You’re probably here thinking “hey, these guys are going to give us a step-by-step on how to make your video go viral!” In that case, sweet, our clickbait headline worked! But also, we’re just going to talk about how WE made a video that ended up going viral. How things go viral is up to the Internet gods, but there are certainly things you can do to help your case… like including a dog breed that everyone seems to love. Wait, no, this isn’t an article of viral tips, let’s rewind!
SkipperFilms produces all kinds of videos in the Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland area. We do corporate promotional videos, kickstarter videos for budding businesses, 360° panoramic videos, wedding films, and just about anything in between. One thing we hadn’t ever done, was create viral Internet content. Viral videos, by nature, are short-lived for the most part, and not necessarily branded. Some of the best viral videos have absolutely no point, cause or reason, and that’s what makes them great! If you’re a well-known YouTuber or website with millions of followers, you have a good chance of producing something that a lot of people will see, but if you’re new to the game, you just have to record your cat 24 hours a day until it does something insanely funny and just hope the internet gods have mercy on your soul.
Our situation was a combination of the two. We were contacted by Max Borges Agency representing ThinkGeek before the summer started, asking about doing a parody video of a popular TV show in the geek communities… but with a homemade looking set and corgis. If you’re not familiar, ThinkGeek is an online retailer of literally everything geek-culture (Star Trek, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, office pranks paraphernalia, etc.). But we didn’t know who the client was yet, and didn’t really know what to think, but it sounded like a fun project, and that usually trumps all other reasons for taking on a project. We pitched our ideas, and assumed this had the ability to reach a large audience, so we were excited! However, a few weeks later we got the call saying the host network had nixed the idea and wouldn’t allow us to get the proper licensing, but ThinkGeek loved the idea for the Corgis so much, they had to find another outlet. Turns out, Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary was coming up in September, and what better way to say “Corg-ratulations” than with a video dedicated to them?
So the shoot was back on, we brainstormed a couple of different ideas, and landed on doing several short iconic scenes from the Original Series mixed together with a cast of adorable corgis, a pug to play Gorn, and a scottie to play…. Well, Scotty.
Finding more than 1 corgi was very difficult, but with the help of some friends in the corgi community, we made it happen. Big thanks to everyone involved! The shoot was mayhem. No two dogs would sit at the same time, when one got up, the other would too. When one sat down, the other three would run away. All the scenes we had carefully scripted out were flying out the window fast. We had to settle for shooting scenes with only 2 or 3 dogs together at a time to limit the chaos, and it kind of worked! We got what we needed (we were never sure of this until we saw the footage), and we called it a day.
We knocked out the edit over the weekend to deliver the first draft 2 days early and start our drafting rounds with ThinkGeek’s team. A couple back-and-forths later, we had a video ready to get posted!
September 8th rolls around, we of course see a slew of Star Trek 50th Anniversary posts, photos, videos, and other social media content. All of the sudden, BAM! There’s our video posted to ThinkGeek’s facebook feed. In the first hour, 30,000 views, then 60,000, then 100,000. I get word from the agency that both George Takei and Nerdist will be sharing the video later that day as well. We were on cloud 9 just watching it all unfold! We did our best to keep our composure, scour the comments seeing if anyone wanted to know who produced it (not many cared, of course), and boosting our own posts so people in the DC area will start associating that video with our company.
Once George Takei and ThinkGeek shared it, the views skyrocketed to over 1 Million by the end of day 1 and 2 Million by the end of day 2! After that, it tapered off a bit, but we were still thoroughly proud of how it all came together and gave us all better results that we could have ever imagined.
I was joking with a fellow producer while it was all blowing up: “I could pour my heart and soul into a beautifully cinematic piece, but after today we’ll still be known as the Star Trek Corgi people….” I’ll start working on that 😀
Live Long and Paws-per!
If you’d like to chat about making your own unique video content, never hesitate to contact us. You can check out some of the other videos we’ve created right here, or schedule a free consultation and we can brainstorm it all together! We look forward to hearing from you!