I was recently included in a corporate scriptwriting experiment. A Fortune 500 company was in a re-branding process which included a name change. The request was for four experienced writers with a variety of backgrounds to each create a concept proposal for a company overview video. The video would be streamed on the company YouTube channel as well as used in sales and marketing situations. The company’s three main business areas include healthcare, IT and the defense industry.

The challenge – make it something that could go viral.

The experiment was apparently not a success as the client decided to regroup and come up with a different sort of request. I’m not sure how far off the mark the creative concepts were, but apparently they were not as hoped for or imagined.

This led me to thinking what makes a corporate video go viral?

Here is a stunning example by DollarShaveClub.com.  What makes it work is the humor (visual as well as dialogue) and the irreverent attitude. This wouldn’t work for companies unwilling to take risks or use R-rated language. At the time of this posting, the video is at nearly 18 million hits. Additional videos in the same vein have also been successful – although not like the first one which was released in 2012.

More recently, this corporate video was created to announce the company’s inclusion as a great place to work. I don’t know if they obtained permission to use the “Happy” song, although that should certainly be a concern. The video is at 37,000 hits and climbing.

the hartfordThe Best of 2014 (IMHO) is this one by The Hartford. It uses internal linking to allow users to pick the corporate website or dance view (the lounge, office cubes or the copier) and the song type (six of them – all funny in their own way). The guy at the copier rocks. The tagline that comes up at the end works as well: “EVERY SMALL BUSINESS HAS ITS OWN BEAT. THE HARTFORD IS PROUD  TO HELP OVER 1,000,000 OF THEM PLAY ON.”  The video has more than 80,000 hits since its release about one month ago.

If you want to have a viral video for your corporate, look at what The Hartford and DollarSaveClub did well and tailor it to your company’s culture, values and business goals. Contact us to explore your options.


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