Take It to the Next Level — With Video

Shea Anderson / March 6, 2012

A successful community event takes a great amount of strategy and planning.  But what if you’re looking for more than just packing your venue to its capacity?  How can you get people talking about your event onlineeven after it’s over?

One answer: Create compelling online content that holds meaning over time and is unique enough that people want to share it.

Now for the hard part: What makes something compelling enough that people will go out of their way to share it over….and over…and over again?

Visceral emotions have a lot to do with it. That’s the conclusion from Jonah Berger’s study entitled ‘What makes online content viral?’ His study found that content that evokes high-arousal emotions is more likely to be shared online. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t matter whether or not the evoked emotions are positive (like awe or excitement) or negative (such as anger or anxiety), so long as the emotions get a rise out of someone. For instance, BMW’s ad campaign that featured ambushes and hostage situations were designed specifically to create an anxiety in viewers.  The videos were shared millions of times, and were said to be one of BMW’s most successful ad campaigns.

On the positive end of the spectrum, this video of motivational speaker Nick Viujicic, who was born with no arms or legs, has nearly 3million views.  The video creates nothing but positive emotions of awe, inspiration and excitement, and continues to be passed around the internet for others to see.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOlTdkYXuzE&w=420&h=315]

Also, Foster Pepper, a Seattle law firm, created the following video to highlight the message from their recent community event focused on the importance of multicultural collaboration in Seattle.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlCDBY77AEI&w=560&h=315]

Creating inspiring content is the beginning. But to get the snowball effect rolling, and taking a video from obscure to viral in a matter of weeks, days, or even hours?

I’ll save that for my next blog post.

Comments (2)

    Alex Pietsch avatar

    Alex Pietsch Mar 6, 2012, 7:41 PM

    Drew... funny that you used the BMW spots in your post. I was a Fearey Grouper in 2001 when these first came out. I have fond memories of watching each installment with other members of the team. We even followed some of the clues they left in the videos (e.g. phone numbers to call, etc). It was truly a memorable video campaign. Brilliant, really.

    Recently, I became aware of some of the amazing things Starbucks is doing with video to build its brand. Here are two great examples: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzdlwoswhXg&feature=autoplay&list=UUj4nCgtjKJppK_IZeY8TUJg&lf=plpp_video&playnext=2 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTOpqgQx0xc&list=UUj4nCgtjKJppK_IZeY8TUJg&feature=plcp. Both very different, but both very compelling use of video to build loyalty.

    Of course, most of use don't have the budgets to hire Clive Owen and take over a town for Pumpkin Spice Latte Days, but it is fun to dream. I appreciate the steps TFG is taking to be able to provide video content to its clients at relatively low cost. Keep up the great work!

    drewsymonds avatar

    drewsymonds Mar 13, 2012, 5:09 PM


    Thanks for sharing the PSL days videos. I think I just planned my next vacation... PSL DAYS HERE I COME!