Lighting The Lamp: A Viral Video Goal

How do you make a video go viral? Fact is, you can’t.  Why? Take music for example…how many thousands of songs have been created by the top artists—songs that had all the lyrics, sound, and star-quality to make them hits—and how many songs have actually been hits?

The same is true for viral videos. You can include all the elements that make pop culture popular. You can create a funny or visually stunning or heartfelt video—do everything you can.

And what actually goes viral? “Double Rainbow Guy.”

Our local USHL hockey team, the Fargo Force, had its own success story. They created a video with the goal of selling season tickets for next season—using the theme seen often with “save the children” or “save the animals”—but did their own, funny take—based on a commercial for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and using a Sarah McLachlan song as a touching background.

From a concept developed by their Ticket Manager, Trevor Christiansen, the video was scripted, edited and acted out entirely by Force staff members and players, and shot with the assistance of Chad Ekren and his company, Ekren Media.

We like to shoot different promo videos for season tickets that are different and grab the attention of potential season ticket holders. We never thought it would have the possibility of going viral and we didn’t shoot with that intention. Our intention is to attract season ticket holders and entice them to buy,” said Whitney Baumgartner,  Media & Community Relations Director.

“Cost was within our contract with Chad. He is also our production/video director on game days and shoots our other videos as well, such as our opening video and other promo videos. It took only about two hours with the players and one coach.”

The video was sent out through the usual social media channels. The video was online for over a week before the team’s ticket manager tweeted it to Rick Chandler, host of nbcsports.com’s “Off The Bench”, with the headline, “The Fargo Force Has The Greatest Minor League Hockey Promo Video of the Year So Far.”

From there, the video was spread to nbcnews.com, cbssports.com, Minneapolis’ startribune.com, yahoo.com, SI.com, and many other sports and blog sites.

And a final sign the video had really hit the big time? The YouTube version (currently with almost 70,000 views) now has ads playing before the video itself.

So what does the team do next year for an encore? “Fans will just have to wait to see what we do next!”, said Baumgartner.

See the video for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gHv9U8v4EI

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