To the surprise of all those around me, I blurted out, “I know her!” when I saw Kim Dean on the movie screen opposite Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man 3. Repeat that scenario about 50 times in the past week when I’ve turned on the news, checked out Facebook and scanned the Internet.
Enter #Xmasjammies. If you haven’t seen the video by now, you must be living under a rock. I certainly wouldn’t be the first to call out the finer points of why this particular video hit pay dirt in a society of all we want for Christmas is a viral video. However, before we get to the real point of this post, I can’t resist sharing three quick things I think Kim (and company) did particularly well to help their video spread faster than head lice at a daycare.
- Never underestimate the cute factor. Attractive parents. Even cuter kids. Let’s admit it, they are all adorable, and that gets our attention. They also weren’t afraid to be a little goofy and show us a family having fun together. Keep in mind that the video was posted by Kim’s video production company, Greenroom Communications, and is being used as a promotional piece touting the company’s video skills. Involving the family spiked the cute factor and personalized it by inviting you into Kim’s home and melting your hearts with her adorable children. Okay, the part about Penn’s butt is pretty funny, too.
- ‘Tis the season. Anyone in PR knows the value of a timely or seasonal pitch. News outlets are looking for holiday stories this time of the year. In this YouTube era, this is extra topical.
- Can you relate? Watch the video all the way through and you’ll see that Kim’s hubby, Penn, is leaving his job as a news anchor at one of our local stations. Media people are naturally inclined to be interested in what other media people are doing. Maybe they also want to quit and become entrepreneurs. Maybe they think he is insane for leaving a steady job. Either way, it is intriguing, and it isn’t every day that news people are the news.
Okay, so 12 million views and still going. Now what? Kim’s business partner invited us to help ponder that question, and we know that anyone who is successful at nabbing the elusive viral video (as we’ve said before, there is no “viral button” you can just hit — extra kudos to Greenroom for this accomplishment!) has to think about how to harness the power of it.
- Recognize you have a finite window of opportunity to ride the wave before the next Internet sensation moves you down the page. Because #Xmasjammies was made as a video Christmas card, there are natural event marketing and live PR opportunities around the holiday. Depending on Greenroom’s strategic business objectives and client targets, they might want to do live performances at local museums or banks or big corporation holiday parties.
- Don’t forget the end goal. You’ve got all of this attention so how do you use it to increase your bottom line and hit your business goals? Let’s say Kim and team have been trying to get into a particular company all year long without success. Now is the time to show up — yes, in the jammies — with coffee for the CEO first thing in the morning, cleverly packaged with a proposal on what Greenroom can do for the company. Or, maybe one of your corporate goals is to help a charity. If benefiting the charity wasn’t baked into the video strategy from the beginning, use the celebrity factor you have gained to help your charity of choice.
- Consider the impact of 12 million (as of this posting) views, how the video now defines your company and what you want to be moving forward. One of our team members offhandedly remarked, “They should change the company’s name to Xmas Jammies!” Crazy idea or brand recognition? You be the judge.
Our holiday gift to you is this advice on viral videos. Realize that not every video has the ability to go viral. Getting millions of views is no easy accomplishment and doesn’t happen for most brands. If you do go viral, make sure it is with a video or initiative that aligns with your strategy and that you are prepared to utilize the visibility to further your goals. Have you seen brands that are particularly skilled at doing just that? If so, we’d love for you to share your faves with us.