Funny campaign videos draw in viewers because people like to share funny things online but also because sharing is easier when the issue is treated with a little irreverence and humour. At least that’s my hypothesis. But this post isn’t about that, it’s about why marketing online video is as important as excellent scripting writing and execution.
The latest funny campaign videos from the Enough Food If (or just IF) coalition – in particular this one (from Save the Children UK) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KhMj6p21dU – could be a good example.
The cost of the film and its marketing are integral to its success
- The video went live on March 17th
- Published on the Save the Children and Enough Food If (IF) youtube channels – an e-update presumably alerted supporters to the video?
- Hash tag on twitter #aidworks
- 490,000 unique views by 25th March
That’s an impressive tally by any marker (bar Kony), so what’s going on here?
Why do funny campaign videos generate hits?
Well I’m not entirely sure they do. Enough Food If coalition put out another campaign film on 19th March, this one >> http://youtu.be/UF2r2TO9OeU a well produced, topical video featuring 500 George Osbornes – timed with budget day. But it generated only 1,600 views (by 25th March).
What is the difference here?
- Both use humour to communicate their message
- Both were put out by the same coalition brand
- Both were well organised bits of storytelling (though the Obsorne one was probably quicker and cheaper to make).
The difference seems to be that Save the Children weren’t involved in promoting the 500 Osbourne’s film – and Save the Children brought 300,000+ views (by March 25th) to the #aidworks film.
So, it’s about marketing AND good quality storytelling
A search for ‘UK overseas aid’ (while I was trying to find a video on UK residents opinions about aid) delivered this adword campaign result.
The link directs to Save the Children’s campaign site for IF with the video and the campaign e-action centre stage.
Save the Children UK have invested in their funny campaign videos and it has paid; not just in the quality of their output (high production values and good writing) but also with their resource to market it.
What would James Bond do?
Skyfall, the latest James Bond film, had an estimated budget of between $150 – $200 million, a significant proportion of that budget will have been spent on marketing. Is this a worthy comparison? yes! The cost of the film and its marketing are integral to its success. The two cannot be separated – it’s how the movie was seen and made money.
Similarly, Save the Children UK have made a solid funny campaign video, well written, well produced, funny, but (it seems) have also marketed it, showing they believe in their investment by getting behind it creatively and resourcefully. Bravo!