September 13th, 2017 Posted by Chad Cooper Uncategorized No Comment yet
Remember that #morethanmean video that we shot last year that went crazy? You know, the one where normal guys sit in a chair and read horribly offensive mean tweets to the faces of real female sportscasters? The one we filmed over a weekend in our studio with some friends that we called the day before to see if they wouldn’t mind being in a side project we were working on? The one that got over 1 million views within hours of posting? The one that racked up more awards in one year than most agencies hope to win over a course of 10? The one that won a Peabody…a f’ing PEABODY?
Well, ever since #morethanmean video went “viral” we have gotten our fair share of calls from brands, big and small, asking us to create their own version of #morethanmean in hopes of course that it will go “viral”. I’m using quotations because I hate the word viral. As simple as it seems (i.e. filming in our studio and paying our friends in beer and pizza) asking us to create something that goes viral is not so simple.
The issue is that when brands ask us to create something that will “go viral” they are starting from the wrong place. An objective should never EVER be to go viral. The objective should be about what a brand wants to say about itself and/or what culturally relevant issue it wants to take a stand on (for or against). While we can help a brand come up with this, typically the brands that are successful are going to have a clear point of view for what they stand for and want to say. So once we’re clear on what we want to say, it should be easy, right? Wrong. There are many brands that know what they want to say but then completely screw up how they say it (i.e. Kendall Jenner and Pepsi anyone?).
Lots of people ask us what made #morethanmean work and while there is no secret sauce, below are some of the things that we feel made the video successful.
- It was authentic – we created the situation and happened to capture it on camera v. creating an inauthentic situation tailored specifically for the camera
- There was an element of surprise – the guys didn’t know what they were walking into and hadn’t read the script
- It was provocative – we used the words like “c**t” and “p***y” on camera (bleeped with subtitles of course)
- It was specific – we specifically talked about online trolling of female sports journalists. Taking a stand against online trolling of women would have been too broad.
- We didnt overthink it – we had an idea, went for it, and kept it simple.
In summary, videos that go viral, like #morethanmean, seem really simple, and in many ways, they are. But it’s the thoughtful use of a combination of elements that makes them take off. So save your $$ on big talent, figure out what you want to say, and say it in a way so that you as a human would want to hear it.