[Update: As you can see, the video I wrote about has since been pulled off of YouTube. I have no idea why, but it can still be found on Funny or Die. Still, even if it isn’t on YouTube, it’s a fine example of what you need to do to make an online video people will actually watch.]
If you’re planning on doing some viral video advertising on YouTube, this is the way it should be done:
It’s funny, it’s creative, and it isn’t pandering to the viewer. It also gets the product message out by being part of the joke, without being the joke itself, rather like putting Aspirin in applesauce and feeding it to a child.
So what’s the secret? Again, to produce something entertaining and funny, you need to have actual talent, or hire it. This video isn’t funny because someone told you it was funny, it’s actually funny. When you have a funny idea for a viral video campaign, share it with a few people to be sure it actually is funny. Better yet, hire on some people who have a track record of producing comedy. You may not be able to get Fred Willard, but the idea’s still the same.
Also, they kept it relatively short, too – not TV commercial short, but sketch comedy short. Three minutes is all you need to get the job done.
Producing these things doesn’t have to be expensive, though I’m sure this one cost a bit more than the average small business is willing to spend. If that’s you, you can certainly produce something on a budget if what you make is entertaining.
Remember that, if nothing else: Just having a video on YouTube isn’t enough to get hundreds of thousands of views – it has to be something you would watch yourself, whether it was a commercial or not.