 2,000 Tweets linking directly to the video.

So yes, I think it’s safe to say it’s gone viral.

So how did he make this viral video?

You’ve got to love Neistat for this: he’s essentially made a behind the scenes episode for how he made the video in one of his recent vlogs.


Bits and bytes

  • Google’s change to their search algorithms this week means that you have to have a mobile-friendly website if you’d like it to come up in mobile searches. Pretty big deal considering how much time we all spend searching for stuff on the go. You can use Google’s mobile-friendly test to see if your site has what it takes
  • Fantastic post by Social Media London about the recent Protein World Twitter disaster – it still amazes me that brands and people think they can get away with being a dick on social…
    … and if ‘don’t be a dick’ is just too much work for you, you should check out Clear, an app which scans your posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for anything that could potentially reveal you for the dick that you are
  • Fantastic campaign by Reebok to launch their ZPump Fusion trainers – search for @zpump_startingline on Instagram on your phone and find the ZPump logo. Essentially it’s an updated version of Where’s Wally where you can win a pair of new kicks
  • You can now send a direct message to anyone on Twitter – whether you follow each other or not. However, you have to switch this function on first. To put that differently, Twitter has invented text messaging
  • New to Twitter? Here’s a nifty guide by @Wadds – in Tweets of course – for beginners

Videos of the week

What do you do if you’re meant to edit a highlights reel of a nil-nil draw where literally nothing happened? You do what Doncaster Rovers did when they posted this fantastic effort.

Yes it’s Funny is back with another genius mashup with Jamie Oliver showing us how to chop an onion.

And finally

The film Titanic remade as an 8-bit video game.