What company wouldn’t want its brand to get over 12.6 million global views on YouTube?
The popular video sharing site is well known for promoting consumer brands with movie star pitchpersons, cute babies tearing paper or rappers with “Dr.” in their first names.
When most of us think YouTube we think Young. Hip. Cool. Viral. We don’t usually add the word “corporate” to the list. But now, that has changed.
Doremus very recently created a corporate video for Corning called “A Day Made Of Glass.” It became an overnight success story.
Originally meant for Corning’s shareholders meeting, it was also posted it on YouTube to stimulate broader awareness. Within a month, it became the most watched corporate video ever.
First launched on February 7th, at four weeks it garnered over 7 million views. By five weeks it had gone global and had well over 10 million views, with an extra million views coming from two sites in China (ToDou and YouKu).
How did this happen?
The video doesn’t follow any of the so-called rules that are supposed to turn something into a viral success story. The film is:
- Not short (but in six minutes it tells an intriguing story)
- Not funny (but it connects on a whole other level)
- Not on the Super Bowl, Oscars or Saturday Night Live (but it taps a global nerve)
So what did we do right?
We had a relentless determination to find the essence of the brand, and were able to leverage distinctive insights into an irresistible story.
As all of us who create effective communications know, you cannot grab your audience’s attention and hold it long enough to get your message across if it doesn’t tell an engaging story. That story can be thirty seconds long or thirty minutes.
But that story must be based on a deep, rich knowledge of the brand as well as knowledge and understanding of what resonates with key audiences. This deep understanding allows the story to rise above the noise of competitive clutter.
With the video, Corning asked us to take a complex subject (how glass will be applied in future technologies) and turn it into something that was compelling to watch.
What resulted was a visually beautiful, technologically evocative look at the glass innovations that will affect all of our lives in the not-too-distant future.
It depicts a family (dad, mom, two school-aged daughters and grandma) as they go through their day using the most innovative technologies made from various forms of glass.
Reading through comments, the film appeals to viewers on the scientific, rational level, as well as on humanistic and emotional levels. It satisfies a basic human curiosity about future technologies, but depicts those technologies in a very warm and likeable way. Over 97% of the viewers gave it a thumbs up.
A promise that the future will be fascinating, and contribute to our quality of life.
The video resonates with how people choose to see themselves or their children in the future. As one older woman wrote, “I wish I were my granddaughter’s age so I could live to see this way of life.” Someone else added, “It’s amazing what they can do with glass!!! Wouldn’t that be so cool?” But the comment that might have best reflected the film on every level was, “The world would be so peaceful if it could be like this.”
It’s not a gimmick. It’s real.
Creating a successful viral video might be formulaic for some, but if you are creating a corporate video that will resonate with an expanded audience, that will go viral, you have to break those so-called rules and make your own, reaching people at the two most important places: their imaginations and their hearts.
Do this well and your corporate video might even become a YouTube success story.
-- Garrett Lawrence, Managing Director, Doremus SF