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  • HP’s Viral Hopes – A Powerful Video Campaign Example

    13 July 2010

    Viral VideoWhat does it take to make a video campaign go viral?  It seems that a huge chunk of the videos online that have gone viral were not planned that way.  Everything from giggling quadruplets to free hugs have garnered millions of views without any promotion (over 60 million views for the latter!).  They are the very definition of viral.  A few people see a video; they love it; they pass it to their friends, who pass it to their friends, etc.  But can a company duplicate these results?  HP thinks so, and they’re probably right.  Of course it’s going to take a certain kind of campaign to go viral, and if their first video in the “Make It Big” series is any indication, they have all the elements down.

    First, let’s look at the video:

    While it isn’t knock-you-off-your-seat powerful, this video has some great elements to it.  Let’s look at the elements HP has included to make this video a good viral video candidate:

    1. Great Targeting – HP’s Make It Big campaign is targeted at entrepreneurs who have small to medium sized businesses.  The person in the video typifies such an entrepreneur, because he’s about the age of the majority of these entrepreneurs, and people that age often have kids, so the inclusion of a family-oriented focus is no coincidence.  Obviously many women are entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes and age groups, but in general, most of us can identify to some degree with the guy in the video.

    2. Mystery Element – When you see the video for the first time, it’s not clear exactly what it’s all about.  While it might seem like a bad idea to keep your audience guessing, it’s actually a great technique for hooking people into watching and paying closer attention.  For proof, just look to TV shows like Lost, where they’ve taken the “keep ‘em guessing” factor to new levels with tremendous success.  The look on the faces of the kids when you know they’re amazed but don’t know why is a great use of this element.

    3. Cool Factor – If you want something to go viral, this is the most important element of all.  The video has to make people laugh, tug at their emotions, or at least make them say, “Cool!”  The HP video fulfils these criteria in a couple of ways: First, the toy cars and track turning into a life-sized track and cars is pretty cool.  Secondly, when the guy’s daughter whispers, “That’s my dad,” it invokes a sense of pride, as a parent who has accomplished something special.  No doubt HP did some research that showed them one reason people want to succeed as entrepreneurs is to leave a legacy for their children.

    So will HP’s bid to make their campaign go viral work?  It remains to be seen, but they’re on the right track.  Do you use video in your business?  Have you done anything to try to make it go viral, or do you leave that to chance?  Leave some feedback in the comments below.

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    26 Responses to HP’s Viral Hopes – A Powerful Video Campaign Example

    1. Laptop Briefcases July 13, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

      Maybe I’m just prejudiced against HP, but to me this is nothing but another commercial. The whole real sized toy car concept is cool for a second or two, but it quickly loses it’s appeal. I just don’t see a video like this going viral. Very specific people may pass it on to others, but to the rest of the masses it’s nothing but an ad. To me there is little wow factor there.

    2. Credit Girl July 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

      Yeah this video is just pretty darn awesome! I totally agree with the points that you make in terms of it becoming a pretty viral video. HP does a good job of carrying out the video.

    3. Alex Posicionamiento Web July 13, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

      This is a very interesting article because there are a lot of new innovation in the web where you can advertise and promote. Using a video file to create a video campaign is really great because there are a lot of people who would really want to know more about something just by simply watching a video. This article would not only promote video campaigning but it would also help a lot of advertisers and promoters to highly develop their marketing skills through video. Not only that, but there would also be more job opportunities for video makers and video editors due to the high demand of video editing.

      Thanks for the great article! Keep it up!


    4. JohnAtBlogtrepreneur July 14, 2010 at 9:33 am #

      Not to go against our own article at all, but in some ways I agree with Laptop. The video does technically have all the elements necessary to go viral, but as the article points out, the videos that have really taken off virally haven’t been by companies with something to gain, so they aren’t as commercial. Will be interesting to see if HP can pull it off.

    5. Travel Opportunities July 15, 2010 at 7:09 am #

      Yeah, I don’t think this is a video that has potential to go viral, heck I don’t even get it! LOL

    6. cleaning services July 15, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

      Yea im with Laptop too – i don’;t see this one hitting the mark like the other successful viral videos. It’s good though – but not enough in my opinion.

    7. tires July 15, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

      To be quite honest, I was expecting more out of the ad, but nonetheless I did give it a chance by watching it, however I would not really deem it worthy of a viral ad at all. Whoever is heading up this project at HP, had the right idea in mind but I think there lacks something more special in the ad, it’s got the right direction but there’s an element I feel that is missing it from making it special, that It did not connect with me. There is no doubt in my mind that the commercial is good, but it’s nothing worthy of passing it on your friends.

      Just my 2 cents.

      Till then,


    8. Bidet July 19, 2010 at 4:50 am #

      I agree with everyone here, it does not have what it takes to go viral, usually the viral videos are the videos filmed on someones personal camera and they are never made just to go viral, they go viral on their own just because of the randomness of the video. Like “The Charlie Bit Me” video. Its a pretty dumb video but so many people like it because its so unexpected.

    9. Email Marketing Blog July 19, 2010 at 6:40 am #

      Nope – definitely not viral but it is a unique ad. Bidet made an excellent point about the “unrehearsed” factor of a viral ad.

    10. Escort Service London July 19, 2010 at 7:48 am #

      It’s not the first time HP had a video go viral – which was not even theirs. It was a student ad.

      The same guys are back now with another great one with the same style, and one which is already climbing the viral video charts.

      It has now 30.000 views (in 2 days).

    11. Car Rental July 19, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

      i have my doubts about this video but it can still go viral. It will be interesting to see the results.

    12. LS 2208 August 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

      Very cool. Why is it that video’s being made for the net are so much cooler than the crappy commercials we always see on TV. It’s like the marketing dept. who are in charge of TV commercials are in the stone ages or something. Only a few ads on TV are getting creative, while most are still made with 1980′s type thinking.

      The coolest viral one lately has been the Old Spice commercials on YouTube. Very cool.

    13. Sandra ley de atraccion October 10, 2010 at 8:54 am #

      i only use videos to keep my visitiors more minutes in my site, they are very useful in this sense. I should consider other uses such as advertising!
      Thanks for the information!

    14. Erick - Plantas Electricas March 12, 2011 at 8:33 am #

      YouTube has become a means of promoting bands and their music. Many independent musicians, as well as large companies such as Universal Music Group, use YouTube to promote videos.

      A video broadcasting the Free Hugs Campaign, with accompanying music by the Sick Puppies, led to instant fame for both the band and the campaign,] with more campaigns taking place in different parts of the world. The main character of the video, Juan Mann, achieved recognition after being interviewed on Australian news programs and appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

    15. rafa - como bajar de peso en una semana May 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

      isexcellent outreach campaign videos are Excellency for internet marketing

    16. Seba - Trabajar en internet May 25, 2011 at 11:01 am #

      Thanks adam. I’m just starting with video marketing and this article gave me a different vision as I should. Very grateful for your article.
      I say it is a great option for pormocionar my business but it is not easy if you do not know how to do

      thanks again ..

    17. Boda June 28, 2011 at 10:49 am #

      i only use videos to keep my visitiors more minutes in my site, this video is just pretty darn awesome! I totally agree with the points that you make in terms of it becoming a pretty viral video.

    18. javier | jeans August 2, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

      The message of the video would make you more competitive you can using hp tools and there is a family to identify the family-run company.

    19. optimizepress español August 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

      Hello, this video is very goog and dark awesome!. I agree with the points that you make in terms of it becoming a pretty viral video. HP does a good job of carrying out the video.

      thanks for sharing. Xime

    20. Ivon Paginas Web August 31, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

      At first I wanted to see the video but I was fascinated, I think adding the cool factor and detail of children playing with dad’s what I loved most, I think it’s important to live with the family and likes and so what makes sharing with friends, friends of friends, family and coworkers, it is important these three points are well connected and given a form that appeals to everyone.

    21. Robby - Alquiler autobuses October 14, 2011 at 5:53 am #

      I totally agree with the points that you make in terms of it becoming a pretty viral video. HP does a good job of carrying out the video.

    22. eric | asian store November 3, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      The technique used is very good, keeps the audience interested. thanks!

    23. Persianas November 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

      Is an excellent outreach campaign videos are Excellency for internet marketing

    24. martin May 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

      there is an element that is the key to make it viral, and this video shows that.

    25. sean February 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      nice post, thank you!

    26. Betjai August 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

      Facebook A Would Say 1% Was Royalty For Every Year After Serves Renderd After Site Was Completed / And We Was Nw To All This We Dident Know It Would Take Of Thats Why He Settled For A Grand And You No The Res

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