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Viral Videos

In today’s digitally connected world, a house cat can become a media mogul with an audience of millions in just 24 hours. So can you—potentially. It takes a very specialized set of skills and know-how to create the recipe for viral videos.

Indigo is a proven expert at this unique and burgeoning content paradigm.

All clients want their videos to go viral. Free distribution to millions of viewers not only builds an audience, it gets coveted media buzz. Viral videos draw news stories and sometimes even get awards. Social channels chatter endlessly about the sensation and entire marketing campaigns can be launched from a successful viral video.

But viral videos are the result of a unique blend of science, art, and luck. Indigo understands better than any other video production company the science and the art of creating viral videos. In 2009, Indigo produced the “JK Divorce Entrance Dance” in response to the incredibly popular “JK Wedding Entrance Dance” video.

The video was produced in two days after the original wedding video went viral and ended up becoming one the top viewed videos of 2009. In its first 48 hours, the video was viewed more than 3.5 million times. The original upload of the video was the third most popular video on YouTube in 2009 and as of October 2012 had been viewed over 77 million times. Time magazine ranked the video at number 15 on its list of the 50 greatest YouTube videos that year.

This was not an accident. But success is relative.

Simply put, a viral video is a video that elicits a strong enough emotion or reaction from a group of people that they feel compelled to share it with others.

A video is considered viral if it is viewed 10,000 times within a certain time frame, say a few hours or days. This opens the goal posts on what “viral” means. However, some key factors need to be taken into account when producing a viral video.

Theme: Most fit into one of three basic categories:
1) A parody or spoof (à la “Divorce Dance”)
2) Cute (like cat or baby videos) or funny (people doing something terribly wrong—“fail” videos)
3) Did that just happen? (Shock value)

Timing: Timing is a key aspect of Viral videos as people are more likely to share a video if it is relevant to a current event or idea. Being responsive and nimble to generate content regarding something that happened today or yesterday can be key.

Construction: The means by which the video is structured to draw in the viewer’s attention, maintain viewer engagement, and include a climactic “moment” and pays off in just the amount of time to earn the viewer’s endorsement. Sort of like a small tasty snack food.

Influencers: The vast majority of viral videos gain traction after being found and endorsed by tastemakers and digital influencers. Typically these are popular bloggers or even celebrities with built-in, large, loyal audiences. Getting your video into the hands of these channels is key as their audiences tend to view their content as virally acceptable—this process became known as video seeding.

No Selling Out: Viral videos typically are free of advertising—or at least appear to be. One of the cultural influences is that these are home-grown productions not encumbered by the perception of corporate villains looking to spread marketing messages.

Indigo understands this discipline and has the nimbleness and creativity to help proactively identify viral opportunities and keep the lights on long enough to make these productions successful.

We also understand the importance of distribution and monetization of these kind of productions and will help you maximize the brand lift and audience acquisition for your company, product, or cause.

Looking to gain millions of viewers for your video in just weeks? Indigo can help you create viral content that drives buzz and causes a stir. To see one of our previous projects you can find it on YouTube.

You can reach us at 212-765-5224 or visit our contact page.

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