This Sunday is one of America’s largest most important media events of the entire year: The Super Bowl. For those who don’t know, the Super Bowl is fantastic finale of of the American football season, and it’s typically the most watched American television event of the year. For many, like myself it’s also an opportunity to watch some of the most entertaining television commercials out there.
But in 2010, one of the biggest commercials of the Super Bowl season wasn’t on TV at all, but rather online. Its sponsors, the makers of Old Spice, a deodorant for men, were worried that the commercial would be too outrageous even for the Super Bowl. They were wrong. Within a month, this comedic and clever Old Spice commercial was seen over three million times, and as of yesterday, it’s been viewed over 52 million times. It is the definition of a viral video. In fact, in the month proceeding the release of this video, sales for Old Spice sales more than doubled!
Viral videos aren’t just a phenomenon of the United States. Such videos have taken the form of music videos out of Korea (this video was viewed over two billion times) and of course innumerable international football videos like this one of two of the greatest players of all time. I remember from my times in Guinea that some these videos are super popular even where accessing the internet can be expensive and time consuming.
While some of these videos take a lot of time and money to make, others were filmed with equipment that’s less advanced than the camera on my phone, like this video of a dog honking a car horn. Last year Dare to Innovate also launched it’s first attempt at video making with this series of videos on entrepreneurship (take a look!).
All this is to say that viral videos are the next big way to get known especially for companies trying to sell a product as we can see from the Old Spice videos. Further, while many companies in America have managed to successfully leverage this new format, I know that even enterprises in places like Guinea and Benin could use these videos to better promote their products and services.
So I have two challenges for you. Do you know of any viral videos promoting a new local enterprise in your country? Shoot us a message on Facebook of a video that catches your eye and explain what you think makes it great!
Abraham Chen is Founder and Treasurer of the Dare to Innovate Board of Directors. He is currently an MBA/MS in Design Innovation student at the Kellogg School of Management’s MMM program. Abe believes that everyone should have the chance to reach her full potential. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org