One of the best ways for brands and individuals to succeed with online video is to follow the examples set by those who've gone before them. What kind of videos have been a hit with viewers in the past? What kind of experiments have failed? By analyzing this week's best viral videos, we can hopefully learn something–some tip or insight–that we can apply to our own future online video efforts.
One of the most reliable forms of branded social video is actually an old-school advertising tool: the trailer. There's no better way to generate online buzz and social behavior around your movie, TV show, or video game than to release a trailer that is truly compelling. And a few brands have scored viral hits this week in just that way.
Like The Avengers, from Marvel. The film brings together Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, and more heroes for one giant movie adventure. It doesn't even come out until next summer, but its first official trailer is good enough that it's rocketing up the viral charts after only a few days of release. Check it out:
Video games have found a friend in trailers too, with the most anticipated games seeing their trailers get millions or tens-of-millions of views. And it doesn't get any more "anticipated" than Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:
Up & Coming Filmmakers
Another week, another great batch of short films from relatively unknown filmmakers.
The short film "The True Origins Of Pizza" is a mockumentary, and it's pretty funny. In addition to the humor, it also looks fantastic:
Vimeo user Page Stephenson isn't the first person to send a balloon into space with a camera on board, but that doesn't make the footage any less compelling or unique:
Another Vimeo filmmaker, Dustin Farrell, climbed to nearly 2 million views in just over a week for his incredible HD film Landscapes: Volume 2:
One of these days I'll have to stop writing about Go Pro, if they ever stop totally dominating with online video. Their own videos are great… the videos they sponsor are great… and the videos that their fans create entirely on their own are great. And they're all starting to run together in one huge pool of engaging content that promotes the Go Pro brand.
This week they gained some more publicity from an amazing video showing a buck colliding with a cyclist, and over 7 million people have already seen it:
Here's a great brand-based documentary that benefits both the reporting brand (Newsworks) and the subject of the piece (Major League Baseball):
What's the best way to advertise a new basketball video game? Dress up maniac baseball relief pitcher, Brian Wilson, as Larry Bird, of course. Wait… what?
I have to believe Head & Shoulders is pretty happy with how the wax-statue/Troy-Polamalu prank video:
Sometimes I have videos that are really entertaining and worth discussing, and I just can't squeeze them into my little categories. So they find their way to the Grab Bag, which ends up being a consistently wild ride of a section due to the variety.
Like Dude Perfect's latest viral hit, a trick shot battle between a basketball thrower and a frisbee genius:
Who are the crazy-but-brilliant minds behind "a car jumping rope"?:
One Vimeo user's film about the Occupy Wall Street protests:
Get out the Kleenex for our final Grab Bag video–and the video of the week–with Lily's Disneyland Surprise, in which a little girl is so excited and surprised about her birthday gift that she ends up having bit of an emotional meltdown. Don't worry… it's still adorable:
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