In our interview with the brilliant Margaret Laney, she mentioned how you should ride a good concept until the wheels fall off. As I began thinking about the best videos this past month, I couldn’t help but notice that it felt like everything had been done before. Now certainly, a lot of these are a new twist on an old classic in some cases, but the fact remains that there is a lot to say for sticking with what works. I certainly suggest you keep trying and trying until something feels like it clicks and when it does, like May’s best videos, keep going until it doesn’t work anymore. Either that, or be famous to begin with, that helps too. Let’s take a look at some of best videos of last month in our viral video roundup for May 2015.
Delta: New Take on the Old Safety Video
This one may be my favorite out of the bunch. If you haven’t flown lately, Delta has been trying to freshen up their in-flight safety video. Aside from the fact this is hugely entertaining, it’s also a great idea. The monotony of the old video had gotten to be so bad, that passengers use it’s beginning to signal an opportunity to flip through a catalog full of overpriced items that you don’t need. Delta has scored a huge hit with this most ‘Internetest Safety Video on the Internet’ with over 8.3 million YouTube views at time of writing (both paid and organic).
Like a dog leash that looks like hot dog links. If you have an older video that is still important to your brand, consider doing a re-make to bring it back to the top of search. The internet at large, and Google, favor more recent content.
McDonalds Order Rap
I have to admit, fast food order videos are a guilty pleasure of mine. I don’t think anyone has done it quite as well as Rhett and Link’s folk song or the McDonalds Burger Rap, but this latest incarnation of the order song was cleverly done. It wasn’t the usual drive thru order song, but it was actually inside the restaurant with accompanying music. It’s not an official branded video, but still generated over 5 million earned views for the fast food giant on YouTube, and a staggering 87 million views and 3.1 million engagements on Facebook.
With a little research, you can see what kinds of things were wildly successful that haven’t been done, or done well, in a long while. If you can add a new twist, or even just appeal to an audience that has never seen the original, you could find some easy success.
Shia LaBeouf: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Trends don’t have to be old to make them work either. There is a good chance the Shia LeBeouf meme is the hottest thing right this second. But that’s the problem with trends, you have to jump on them quickly before they aren’t a trend anymore. If you don’t think you have the time or resources to jump in on a trend, grab this footage and just do it. You can thank Shia LaBeouf later.
Robert De Niro: Epic Graduation Speech
There is an opportunity each year during the month of May and June to throw up a commencement speech or at least something even loosely related to one. I’m shocked I haven’t seen more spoofs on the yearly classic, but it presents a great opportunity for added exposure not just the first year the video is uploaded, but it is really quite evergreen if done well. It also helps to have Robert De Niro at the podium.
Prom Season Proposals (Are a Thing)
May is also prom season and what else goes with prom but promposals. If you haven’t come across this term yet, it’s the teenage equivalent of a marriage proposal. I don’t know what happened to just asking a girl (or guy) to prom, but apparently if you can do it well enough to make viewers cringe and you record it, you get not only a date to prom but over 12 million views. Think of some simple things you may take for granted in your business and consider ways to make them more extravagant or entertaining and don’t forget to film the moment while you’re at it.
Slo Mo Guys Serve Up More of the Same
I’m a huge fan of the Slo Mo Guys but they represent the very definition of doing something over and over again once you’ve found success with it. They have been making slow motion videos on their channel for over 4 years with at least 20 of those videos containing some form of fire in slow motion.
Even still, their slow motion video of explosive oil still has brought in nearly 2 million views in the last week. If you have an idea that works, you may not need to change much, just keep making what people like to watch.
Mayor in the Bathroom
There is no video lesson to be learned here, just a public service announcement to remember to turn off your microphone or camera when you take a bathroom break. Nobody needs to see or hear that, although over 4 million viewers have.
Viral Video Honorable Mentions
While YouTube has been busy celebrating and summarizing the past 10 years of online video, some of the stars that have shone the brightest over that time period are making new appearances. There is a high probability I’m one of the dislikes on Justin Bieber’s “Baby” video on YouTube (odds are good with over 4.7 million of them), yet he’s doing a masterful job of re-creating his image doing things like this karaoke appearance for The Late Late Show. His appearance has pulled in over 21 million views in less than two weeks. The lesson here is to be Justin Bieber.
Meanwhile Taylor Swift has pulled in the most views of any video uploaded in the past 30 days with her new single Bad Blood. With these two at the top of the charts it feels like its 2010 all over again.