[If you can't see the video above, click here to view it on YouTube.]
I’ve talked about the concept of viral videos in the past, most recently, in an article I wrote for iMedia Connection called, “The world’s worst digital marketing advice.” In fact, one of the pieces of advice to avoid that I had in the article was: “You should make a viral video.” Here’s what I had to say on the issue:
“This is one of my giant pet peeves. Maybe I can stop people from saying this once and for all right now. Here goes: You don’t make a viral video. A video can become viral or “go viral.” But it’s not up to you whether or not a video you create becomes viral; it’s up to us.
A video (or anything else) only becomes viral if people share it with others and those people do the same. There are ways you can increase the likelihood that your content goes viral, which I won’t cover here. However, the No. 1 thing is to make content that’s really good. Be honest: Would you share the video your marketing team just whipped up with your friends? No? Then why should I share it with mine?”
The critical part in here is the idea that you don’t make a viral video, it becomes viral. So, go ahead a make a video, but don’t make it with the expectation that it will become a “viral video.” Sure, do all you can to maximize the number of people who see it and spread the word about it as best you can, but focus on making a good video first. The reason why 99.999999999% of videos never become “viral” is because they are terrible videos. Priority number one if you hope to create a video that becomes viral is to make a good great video. Don’t skip this step.
Last week, my friend Manny Hernandez, founder of TuDiabetes and the Diabetes Hands Foundation, filled me in on an initiative they have going on for World Diabetes Day (November 14). It’s called “The Big Blue Test.” The idea is simple: encourage people with diabetes to test their blood sugar, exercise, and test it again. People are then encouraged to share their findings with the world. It turns out that many people with diabetes don’t test their blood sugar often enough and even fewer know the positive impact that exercise can have on controlling blood sugar. It’s a great awareness idea supported by a simple concept that can have a profound impact on the health of a lot of people with diabetes. It’s a compliance message wrapped up in an interesting “social” initiative.
Where does the video come in? Well, to spread the word about the test, they created a video that explains the concept. What’s more, for every view of the video up to 100,000, Roche will make a donation to the Diabetes Hands Foundation up to $75,000. They’ll use the money to help the Life For a Child program, run by the International Diabetes Federation, and Insulin For Life. These two global, humanitarian organizations provide diabetes medication and supplies to children in the world’s poorest countries…a great cause to be sure. To give you an idea of how far $75,000 goes, in Ecuador, for example, less than $50 keeps a person needing insulin alive for an entire year (insulin for the program is donated by pharma with the money paying for delivery).
So, why am I sharing this with you?
There are a few reasons actually. First, I’d like to see Roche spend $75,000 and to have that money help save some lives and I know that my readers will help them spend a little of that by watching and sharing the video. Second, this is a strong campaign that we can all learn a little bit from. Here’s what you should be taking note of:
- A low commitment way to get people involved. If you ask people to do too much, they won’t do it. That’s life. So, asking someone to watch a video isn’t too taxing. Even the challenge to people with diabetes isn’t that big…test, exercise, test, share. Simple.
- Make a great video. This video is great. It moves fast, looks great (and sounds good too), and it keeps your attention. Remember, it doesn’t need to be a comedy for people to enjoy it.
- Educate people with a simple message. This campaign could have included page after page and chart after chart showing the impact of exercise on blood sugar. Instead, they go with the ultimate “product demo.” Try it for yourself and see what happens. The idea is simple, easy to understand, and again, not a giant commitment for people, which dramatically increases the likelihood of them doing it.
- It’s not a product ad. That’s right, it’s an “unbranded” campaign. You have to look around a bit to see that Roche is involved and which products they sell that are related to diabetes. Know this, people who care always know who the good guys (or bad guys) are. You don’t have to shove it into people’s faces. They’re smart. They’ll figure it out.
- Get the right people to talk about it. That part is clearly working well…you’re reading this now aren’t you? You should know who the people are that can do the talking for you and can spread your message usually much more effectively than you can.
I hope you see some good lessons you can use if you’re looking to do a campaign like this. If you did find this helpful, how about watching the video and spreading the word? If you’re a person with diabetes, I hope you’ll actually do the test on November 14 and share your results. Even if you know the impact of exercise, sharing your findings will help build awareness among those that don’t.
So, you’re homework today…watch a video, share it with others (try the ShareThis button and pick your favorite social site), and help save a life…not too much to ask, right?