My viral video roundup takes a look back at some of the most innovative content published in March 2015, including a branded video ad that didn’t mention the product, and some user-generated content that could totally work as an ad. So grab a Snickers, snack on a Kit Kat, then relax and see if you can learn a thing or two from Kevin Bacon.

Durex #Connect: Smartphones Make Sex Amazing

When I originally saw this video earlier this month, it was a pre-roll ad on YouTube that I actually chose not to skip past. With a tagline that promises “how to improve your sex life with a smartphone”, It certainly made me absolutely curious and I felt its dubious claim deserved a look….

Interestingly, the brand never once show their own product in the entire 3:42 minute video, yet have generated over 36 million views. Videos that tell a story like this one can be very powerful, but not if viewers click off because they feel they are being over-sold to. By making their branding unobtrusive, I didn’t feel like I was watching an ad and gave the video a chance.

What’s more, by posing a question and then answering it the way they did, I wanted to talk about and share the video with my wife, who sometimes spends more time using her smartphone in bed than the actual pillows. It was relatable, which directly leads to sharing:

How to Pass Snacks to the Rear Seat of a Fighter Jet

I don’t believe this video is an ad but it absolutely should be. Snickers, I’m looking at you. It was quickly moved to unlisted as it was gaining traction and stalled at around 750k views. Views aside, it was a perfect example of how brands can focus on the product without focusing on the product.

Batman Vs Darth Vader – Alternate Ending

Part of what I like to do in this series is look not just at successful video marketing videos, but any successful video online that we can learn from. A light saber battle between Darth Vadar and Batman, need I say more? If you lack the budget or resources to create your own compelling content, take a note from Loot Crate. Their mention took up the first 7 seconds of this video that has been viewed over a million times. When you can’t make something like this yourself, partner with trusted creators who can.

KITKAT Presents: Patrick Boivin, The Imaginative Break

Speaking of partnering with creative producers, Kit Kat did just that with Patrick Boivin, who has been making great content on YouTube for years. Despite the fact its channel on YouTube has less than 15k subscribers, the brand were able to partner with an established creator who is an absolute master of special effects, put the video on their own channel and still get nearly 700k views this month.

The lesson here is not just to partner with successful creators, but to put the content on your own channel. While putting the video on Patrick’s channel may have gotten more views, his audience is more interested in special effects than Kit Kat bars. By putting the content on their own channel, Kit Kat is ensuring that the audience they are engaging with is closer to their target audience.

Kimberly Henderson: Original Content Wins Out

This next example is a bit more of a comparison to demonstrate not only a video that caught fire this month, but the difference between an organic video and one that is put on. Kimberly Henderson shared this video to her personal channel back in December that caught the attention of Cosco, who used the situation to help get them publicity and Kimberly to get an opportunity to break into the music industry.

Compare the original video, which has gained over 4 million views to date on YouTube, to the more produced music video that Cosco helped produce. It has gained only 1.4 million views and half as many shares. And oh by the way, part of Kimberly’s story is that she has been rejected by American Idol 3 times, a show which just happens to be in season right now. So really, this is the perfectly timed opportunity with the perfect story.

Regardless of her talent, the quality of the audio or the production level of the videos in question, the one the feels more authentic is getting shared more. If you can tap into viewers’ emotions, even while filming vertically on a phone, everything else secondary.

Hearing Hands – Touching Ad By Samsung

To announce their new service for the hearing impaired, Samsung set up a situation by which a hearing impaired individual got to feel like everyone they came across could speak with them via sign language. A world with no borders. It has yet to be seen how much the video has impacted signups for Samsung for their service, but it certainly should as it pushed all the right buttons with viewers to the tune of over 9.5 million views on YouTube.

Wake up to Eggs with (Kevin) Bacon

Who doesn’t love Bacon. Kevin Bacon that is. Really this ad isn’t even fair. I don’t know how they got Kevin Bacon to do an advertisement for eggs but the humor filled combination is just one you can’t help but share around.

https://youtu.be/elUNFHEWaCc

Mime Through Time by SketchSHE

This video is particularly interesting to me because it just came out and already has over 7 million hits on Facebook, another 14 million plus on a freebooted copy and the view counter is frozen around 165,000 views as of this posting on YouTube. What’s more, I had already earmarked a similar video from SketchShe earlier this month to talk about that has racked up over 18 million views itself.

The lesson to be learned here is that you should ride with a successful idea until the wheels fall off. Despite the fact that the most common content on their channel leans towards sketch comedy, they have gained significantly more attention and success because of these lip syncing car videos. Eventually I expect the novelty of these videos to wear off, but in the meantime they will have an excellent opportunity to capture an audience that can sustain their sketch comedy for the long haul.

The DeFranco Wedding: A YouTube Love Story

I don’t have any special lessons to teach you here, I just wanted to take a moment to say congrats to Linz and Phil. Phil has been such a leader and inspiration in the new media space and it was beautiful to see the two of them finally share this special moment together. Congrats!