It may come as no surprise to learn that YouTube succeeds on the back of video games. For many YouTube independent networks, video game content is the most successful and lucrative. YouTube audiences crave it and creators are inspired by it. Machinima is a behemoth in the space focuses solely on the genre. Not to mention IGN, Maker Studio's The Game Station, Revision 3 and The Collective's Freddiew, CorridorDigital and Node channels. Let me break it down:
Online video is peanut butter to video game's jelly.
Assassin's Creed 3 - A Diversified Social Video Marketing Portolio
Assassin's Creed 3 just delivered the biggest game launch ever for publisher Ubisoft. While there was a major effort in paid TV-spots, pre-roll, banners and print - you may have stumbled across some of their wonderful social videos. The marketing team behind Assassin's Creed 3 didn't create a tent-pole web series like Machinima's Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn. Instead they commissioned a variety of YouTube channels to create social videos that appealed to their audiences. The result? A playlist of Assassin's Creed 3 videos including music video, art house, cinematic and historical interpretations. Variety is the spice of life, and online video marketing success.
While Ubisoft's official trailers earned 20M views to date - the following social videos also have combined views of nearly 20M - and all include a strong call-to-action to watch an official Assassin's Creed 3 trailer back at Ubisoft. That's the power of social video and leveraging other channel's audiences.
Here are a few of the best.
The Ultimate Assassin's Creed 3 Playlist
The video kingpins over at Smosh delivered a funny and professional parody music video for Assassin's Creed 3. Certainly not in the super serious tone of the game or marketing but fans apparently still enjoyed it with 10M views and 67k comments and 193k likes. I think Ubisoft was happy with the result.
A big part of Assassin's Creed gameplay is freerunning around historic cities like a graceful gymnast. What would Assassin's Creed physics look like in real life? Master director and videographer Devin Graham and parkour badass Ronnie Shalvis show us with 2 highly successful videos. This one set in Assassin Creed 3's 18th century forrest:
And a modern day urban jungle:
Craving something a bit more cinematic and narrative driven? The polished filmmakers at CorridorDigital produced a short film titled Assassin's Creed 3: Rebel Blades. Jump to 2:25 for proof that Hollywood's next big directors will come from YouTube:
How about something more historic - or ballistic? Weaponry expert and YouTube icon FPSRussia (the guy shooting iJustine in the latest Call of Duty ad) takes viewers on a ballistic demonstration of revolutionary war weapons. If only he could narrate the next Ken Burns documentary...
And for classic "social video" effect, here's an elaborate domino of 8000 hand painted redcoat figurines posted to Machinima's main channel: