One of my favorite things about online video is that it's a relatively level playing field. Amateur individuals, independent artists, and major brands all have the same access to affordable equipment, free video portals, and social networking services. For every cute dancing baby from a house wife there's a hilarious new wacky ad from a brand like Old Spice.
Sure, brands have more money and resources at their disposal, but that doesn't equal viral success. Viral success only comes when the public is entertained enough to want to share what they've seen with others.
But some brands are taking advantage of their resources better than others, choosing to push the envelope both in style and format of their online videos. This weekly column is an attempt to highlight a standout example of boundary-pushing creativity in online video from a major brand, and this week we're taking a look at a genius piece of marketing from Samsung.
It's called Cute Girl Has A Catchy Dance, and is intended to promote the new Samsung Galaxy 580 mobile device—an Android phone. It begins with a girl in preschool, dancing her heart out in that spastic, stream-of-consciousness style that kids have perfected. Soon, adults start filing in behind her, following along with her every dance move, despite the fact that she is clearly making it up as she goes. Take a look:
Awesome. It's clever, it's fun, and it's charming—all good qualities for a prospective viral hit. And best of all, the video content fits perfectly with their tagline: "Use your influence.” The underlying meaning is that we don't always realize the potential of our own influence. There could be an army of people out there ready and willing to listen to what you have to say and follow your advice, but you won't know it until you put yourself out there. Which the Galaxy 580 can help you do.
This video is the perfect combination of a winning concept and technical achievement. The girl dancing could easily be a viral video on itself. But it's the smooth CGI work—plugging the dancers in behind her so that they appear to be in the room with her, at the time of her original dance—that really sells the concept.
Big brands have a bit of a head start in viral video—some might call it an unfair advantage over the little guys. But I'm always impressed whenever a brand takes the advantages offered by their deeper pockets and does something original to stretch the medium of online video creatively and technically. Whether they are ads or entertainment… from large companies or unknown individuals… everyone wins when videos are this entertaining and inventive.