Most brands getting involved with video these days have pretty reasonable goals. They want to get as many viewers as they can, encourage those viewers toward as much sharing action as possible, and hopefully turn a few of them into long-term fans. But there are a handful of brands that are able to attract the elusive superfan, whose love for the brand is so great it becomes a part of their every day lives. Those fans become evangelists, devoting time and effort to essentially marketing their favorite brand for free.
The Long-Lasting Benefits Of Making Superfans
Apple is a brand with plenty of superfans who make videos, blog posts, or Twitter comments stating their love for the company all the time. Go Pro is another brand with a ton of superfans, who proclaim their love for the device in the description of every video they post to YouTube or Vimeo.
Then there are the pop-culture brands like Star Wars, which is so beloved that millions of people around the world have spent decades evangelizing about the film (which, in turn, help fuel sales of DVDs and merchandise to future generations of fans).
Disney's Toy Story has pretty much reached this point, with multiple generations of fans. In addition to simply talking about how much they love Toy Story, some superfans inject their appreciation into their hobbies and pastimes... like filmmaking.
The Live Action Toy Story Fan Film
Jonason Pauley is a Toy Story superfan who has done just that. He's creating a live action Toy Story fan film that is a note-for-note recreation of the original film, only he's using his Toy Story toy collection as the actors. He's already spent over a year on the project, and has finally released a teaser: one completed scene from the film, chosen by his Facebook friends who have been following his filmmaking adventures.
And here it is:
The odds are pretty good that this preview, and the eventual finished product, will generate a ton of video views, along with a good deal of press. And sure, maybe Disney can't expect to sell a million DVDs right away as a result.
But that's not the point. The point is that superfans like Pauley take a brand... and turn it into a cultural icon, slowly cementing its status for decades and decades to come. And over the years, that can create far more new fans and superfans than any standard video success could ever hope to.