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Lessons From the Worst Viral Video of 2020
TikTok strikes again
By Mark Conway
Oct 27th, 2020
Let me introduce you to both the worst and best marketing video of 2020:
For anyone unwilling to hit replay - yes, that is 3 Mazda employees creating an Aldi-quality version of a viral TikTok dance in a car yard to royalty-free music. For bonus corporate cringe effect, they’ve replaced the iconic lyrics ‘I’m a savage… classy…moody…ratchet’ with ‘September savage... a month…packed…with savings’.
The video seems forged straight from the fire of a middle management marketing team-bonding hellcamp, and the comments agreed:
"If ever there was a reason I'd go buy a Mazda, this wasn't it,” one user wrote.
“Is there a firing squad behind that camera? That is literally the only logical thing I could think of that someone would willingly participate in this,” another added.
“Omg I don’t know what’s worse, that the company thinks this marketing works or the fact these people actually did this.”
All fair points, until you consider that another car yard’s idea of worthwhile social media content is probably a reused photo of a WRX they have on sale. While this strategy might get a few social media likes from locals looking to do some mad-sick skids, it won’t drive traffic nor make your brand memorable.
But for Grand Prix Mazda Aspley, their last month on social media involved 8 videos combining for more than 1 million video plays, 30,000 comments, 10,000 shares and a heap of traditional media coverage. For free. And it doesn’t appear to be an accident.
It’s all about ‘The Big Idea’
A deeper dive into the car yard shows they blank out video content filming days specifically for their social media channel. Their strategy leans heavily on the services of a Grand Prix Mazda employee who has more than 200,000 followers on TikTok (@ccandy, look it up) to create free publicity through a social media frenzy.
And while not every company has access to an employee regularly racking up a million video views on the latest social media juggernaut, it’s an example that proves video and a good idea, is still the best way to reach the widest audience on social media.
Take our viral video Liquor Barons campaign, for example.
Finding our big idea during work drinks - after someone asked “how else can I open my beer?” - we were able to come up with a visually engaging piece of content that was both quick and affordable to produce.
If you’re lucky enough to have a video advertising budget, putting that money into quality video production and talent can add value to your product or service in ways that static advertising couldn’t dream of. One example of this is our work with Hunt & Brew on their new black cold brew coffee, which showed the effect of high video production values while leveraging an existing video audience and plugging a brand into it. We created a video with popular Instagram artist Kerby Rosanes, creating a video of him illustrating the logo he created for the brand. The video racked up hundreds of thousands of views and put the new product in front of a huge audience.
Video is king - and it’s only getting bigger
The sharp rise in online video has been well documented with 88% of people in Australia watching online video content on a device monthly when stats were last collected in 2018.
The most commonly-created types of video in advertising are explainer videos (72%) presentation videos (49%) testimonial videos (48%) sales videos (42%) and video ads (42%) but can also appear in other formats that don’t include a bad TikTok dance, including:
- Live videos
- Brand videos
- Industry update videos
- Behind-the-scenes videos
- Day-in-the-life videos
- Product release videos
- Product reviews or demos
More and more video content is being watched now than ever before and marketers are reporting better returns when using video, with 87% of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website, and videos being shared on social media 1200% more than links or text combined.
OK, I’ll stop boring you with all the stats but even just looking at the exponential rise of Facebook video, Instagram stories and TikTok over the past couple years, it’s clear that when it comes to social media - nothing cuts through the noise better than video.
Even if you’re just a car yard in Queensland.