A Story How YouTube Created a Power Metal Band
At Indigo Productions, we love viral marketing! Especially, working on projects on which we get to come up with an idea for a video, execute it, seed it, and report the performance after completion of the campaign.
That being said, our interest goes much deeper than commercial projects. It’s amazing when YouTube takes an (not so) ordinary person and makes them into stars, or how the media like to call them – Internet sensations.
While sticking labels on people is not a nice thing to do and the commitment to equality is truly valued by every single member of the team at Indigo Productions, for the sake of this article, we’d like to divide the online celebrities into two groups.
Some enjoy their 15 minutes of fame and never make it to the top again. We can call them one-time-wonders, such as Gary Brolsma, who gained huge popularity by his lip-syncing act Numa, Numa, or even smaller online starlets, such as Landyn Behn. Other, follow up on their initial stardom and stay in the spotlight, such as another lip-syncer, Keenan Cahill, or even Paris Hilton, whose fame really started with a celebrity sex tape.
Special cases that warrant further attentions are musicians, who became internationally known for their music but initially started as viral video personalities. The most obvious example is Justin Bieber but in this article we would like to focus on somebody else. namely, a Swedish Power Metal band – Sabaton.
The lyrics of the songs produced by Sabaton revolve around historical battles, as well as people and events connected to the history of warfare. While the band signed up with a record label before ever gaining any online recognition, it is undoubtedly YouTube that was a catalyst for the explosion of the band’s popularity around the world.
More specifically, Sabaton became known internationally after a series of fan-made music videos that made their way to YouTube, some of the more well known ones include Primo Victoria, a song about the D-Day – the fan video used the very fitting footage from Saving Private Ryan. As of today, the video has just under 10 million views on YouTube.
Another very well known music video accompanies the song 40:1, which tells the story about a World War 2 Battle of Wizna, where 720 Polish soldiers held their ground against 42,000 Nazi troops supported by tanks, heavy artillery, and air support. The video used a black-and-white footage from an old Polish movie about the Battle of Westerplatte. Multiple versions have since been uploaded with YouTube views ranking from just over 100,000 to well over 1.5 million!
In case of 40:1, Sabaton has played (perhaps unknowingly) on the prevalent sentiment in Poland about WW2. Poland has played a key role in defeating Nazi Germany but, mainly to appease the victorious Soviet Union, didn’t get almost any credit after the war and was left to fend for its own against the onslaught of Communism from the East. Poland didn’t even get to participate in the victory parade in Berlin at the end of the war. Recognition from abroad, such as the video in question, generated a lot of buzz and positive feedback from Poland – including multiple mentions in the media(including state-owned TV channels).
The most important takeaway from this is that the truly genius viral video production is one that plays on the strong emotions of the intended audience.
Congratulations Sabaton – good job!