Posts by Evolve Media

If you’re an insomniac who “enjoys” spending most of his night time watching infomercials, then you’ve probably seen it all. From vacuums that make hair cutting at home less messy to toilet paper that can extend your reach and the notorious Poop-Freeze that simplifies cleaning your beloved pet’s droppings, chances are that you are not easily impressed with the latest infomercial products that are guaranteed to simplify your life. Granted there are many strange products out there presented in the most ridiculous and inappropriate ways. Still, not all infomercials are about bad products and failures. Following is a list of the most appreciated ones:

  1. Snuggie, the wearable blanket

Chances are you’ve lived through one of those freezing nights during the cold season when the only thing you want to do is sit under your warm and cozy blanket in front of the TV. What do you do when you need to reach the remote? Simple, you purchase a wearable blanket that allows you to reach for the remote without having to make any compromises. With 26 million sales and counting, Snuggie is by far the most popular infomercial product sold by As Seen On TV in the past 5 years.

  1. PedEgg foot grater

Although we don’t recommended you watch the infomercial if you have a weak stomach, the truth is that the PedEgg foot grater is another popular product that has managed to sell 45 million items in a little over one year. The highlight of the eggs and what we think convinced most people into acquiring it could be the “no mess” part, as the dead skin is securely stored into a special container you can clean later.

  1. The Fridge Locker

If you work in an office with a shared brake room, then chances are you were already visited by your friendly sticky finger coworker at least once. Well, while you can come up with various arguments that this is just an honest mistake, how about you make sure it doesn’t happen again. Introducing the Fridge Locker, the ultimate food security system that will keep all your “food testing experts” from work at bay!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrU-TWUA9Hw

  1. Pillow Pets

Perhaps what we enjoy most about infomercial is their ability to make everything seem so remarkable. The best example here are the popular Pillow Pets, which as their name suggests are pillow and pets combined in a single product concept. Before you discard the idea as completely childish, keep in mind the over 20 million Pillow Pets have already been sold worldwide, all thanks to a short and innovative infomercial.

  1. Total Gym

In the event that you are trying to stay in shape or want to shed some pound, but don’t really want to leave the comfort of your home, then here is the perfect solution for you. Meet Total Gym , the ultimate workout system that is guaranteed to help you achieve your goal without having to go through the hassle of visiting your local gym. Maybe we can blame it on Chuck Norris, but so far this infomercial has managed to bring over $1 billion into its developer’s pockets.

With the Rewarder.com video, Evolve Media worked closely with the company to write a story that showcased their product in the simplest and most direct way – showing people using it. We agreed that we needed a clean, elegant commercial without any voiceover, and relatable characters engaging with the product in fun and interesting ways.  This might be easy to do with a car commercial, but with Rewarder we needed to introduce a brand new online and app-based product. Here’s an early storyboard from the first scene:
Rewarder.com Scene 1 Draft

The safe route would be to explain it, but who wants to watch that? We had a great product to showcase and a good story. Then all we had to do was connect the dots with our award-winning effects team. Bam! The reward was worth the risk. Watch how it comes to life. Enjoy the real thing!

 

 

If you sit in marketing meetings at Any Company, USA these days, chances are you have heard the term “viral videos” being batted around by erstwhile colleagues as if it is the new “synergize”.  But if you have spent any time watching the most popular viral videos on the interwebs, you might also be wondering what relevance “Gangnam Style” or a talking cat could possibly have in your company’s marketing strategy. Don’t write them off too soon. Successful web–video advertising, blending both the elements of viral video and your marketing message, can be an excellent way to attract people to your product.
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But first, what exactly is a viral video?

We’re so glad you asked. The viral phenomenon – the concept of something other than a biological virus being viral – came into vogue just after the internet became widely popular in the mid-to-late 1990s, and this has become a common way to describe how thoughts, information and trends move into and through a human population. The short answer to your question is: a video that becomes popular through the process of internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email. (Thank you, Wikipedia – read more here).

Many viral videos were not created specifically to entertain millions of people, but because of their peculiar blend of comedy (intentional or otherwise), topical or popular subject matter and sheer luck, they became part of the social lexicon. For example, it is easy to assume that the Numa Numa guy had no idea his webcam would lead him to global fame. But plenty of videos are created by amateurs and specialists alike with the clear intention of becoming viral. Want some examples? You have probably not only seen this poor guy on YouTube, but seen him starring in an eSurance commercial. The writer and filmmaker might be an amateur, but he produced an engaging and hilarious video that has garnered tens of millions of views and thousands of imitators. And if you have not watched the viral video Corning Glass released recently, you should – everyone else has!

Those are great. But what are the key elements of a successful viral video?

Anything that strikes a chord with enough people willing to pass it along to others has the potential to go viral – that’s the easy answer. Can it be distilled into a 100% successful formula? Yes, and no. The most popular viral videos have common characteristics that are hard to ignore…

  • ONE – An easy emotional connection. Provoking a common emotional response plays a central role in any successful mass media product. Hit songs, popular films, memorable commercials, great books: they all provoke an emotional reaction and tie to the consumer. Viral videos are no different. Whether you are shocked, tickled, amazed , touched or frightened, if it gets your heart racing you are more likely to share it with your friends. The most common play for emotion in popular viral videos is by using humor. We recommend that above all else.
  • TWO – A pop culture connection. Ask yourself, what’s big with the kids these days? Maybe it is as esoteric as a My Little Pony revival or as common as a certain Barbadian singer – if you’re not sure, there is always Star Wars.
  • THREE – Piggybacking on an already-established cultural phenomenon is a tried and true way to connect with an audience in everything from stand-up comedy to political speeches and certainly advertising is no exception. Involving real star power, social memes, popular music, current jokes or skewering any of the above with a well-placed parody are great ways to contribute to making your video a viral hit.
  • FOUR – Repeatable stunts. Harlem Shake, anyone? Mentos and Diet Coke? Give viewers something funny or interesting they want to try and film themselves doing, and you have a hit on your hands.
  • FIVE – Simplicity. Keep your ideas succinct and simple so everyone gets it quickly and everyone can understand it. One of the the most popular videos of all time is only six seconds long!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKx

  • SIX – Plagiarism. Copying, one-upping or perfecting established popular videos is an easy way to capitalize on current memes if you prefer not to go out on a limb with your own stunt. This can also be achieved with “response” videos: taping a reaction or criticism of popular videos and linking it to them can get you on the bandwagon. It’s one way to go, although at Evolve Media, we prefer creativity.
  • Great Music!

  • TEN …and Justin Bieber, for some reason. (Evolve Media does not recommend this approach)

How can I make a viral video for my product?

Great question. Anyone in marketing knows that communicating a message that accurately and succinctly describes your business to viewers that are at most only casually interested can be tough.  Companies that sell complex services or complicated products have a greater challenge utilizing a 30-second TV spot – it is easier to express the advantages of soap, for example, than an enterprise software for hotels.  Moreover, it may be effective marketing to have a talking plush toy molest your date on the couch if you are a dating website; but less so to have the same toy attack a group of concerned IT folk over their failing software integration project. A true corporate-sponsored viral video does not necessarily seek to express the company brand, but rather ties the brand to something people actually want to watch. Here are some tips for producing successfully viral product videos:

  1. Go nuts! A viral video can be anything you want it to be. Anything. So don’t waste your time and money filming a live action version of your sales collateral. With rare exceptions (see Corning Glass again), this will result in an uninteresting video. To truly embrace the viral video culture, you need to loosen that tie. Embed your product or message in an unrelated and self-referential world that is designed purely for entertainment.
  2. Amplify accessibility. Uploading your video to every video site under the sun, sharing it with all possible friends and constituents on every social media platform, making it easy to download and view with all players, making it mobile-friendly and emailing it to your Mom are all important. For corporate videos and sponsorships, these are table stakes. If you are investing money in your video and want it to be a hit, it pays to promote it. Don’t just make it easy to find, make it hard to avoid and people will see your message.
  3. Hire an expert. At Evolve Media, we specialize in highly creative videos. We thrive on comedy. We love great music. We are immersed in the world of filmmaking, art, culture and entertainment. This is what we do. Bring us your ideas and let’s have some fun. We can make it happen. Want proof? We were approached by the creator of Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1610527)  and a producer at Goodby Silverstein & Partners.  They wanted Evolve Media to help concept, write, and produce a viral video series for a new App they developed called Ozgood.  These were designed to be viral, entertaining videos that targeted college age male students.  Shortly after releasing them, they were picked up by Will Farrell’s company “Funny or Die” as well as “Ebaums World”.  Due to the success of the videos, there has been movement to develop the concept into a feature film.

 

 

Further articles on this subject we recommend:

AdWeek’s 10 Most Watched ads in April 2013

Fairwaytech.com – Corporate Videos, Boon or Epic Fail?

Rewatchable.com – Viral Corporate Video Done Right

Women In Business – How to Go Viral

Videomaker.com – How To Make A Viral Video

Desktop Video – Making Viral Videos

We are producing a new short film and need your help.  Whatever you can contribute will help $1 or $20 or even more.  Please go to our Kickstarter page and check out the project.  We will be releasing the first scene in a week and would love to have you on board.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12806/the-spirit-machine-a-little-film-with-big-fx

WestJet has produced two April Fools / Viral Videos over the past couple of years.  What makes these videos effective is that they use their own location and products in order to sell the joke.  We actually get to see the inside of the airport and airplane and it helps to lead the viewer to believe that it should be taken seriously.  Also, the videos do not introduce the absurdity of their concept until later in the videos, so the reveal becomes much more entertaining.

As a company looking to produce a viral video at a reasonable cost, the first question you should ask yourself is “How can I use my product or business to help sell the viral video?”

If you are looking to go viral then you really need to go all in. Too many times with corporate and commercial video the brand identity and message get in the way of the viral aspects of the piece.

Here is a great example of a viral piece that will work. As of today the piece is already at 1M views.

Evolve Media just finished filming in Brooklyn, NY and San Francisco, CA for the newly released PayPal Here product. We also edited together their Global video by adding footage filmed in Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong.

The New York and San Francisco videos were filmed on the new RED Scarlet cameras.

We just got back from a whirlwind trip to NYC.  We can’t tell you what we were filming for yet, but here is a sneak peek photo from us on the streets of Brooklyn NY.  We were filming on the new RED Scarlet cameras.Image

This is our most recent TV spot. It was shot on a green screen out doors. It contains some pretty heavy visual effects. You can see the behind the scenes photos on our Flickr page as well.

Click Here to View The Video Titled: Genentech Jeopardy 1. This is a sample of one of the three training videos that Evolve Media produced for Genentech’s internal sales training.  The Evolve team concepted the ideas, wrote the script, produced the videos, and added all of the visual effects to make them work.