Who would you give a mascot to?

It’s almost the big holidays and that means it’s the perfect time for me to arrange my very first giveaway! But it’s not like other giveaway contests because this is not for you, but for a person you would like to give it to. So if you have a friend or a family member that you believe deserve and would appreciate their very own Handy Mascot, write it down in a comment on our YouTube page underneath the video! On December 7 I will check all the comments and the one that has gotten most thumbs up will be the winner! I will of course post a video with the result the following week.

Keep in mind that this Handy Mascot kit is not safe for children under the age of 12 years old so only plan to give it to people you know that are at least 12 years old!

If you win this kit, I will send it to you, so that you in turn can lovingly give it away to that deserving family member or friend as a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa gift! There is nothing to lose, so why not take a chance? Write down who you would like to give this to and why in the comment section on our YouTube page. And don’t forget to share this video with as many as possible and subscribe to our YouTube channel to find out who gets the prize!

Happy holidays!

You can see a lot more videos about this mascot on our Barri section.

If you wish, you can also buy this kit. There are a few kits available on our eBay page: http://www.ebay.com/itm/HANDY-MASCOT-KIT-/321543214152?

How to make viral videos

Viral Videos

If your innovation or service turns out to be really good, you may consider commercializing and build your own company around it. But the road to commercial success is a long and often a costly one. One of the major expenses tends to be marketing, but what if you could accomplish world-wide awareness one a shoe-string budget? This is what viral videos can accomplish for you. In this article I will give you a basic insight to what a video should have in order to go viral, and also what properties it should have to increase its viral potential even further. But first, lets talk about what a viral video really is:

On February 2, 2013, a group of teenagers from Queensland, Australia (known on YouTube as TheSunnyCoastSkate) made this video with the song “The Harlem Shake” by the artist BAAUER. What may seem like a silly and useless video soon became one of the most viral videos in history! Because the video was silly, unexpected, imitable and modifiable, people from all around the world made their own “The Harlem Shake” video. At the height of its popularity, thousands of similar videos was uploaded to YouTube every day! The following compilation video shows a tiny fraction of all those videos:

By March 24, 2013, only 40 days after the original video was published, all “The Harlem Shake” videos combined reached a total of 1 billion views! And it all began with a silly idea, a simple video camera and the public’s engagement. This is the power of viral videos! We can only imagine how many customers these teenagers would have gotten if they did this video as a PR stunt for, lets say, a dance show or dance classes. Can you imagine how quickly and easily you could reach worldwide knowledge if you manage to repeat this success and relate it to your innovation or service? Baauer was definitely not disappointing since this viral video made his single reach #1 on the iTunes America chart and #2 on iTunes in the UK and Australia on February 15, 2013, only 13 days after the video was published!

Companies worldwide have realized the power of viral videos and uses them to reach a much larger audience then they might have achieved with traditional marketing. The Swedish truck manufacturer Volvo Trucks is one of these companies, and they released this video to spread the knowledge about their new steering technology:

This epic stunt was a huge success and after only one week it had been viewed 35 million times! And like all viral videos, it caused other people to imitate and spoof it, making even more epic looking stunts like these:

Imitation videos like these only increased the impact of Volvo Trucks original video and gave them a huge boost in their effort to spread the word of their new system. But it’s not always obvious which video idea will go viral, and even a huge company like Volvo Trucks can make mistakes. Before they made the epic split video, they made this video in order to spread the word of the same thing, their new steering technology.

While this did get over 6 million views, it cannot compare to the almost 80 million views and many imitation videos people made of it. The difference was that it was much easier to imitate the epic split on skateboards, food carts and much more than it was to imitate steering with a hamster. And this leads us to viral video rule number 1:

If people can imitate, build upon, making parodies of or in other ways create their own videos that are directly related to yours, it have a much higher chance of going viral!

Another company that have had great success with making viral videos is Red Bull. Whether you like the Red Bull or not, it can’t be denied that they create one viral video after another. The following video is a compilation of some of their work:

In Red Bulls case, they have tapped in to another strong force, peoples opinion of what is cool. In most cases, what is cool is highly subjective and can differ widely from person to person. But when it comes to extreme sports and elaborate stunts, the majority of people will agree that it is cool. By making professional videos of extreme sports and stunts, they can rest assured that they will always have a thankful audience who seeks out their videos and more information about their products.

The video camera maker Go Pro Inc. has also tapped in to the very same source of coolness, recording not only sports and stunts, but also great scenic views that are simply stunning:

It is a perfect way of getting attention and at the same time demonstrating the quality of their products, which leads us to the next viral rule:

#2: If you can prove how great your product or service is within the video, it will have a higher chance of going viral.

By following this rule, Go Pro has become extraordinary popular, so much so that Adweek (a weekly American advertising trade publication) listed Go Pro as one of the “Top 10 Best Brand Channels on YouTube” in April 2014.

But, we hear you say, these commercial videos are obviously planned to perfection and must have cost much more to produce then what any ordinary person or small business can afford to pay. So how can I make viral movies without going bankrupt?

Well the good news is that while it is easier to make viral videos with a Hollywood budget, there are plenty of other tricks and techniques you can use to achieve virality without having to take big financial risks. You probably have other resources that you can tap into and use, such as abilities, personal traits or social connections. Let us view one example of this:

Here we can see how Jordan Maron (alias CaptainSparklez) uses his knowledge of 3D software, sound recording and songwriting to make parody videos of one of the worlds most popular game: Minecraft. His channel has over 8 million subscribes, and his videos have been seen more than 1.5 billion times in total! He sells T-shirts and the songs on iTunes and probably make a very decent living! Think about it, how much business could you have if you had 8 million subscribers? No Hollywood budget needed, just time, passion and knowledge. So the third rule of viral videos must be:

Use what you have. Your resources, skills, friends etc. can easily remove any need for a big budget.

But what if you feel like you don’t have skills as honed and professional as Jordan Maron? Well, you could study and practice of course, but in all honesty, your video doesn’t have to be top-notch quality to go viral. It is far more important that you have a new and unexpected video idea that makes people react and feel something. Just watch this compilation of some of the most viral YouTube videos of all time and think about how simply they were made:

Most of these videos where not hard or expensive to make. Their virality came from being unexpectable enough to catch peoples attention. So whether your video is silly, cool, insightful, tragic, accidental or just plain weird, the fourth rule of viral video creating must be:

The content or message must be unexpected, or else it will never go viral!

So what if you can’t think of any unexpected video idea? Well you can always piggy back on other viral videos. Modify already successful videos and use their popularity. This might seem unethical to some, because we are so used to not taking advantage of other peoples hard work without their approval. But viral videos is an exception. The very heart of virality is that others copy, imitate and modify them, otherwise they wouldn’t be viral! Also remember that by making a video that is a modified version of someone elses, you also give something back to them since it will increase their videos virality. Everybody wins! So the next rule is:

If you can, piggy back on other viral videos by imitating and modifying their video idea.

The Swedish company ComHem has used this solution to market their broadband services:

By now you might have noticed some other patterns among all these successful viral videos. One such pattern is that they never focus on their main target audience. When making a viral video, it may be tempting to design the video so it speaks only to your target audience, but this is a huge mistake! The aim of viral videos is not to convince every viewer to buy your goods or services. In fact, you may find that only 1 in 10000 viewers become a new costumer. But when a video becomes viral, it reaches millions of people directly, even more people indirectly and yet more by word of mouth. All in all, even the lowest ranking viral video reaches tens of millions of potential costumers, and if only 1 in 10000 becomes your customer, it is still 1000 new costumers! Considering how little money you need to make the video, it is a huge win compared to traditional marketing strategies! So remember:

Don’t focus on your target audience, make a video that everyone can enjoy.

Another pattern is the absence of commercial messages in the beginning of the video. People in general do not like commercials and any hint of commercial message in the beginning of your video will severely reduce the chance of it going viral. If you absolutely have to, you can show it in the beginning, but best of all is to wait to the very end with your commercial message. Also, try to keep it short. A brand, logo, slogan or short description is fine, but resist the urge to do a sales pitch. So the next rule of viral video creation is:

Delay your commercial message as much as possible. Keep it short and don’t attempt a sales pitch.

Ok, so lets say you’ve followed all the rules so far, and made a video with great viral potential. Now what? Well, uploading is the next step, but there are so many video sites out there, can you choose anyone? Yes you can, providing that YouTube is one of them! It is a cold hard fact that YouTube is by far the biggest video content site in the world, and no other comes even close. I have seen hundreds of viral videos, and not a single one came from a different site than YouTube. So viral video rule number 8 is:

You must upload the video to YouTube!

So you have uploaded your great video to YouTube, and…nothing happens…what happened? Is it a failure? No, in most cases it takes time for videos to be discovered. Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s trends manager, explains how, when and why videos goes viral in this video:

As Kevin Allocca sais, the videos have to be discovered by someone who many people listens to. This is why you must take matters in to your own hands and seek out those people, those taste makers that could cause your video to go viral! Send e-mail, free-bees, pay them, do anything and everything you can to raise the taste makers awareness. Rule #9:

Don’t wait for people to find your video, seek out persons that have a big fan base and make them notice it!

Ok, you’ve raised awareness among the taste makers, and they have started talking about your video, product or service with their fan base. Maybe you have even manage to be mention on a popular talk show! So, have you succeed in going viral? Maybe, but why stop there? Follow up on your video/product/service. Release “Behind the scenes” video of making the video, arrange contests and give away prizes, make new viral videos that surf on the success of your first! Basically speaking, make as much use of your success as possible! Would you rather have a moderate viral success or a huge viral success? The difference is all summed up in rule #10:

When your video starts going viral, don’t be lazy. Make the most of it!

The art of creating viral videos is difficult, but not impossible. Even a poor unemployed person like myself can make a potential viral video to spread the word of this site, Crafters University. I started this site because I want to collect the greatest DIY tutorial videos online and help others to be better at crafting, maybe even create a McGyver or two. But since I am unemployed, I can’t get a big bank loan. And since I am mostly self-taught in the area of crafting, it would be very difficult to convince a sponsor or investor to invest in me. So I took what I’ve learned from viral videos, used my self-taught skills, and made my own attempt of a viral video by showing some of the DIY videos i have collected on this site:

 

It would seem I have followed all the rules of viral video creation. So I will succeed right? No, not necessarily. You see, the phenomenon of virality is not an exact science and it is impossible to predict if a video will go viral or not. You may dwell even deeper into this area, learning how to choose a suitable song for the video, learning super cool video-editing tricks, practicing rhetorics, keeping the video short, using a “Hook” and much more. But ultimately, there are no guarantees. Sometimes, not matter how great a video is, it never becomes viral, and you’ll never know why. This is why the most fundamental or rules apply, whether it is life, career, love or anything else:

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

So only time will tell if my attempt of making a viral video will work. If you think it is worth going viral, or if you simply like my site and wish to help me out, share my video or this article with your friends! That way, if it does turn viral in the future, you’ll know that it was partially thanks to you!

I wish you the best of luck in creating your viral video, finding costumers and building your own company with the minimum of hassle. Before I finally give you the summarized list of rules, I just want to thank you for reading this article, and I hope to see you back on my site time and time again!

The ten rules of viral video creation:

1#: If people can imitate, build upon, making parodies of or in other ways create their own videos that are directly related to yours, it have a much higher chance of going viral!

#2: If you can prove how great your product or service is within the video, it will have a higher chance of going viral.

#3: Use what you have. Your resources, skills, friends etc. can easily remove any need for a big budget.

4#: The content or message must be unexpected, or else it will never go viral!

5#: If you can, piggy back on other viral videos by imitating and modifying their video idea.

6#: Don’t focus on your target audience, make a video that everyone can enjoy.

7#: Delay your commercial message as much as possible. Keep it short and don’t attempt a sales pitch.

8#: You must upload the video to YouTube!

9#: Don’t wait for people to find your video, seek out persons that have a big fan base and make them notice it!

10#: When your video starts going viral, don’t be lazy. Make the most of it!

And remember: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more news!

 

Sources:

https://www.youtube.com

http://www.bestofyoutube.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlem_Shake_(meme)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Claude_Van_Damme#Public_image_and_influence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Bull#Advertising

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoPro#Content_company

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan_Maron