Archive for the ‘Viral Video’ Category

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral with Big Results

August 19, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral and with big results. According to the ALS Association, it has received $15.6 million in donations between July 29 and August 18 (and then more than doubled that number in the next two days to $31.5 million)* from people who took videos of themselves being doused with ice cold water. That’s a phenomenal increase over $1.9 million during the same time period last year.

I first became aware of the Ice Bucket Challenge last week when I was screening an episode of Today Kathie Lee and Hoda and watched Hoda get doused with a bucket of ice water. The next thing I know, I see videos popping up all over Facebook with my friends and family sharing their videos accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge. It was then I started to see the ALS fundraising mentioned (while secretly hoping that I don’t get nominated for the challenge since I’m a real baby when it comes to dousing myself with freezing cold water, so guess I’ll be writing a check).

Celebrities have been accepting the challenge on air in various TV programs which have been digitized and made sharable via social media. Everyone from Oprah to Lady Gaga to Ben Stiller, plus politicians, athletes, and thousands of everyday Americans have been posting videos of themselves online participating in the event.

More than 1.2 million videos have been shared on Facebook showing the challenge between June 1st and Aug. 13th and Twitter estimates that the Ice Bucket Challenge has been discussed in more than 2.2 million tweets.

You can never really know why something goes viral since it is so difficult to cut through the white noise, but social media has played a big role in the phenomenal success of this fundraising promotion and created a synergistic phenom.

Why has this simple idea exploded?

  • Social media has made it possible to spiral viral across all platforms from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others.
  • The challenge is simple, fun and plays to the “I dare you to do it.”
  • The challenge is designed with a continued call to action to keep it moving (the Pay It Forward principle.)
  • It’s for an important and charitable cause – ALS Research – and makes people feel good to help the cause.
  • And let’s not forget the timing. It’s summertime and it’s HOT outside. I don’t know if this would have caught on the same way in January when it’s freezing.

This campaign will be one for the history books as a model for future concepts to get people involved.  Any attempts to duplicate it’s success must be met with simplistic creativity.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge campaign is one I hope keeps growing since ALS has touched my life in a very personal way. My childhood friend, Joe Eades, lost his courageous battle with ALS in April of 2010.  The photo below was taken eight months before and I treasure that visit during a trip to Denver.  The disease had progressed so that he needed a wheelchair for mobility but he was still able to carry on conversations and he was in good spirits.  Joe invited me to join  his family for dinner that night as they ordered in pizza. It was the last time I would see him this side of heaven.

Joe Eades 2009

I sponsored Joe in fund raising activities to find a cure after he was diagnosed and I know he would love the Ice Bucket Challenge. He would be the sort of guy who would enthusiastically accept the challenge and then go on to nominate three more people to accept his challenge and keep it going.


*UPDATE: As of August 28th, reports that they have raised $94.3 Million since July 29th.  A simple idea that snowballed dramatically!

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Copyright (c) 2014. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.


Behind the Pre-planned Oscar Selfie That Went Viral: Samsung’s Integrated Media Strategy Paid Off Big Time

March 7, 2014

If you were watching the Oscars last Sunday, you were probably loving the A-lister selfie moment just as much as I was. As a matter of fact, as soon as Ellen DeGeneres mentioned she was going to Tweet the photo to set a record for Twitter retweets, I was all over it. I retweeted the photo from both of my twitter accounts and managed not to get stuck in the Twitter meltdown. I also posted it on Facebook. The photo was a hit (especially for my Facebook friends that aren’t on Twitter)!

At the time I was watching the Oscars, I was totally sucked in to believing in the spontaneous comedy of Ellen’s hosting duties. It was such a fun moment that it never even occurred to me that it was pre-planned. Now, that’s almost embarrassing for someone in my profession.

FireShot Screen Capture #510 - 'Twitter _ TheEllenShow_ If only Bradley's arm was longer_ ___' - twitter_com_TheEllenShow_status_440322224407314432_photo_1
When I did put two and two together I thought it was brilliant. After all, Samsung spent over $20 million sponsoring the Oscars and why shouldn’t they have an integrated ad campaign. How it was executed made it feel as though Hollywood was a little less stuffy. I loved that it integrated social media with the Untouchables.  By the way, at “press time” today, the selfie was retweeted over 3.3 million times!

I think that there is a lot to be learned by how Samsung’s Galaxy phone was integrated into the content of the Oscars. It is a fantastic example of the new wave of integrated marketing and PR as an excellent case study in thinking outside the box.  Ellen’s team of writer’s deserve a big kudos for their creativity.

For an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at how this blended media strategy took place, read more on Yahoo! Finance.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Copyright (c) 2014. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.

Was KTVU “Bart Simpsoned” on Pilot Names Error? NTSB Blames Intern for Mistake

July 25, 2013

When Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash landed at SFO on July 6, the media was hungry for information for their telecasts.  Perhaps a little too hungry.  Like many of you, I saw the infamous screen grab of KVTU’s flight crew list on Facebook and thought it was a very bad (and inappropriate) Facebook prank.  But with some quick digging, it was very clear that the screen grab was real, aired in their noon broadcast on July 12th and the station had been punked.  The bogus names phonetically spelled out phrases such as “Something Wrong” and “We Too Low.”

You’d think that the names were an obvious prank of some sort, but then maybe no one at the station has ever watched The Simpsons or they would naturally have been highly suspect.  One of the running gags in earlier Simpson’s episodes were Bart Simpson’s childish prank calls to Moe, the Bartender, which Moe always falls for.

KTVUKTVU issued this apology in their 6pm broadcast on July 12th:  On Friday, July 12, during the KTVU Channel 2 Noon newscast, we misidentified the pilots in the Asiana Airlines crash.  We made several mistakes when we received this information. First, we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out. Then, during our phone call to the NTSB where the person confirmed the spellings of the names, we never asked that person to give us their position with the agency. We heard this person verify the information without questioning who they were and then rushed the names on our noon newscast.

Additionally, KTVU posted this on their website: “Nothing is more important to us than having the highest level of accuracy and integrity, and we are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again.”

Shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, the NTSB issued the following statement:  The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots. A summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft.  We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today’s incident.  Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.

The NTSB did not identify the intern, but said, “Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.”  I would certainly hope so.  The question that hasn’t been answered is “why?” The full NTSB statement can be found here.

Even with this statement from the NTSB, KTVU accepts full responsibility for this mistake.

Asiana Flight 214 was carrying 291 passengers and 16 crew members when it crash landed Saturday on the runway after striking a seawall.  Three people died and 180 were injured.

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Copyright (c) 2013. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.

When Viral Video Works and What Publicists Can Learn from It

March 6, 2013

The publicists and producers for Oz, the Great and Powerful must be doing handsprings over this little social media moment gone viral – not just in broadcast media, but social media as well.  Chris Stark of Scott Mills’ show on BBC Radio 1 interviewed Mila Kunis during a press junket about her latest film, Oz, the Great and Powerful, touching upon everything from lad bombs watching Watford play and Blue Moon beer.

If you’ve ever seen the movie, Notting Hil, then you’ll love this Mila Kunis interview reminiscent of “the Fox & Hound William Thacker interview with Anna Scott” but the Hugh Grant part is played by a green BBC radio reporter who is smitten with Mila.  Take a look at their candid conversation during a recent movie press junket:

This interview is a great example of how actors become so numb when they do publicity for a film and answering the same questions over and over in press junkets that they crave anything that breaks the monotony.  Sure, the publicist could have stepped in when this interview strayed off course, but they let their client run with it thus giving way to some soundbite gems  that may garner more press than the interview would have otherwise. By letting the reporter “go rogue,” it also exposes a celebrity client in a real and  genuine way that thousands of potential movie goers and fans can relate to.  I’ve met Mila several times (in my pilates class, actually) and her candor and humor is genuine so it was no surprise to me that she handled this curve ball so generously.  With that said, there may be some celebrity clients where this approach may expose them in a non-flattering way, but publicists will know their client and when to step in.

Now, in the old days (i.e. pre-Social Media), this off beat interview would have been conducted behind closed doors and aside from the BBC Radio 1 listening audience, no one else in the world would have heard it or seen it.  But in the perfect storm of 21st century social media, it’s become a viral video on YouTube with over 2,886,708 views in just two days of posting at the writing of this blog.  No doubt these YouTube views were driven by millions of Facebook posts, tweets on Twitter, and additionally fueled and synergized by the numerous  broadcast TV programs (like TODAY and entertainment programs) and talk radio exposure.  This may very well be a case where the broadcast television exposure drew viewers to the laptops, iPads, and smart phones to get a first look for themselves.

You can’t plan this type of publicity or can you?  You could attempt it, but it would never end up being as organic, believable and endearing as this genuine darling conversation/interview that has exploded onto the social media scene.

What you can do though is encourage reporters to ask more candid questions than the standard boring ones like, “Tell me about your character in this film.”  What this no holds barred press junket interview by a cub reporter exhibits is the power of letting “your hair down” in an interview.  More people may go see this film since they saw an interesting side of Mila instead of the traditional and boring Q &A.

Before I close this blog on viral video, here’s another great effort by Dove (produced by Ogilvy Tornoto) that is gathering steam on YouTube.  This is an excellent example of creating a great campaign that will also work for social media – real beauty is not photoshopped.

This was posted just three days ago and already has over 42,000 views.  Not bad.  The right public relations strategy synergizing broadcast television with social media will skyrocket this video viewership and create great brand awareness and goodwill for Dove.

NOTE: I just updated this blog from writing it two hours ago and the Mila Kunis Video now has over 3,060,000 views.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Copyright (c) 2013. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.

PSA’s Turn Into Viral Video When You Think Outside the Box

July 7, 2012

We’ve seen them for years.  The typical Public Service Announcement commonly referred to as a PSA.  A celebrity shares an important announcement to create awareness for a non-profit organization or a corporate sponsored goodwill message.  Enter a little bit of b-roll, play the violin, see a sad picture, and then a call to action.  I’m sorry.  It’s boring.  They get on the air, but…does your audience, the average television viewer, remember them?  And more importantly, do they take action?  Are they motivated by the call to action to  donate, volunteer or “get healthy?”

It’s not just about getting TV air time for your PSA, but you want to create an on-air spot that is not only remembered by television viewers, but also has the potential to turn into a viral video on YouTube or other internet video services.

I love this PSA with former Saturday Night Live’s Kevin Nealon.  It’s a perfect blend of satire (poking fun at traditional PSAs) and delivering a serious message.  Take a look:

This PSA has captured over 107,000 YouTube views in just two weeks and is quickly gaining speed.  Why is this easily on its way to becoming a viral video?  Because this is the kind of video you share on Twitter and post on Facebook.  People laugh and want to share.  But if this PSA was edited down to the final 30 seconds and that’s all people saw, it wouldn’t stand a chance at going viral since then it would be a a typical public service announcement.

So you see how satire and humor is a not only a great way to create a memorable message, but will be viral video material, now a hard hitting drama can be effective too.  We all know how dangerous it is to Text and Drive – or do we?

This PSA produced in the U.K. has captured over 1,000,000 YouTube views. No doubt, a lot of people have shared this on Facebook to draw attention to how dangerous it is to Text while driving, but it also creates very dramatic and memorable images that don’t just say “don’t text and drive” but show the consequences which is highly effective.

Though not quite at viral video status, this anti-smoking PSA has the right idea:

Here’s a classic PSA from the Ad Council:  Keep America Beautiful.  Baby boomers and Gen-Xers alike love retro stuff so if you’re organization has some golden goodie blasts from the past, put them up on YouTube and share them on Facebook and Twitter.  A great to way to leverage a part of history and it’s free (if there are no restrictions or copyright considerations).

This Anti Dog Fighting PSA uses a unique perspective (talking dogs) to make the point of how horrible dog fighting is.  It’s very social media media friendly and shareable.  With approximately 180,000 views, it’s been very effective.

I love the humor in this pseudo PSA on End Cat Boredom that’s sponsored by Friskies.  With over 750,000 views, it’s a good example of how a little creativity will take you a long way.

So you’ve seen some good examples of how to think outside the box and turn your message into a viral video.  Derek Halpern also has great tips on what makes your content viral. You can use a very small budget and produce a  “PSA” just for YouTube and online video outlets.  When you’re producing a PSA for television, don’t forget to design it with the additional YouTube (and other online resources) in mind to maximize your audience reach and feel free to call CMP Media Cafe for a free consultation on how to effectively your PSA.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Copyright (c) 2012. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.