I think TPS Film Studio has been reading my weekly viral video round up articles–you know… the ones where I show you the week's best viral hits and then attempt to break down why each video was successful? In a new campaign, the company is showcasing their PhantomHD cameras with a series of videos that take advantage of the oldest viral video rule on the books: cute animals rule the Internet.
TPS Film Studio, as best I can tell, is a film production studio in Warsaw, Poland–the site is in Polish. Presumably, they sell video production services, and likely also rent out equipment, facilities, and technical expertise.
Rather than just make a standard commercial that interviews the company owner or shows off the company's office and workspace… they decided to go for a more viral-based approach. Using an amazingly-high-end piece of equipment (this website says the PhantomHD will run you between $50,000 and $150,000), they applied their expertise to a subject known to entice viral sharing behavior.
The result? Judge for yourself. Just today I've seen the following video popping up in many of the normal viral-catalyst sites, like this one:
It was uploaded in early January but didn't go viral until this week. It's currently at 330,302 as of this writing. That's a good deal more views than a traditional commercial could ever have hoped to receive.
And it's not their only success. Another video, uploaded the same day, takes the same slow-motion approach to the topic of chipmunks:
That video has 358,031 views as of this writing.
I hear a lot of feedback that it's not so easy for brands to apply common viral themes to business messages. And while I do agree that brands have to be more creative with viral clips, TPS Film Studio sort of proves how possible it really is. I think they may have even inadvertently given us the formula for viral success…
The Viral Video Formula For Success
I'm no mathematician, but here's my best attempt at a repeatable formula for viral success:
Take a topic known to be popular (in this case, cute animals)
Film it in a unique or trendy style (in this case, super slow-motion created by high-speed cameras)
Add in at least one business or marketing objective (for TPS Film Studio, that's "demonstrate our products and/or capabilities")
A viral video with a huge head start for success over competitors
It's far from foolproof, because there is always an added element to the equation that is impossible to predict: audience reaction. The very best we can hope to do as video creators or advertisers is to do our jobs on our end in creating something that is poised for success. Even the very best video producers and brands are reliant on the audience to find, enjoy, and share their video.
TPS Film Studio hit gold because they appealed to the viral viewing masses and their core customers all at the same time. The animal-video lovers are flocking to the piece, sharing the link so they can share the cuteness. But professional filmmakers are drawn to the fantastic video quality and high-speed camera work. There's no reason at all that both groups can't enjoy the same clip for entirely different reasons. In the best-case-scenario, the animal lovers will continue to feed the video's viral rise… and a handful of the film geeks in the audience will turn into TPS customers.
The payoff is huge when you consider the relative low cost of producing these clips. Kudos to TPS Film Studio for cracking the viral Di Vinci Code. With this kind of success, I'd have to guess this won't be the last time we hear from them.