This post also appears on Waggener Edstrom’s Thinkers & Doers blog.
How often have you seen a video that blows you away, then immediately leaves you baffled and questioning – how in the world did they pull that off?
It’s unrealistic to go into a campaign expecting to produce a “viral” hit but you do sense when you’re tapping a creative goldmine. There is nothing more exciting than being in a brainstorm when the big idea finally surfaces and the foundation is in place to build out a creative project.
But during a campaign planning phase there is also a need to maintain a proactive mindset, analyzing and assessing every possible outcome and interpretation of your campaign across various audience segments. Any good viral campaign is going to lend itself to series of spoofs and remakes that twist the messaging and shift the focus around a marketer’s own specific goals. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if ad agencies are already marketing “spoofs and remakes” as a key service area.
In most cases, this isn’t a bad thing. Remakes and spoofs will often actually help drive traffic back to your original campaign as viewers reference back to provide context around a related spot they are watching. That being said, preparing the “story behind the story” can serve as a huge asset to help extend coverage around your message or campaign.
Undoubtedly, if your campaign does go big, outlets will come knocking, wanting to know how in the world you pulled off the idea (examples: Old Spice & Coke Happiness Machine). Why not dump a few extra resources into capturing video, photos and interviews with key people behind the campaign to build out this asset in a creative way?
I’ve posted about the Walk Across America video in the past but what I particularly love was the way the crew simultaneously developed a “behind the scenes” video detailing out how they developed the spot:
Immediately after providing viewers with a “wow” video, they quickly enable interested viewers to dig deeper on context. Would you mind taking in a extra 350k views?
This is a huge strategy for brands as it can afford a method for pulling off a great creative spot while still having a backend asset to enhance some brand messaging that would otherwise detract from the original creative. Furthermore, the additional context can drive the authenticity of the campaign and provide a viewer with a greater appreciation for the time and resources devoted to making the end product appear smooth and effortless.
Whether you’re building out a video, narrated photo slideshow, blog post, infographic or other asset, always keep the extended storyline in mind as a way to garner additional attention.