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Why An Unusual Vacation Video Went Viral

April 6, 2017

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Each week, we’ll take a look at a video we’ve seen that cuts through the clutter and scores a win for brands and for viewers. We’ll take a quick pass at deconstructing the video, identify what makes it a hit, and highlight specific takeaways that brands can bring to their own video campaigns

The Video

This week’s video comes to us from the distant reaches of Eastern Europe. If that conjures images of remote, under-developed countries, prepare to think again.

What Worked?

Right from the get-go, this video drives engagement.  I’m a big believer that the first seven seconds of every video are critical, and right out of the gate, the tone of this video tells hip, young viewers, that something’s a little off, and that it’s worth sticking around to see where things go.  By the sixteen second mark, when the premise is revealed, the hook is firmly set.  From that point on, the narrative is structured to keep rolling out surprises and twists at tight, regular intervals.

Where’s the Value?

On the brand side, this is a Brand Awareness win.  I’m guessing that for many of us, prior to this video, Georgia as a vacation destination was not really on the map, (pun intended).  With a young, ironic, and authentic video, now it is, particularly for young, adventurous, value-seeking travelers.

On the consumer side, viewers get great short-form entertainment, with great production value, strong story-telling, and well-earned laughs.  And most importantly, they get information a new destination that has a lot to offer.

What Can We Learn?

Lots.  First off, let’s address the elephant in the room, the budget.  Sure, it’s a big production that you probably couldn’t stage, but the production budget isn’t what makes this video a win.

Takeaway: Intelligent storytelling, pacing, casting, and spot-on brand integration can benefit from budget, but they can also work at any budget level.

Casting also work here.  Clearly, for this to work, the main character must be the right fit.  He’s the target demographic, and is accessible and authentic to the target viewers.  We’ll never quite know how they came to cast him, but what we do know is that they identified a make-or-break issue at the outset, and through what must have taken great effort, found a way to make work.

Takeaway: Don’t be discouraged by the seemingly impossible.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

This video’s biggest lesson is around brand integration.  The brand is woven into the story into an authentic and interesting way.  The postcard section, which doesn’t hit until the final third of the video, after trust is established, is a great illustration of how to educate on your brand.  By the time this section appears in the video, I’m so bought into the Georgia “character” that I want to be convinced to go there.

Takeaway: Viewers want to learn about your brand.  Deliver the right mix of product information and entertainment, and you’ll cut through the clutter win brand fans, and drive results.

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