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How Viral Marketing Doesn’t Have To Be About Viral

Category : video marketing

23

Most of my viewing activities this weekend revolved around March Madness (best sporting event of the year), but I did manage to catch a YouTube video or two that caught my attention. Namely, a video created by Corning that has caught fire and defines the meaning of viral – without really being viral. Confused by that? Let me explain.

First, I’m a techie geek and admittedly, I’ve watched this one a few times. If you’re curious what our world in technology could look like one day, check this out:

Unbelievable, right? As a consumer I’m in awe, but I was also intrigued from a marketing perspective. Many of us dream about creating that piece of video content for our small business that goes global and is shared by millions of people and creates a swarm of interest around our products or services.

Well, that wasn’t Corning’s intent. The video was created to inspire and educate investors at a corporate investor’s day event. This wasn’t intended to be emailed, Liked, Tweeted, posted about, and spread globally – it was to show investors how glass will continue to increasingly impact our daily lives.

One of two things happened next: either someone at Corning decided on a whim to post it to YouTube for the heck of it, or maybe, as Rebecca Lieb points out in her iMedia Connection article, this was a strategic move to reuse a brilliant piece of content creation. Whatever it was, it worked – over 9 million people have viewed the 6 minute video (I’m three of those).

There are some good strategies around marketing viral videos with stealth, but I don’t think that was the case here. I think this was a well-produced piece of content that Corning will continue to get some mileage out of in other mediums. It isn’t exactly a small business budget that created it (I’d love to know how much), but it was well done and does show how important it is to proliferate content through various mediums and at different audiences.

Comments (23)

That’s fantastic Patrick. It’s hard to imagine this won’t be repurposed for TV if it hasn’t already. One thought about the high production value: Not having those kinds of resources shouldn’t hold people back from video, but please aspire to make your video worth watching — from the watcher’s point of view, not just your company’s POV.

Hey Barrett – good point about the production value. I think there is a lot of quality that can be built in and produced without the mega budget.

[...] that more than half of small-business owners say they need help with search-engine marketing. A video about why it’s not important to go viral goes viral. Dharmesh Shah shares a few low-cost [...]

[...] that more than half of small-business owners say they need help with search-engine marketing. A video about why it’s not important to go viral goes viral. Dharmesh Shah shares a few low-cost [...]

That video is really something, thanks for posting it Patrick!

All the best,
Rachek

Had not seen the video previously – great one! truly viral videos are the ones that surprise or educate people in new ways.

Good video post and some interesting points you make. I’ve only just come across your site now so I will be keeping an eye for your future posts. Thanks Patrick

I think many people try to hard to make something that will go viral, almost like the people that stage accidents for “home video” contests.

The things that end up going viral are generally a combination of well-made and timely, or just plain funny.

I think we would all be better off if we concentrated on well-made, timely, engaging content.

John – I couldn’t agree more. I think with the proliferation of video as a marketing tool we’ll see the fake, viral-only efforts get flushed out and more appreciation being given to the higher quality video pieces.

This video is amazing. A glimpse into the future is an intriguing concept that bring that science fiction into fact. Extending the companies vision into the content of the video is sure to spark global investor relations.

My husband just showed me this video. It is breath taking and has a almost whimsical feel to it. Guaranteed to be viral.

Corning’s is an amazing piece of video and a marketing masterpiece. How to turn what is considered to be an everyday item into a symbol of hope and wonder.
I think the challenge is that it is not easy to produce viral video “to order”. Looking at the most-viewed on YT, sometimes it’s obvious that something will go viral, but sometimes the strangest stuff takes off. Even with the people who have succeeded in producing a viral video, how many other videos are there in their channel that didn’t go viral? It’s very unpredictable IMO.

I wonder how much work went into the psychological aspect of the video. Do you think they thought carefully about the way it presses the ‘emotional response’ buttons? I think they must have done, it has the hallmarks of serious production and thought gone into it from a professional team. Still, not even that is guaranteed to get you there but this time it obviously did!

Awesome Videoe! Thank you for the post. You made some good points there. This is really innovative and a new idea, I like this concept and the way it is carried out in so light and cool manner.I have bookmarked the blog and now waiting for next one.

Whoa. I had no idea what to expect when I pressed play on this video but that just blew my mind. I definitely think we are going in the direction of touch-screen-everything. And I think one day there won’t need to be a screen anymore, it will all just be projected into the air! Thoughts?

Great video! The point in video marketing is that it has to catch people’s attention. Moreover, many people have short attention span so the video itself must be able to keep the viewers attention.
- John Sumner

Although this video wasn’t made with the express purpose of getting viral, it’s still obvious that there was a huge amount of work and money involved. For smaller companies creating such videos is out or reach due to budget constrains.

So what are the options for small companies to create viral videos with very few money? In my opinion, they need a really cool idea. If you get someone to do outstanding things with the product you’re promoting, then you will need only a few hundred bucks to do the video…see the Cheerios video with a lady making really nice landscape paintings using only cheerios.

I think the challenge is that it is not easy to produce viral video “to order”. Looking at the most-viewed on YT, sometimes it’s obvious that something will go viral, but sometimes the strangest stuff takes off. Even with the people who have succeeded in producing a viral video, how many other videos are there in their channel that didn’t go viral? It’s very unpredictable IMO.

This was similar to that video Microsoft had published. Neat ideas and cool thoughts.

I thought it was a great video and I can see why it went viral.
Its message came across in a very subtle yet compelling way.

I am guessing that while this may not have required a ‘MEGA’ budget, something with this much video and graphic animation and this well done is beyond the budget of most people reading this post.

Google’s famous Superbowl ad ‘Parisian Love’ is a great example of a viral video that could be created by just about anyone. In fact, in some ways this video reminds me of the Google video. You can view it on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnsSUqgkDwU

The things that end up viral are timely and funny. Simple! Fact!

I think that content is the most important factor when it comes to creating a viral campaign. There should be the right mix of every thing in right proportion- the way of delivering the message along with some fun to spice up the campaign.

Really, this is amazing for new generation. This is like a dream. It is very advanced technology. This technology works very fast. I hope this technology is very useful and best.