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Viral Videos & Out-of-Touch Executives

· Celebrity Apprentice,Viral,video marketing

Celebrity Apprentice, Season 12 Ep. 5:
"I'm Going to Mop the Floor With You"

On this week's episode, Donald Trump gives the contestants the challenge of designing a viral video campaign for O-Cedar. Sounds good in theory. However, the corporate execs require that product information be included in the video. This is where things go sideways.

"Make [the video] fun," the executives instruct, "but the product needs to be the hero. Do a good job educating on product features, [and] get the brand messaging."

Designed to Fail
WHAT are the executives thinking?!? Have they never seen a viral video? The general public does not want sales information in a viral video! We pass on entertaining/stupid/funny/jaw-dropping videos to friends—not sales pieces. Clearly, these executives don't get it. Based on O-Cedar's demands, the contestants have almost no chance of making a viral video.

Look at what works
This is a culture where "Charlie Bit My Finger" has nearly 500 million views, "Numa Numa" has 46 million views, and "The Evolution of Dance" has almost 200 million views. The common theme? They are entertaining — NOT selling.

What would I do differently?
I would give the contestants free-reign with their creativity. Afterall, if they wanted to push brand messaging, why not use their corporate brand marketing team? They came on the show to elicit creative ideas from a group of celebrities and they should value that contribution.

I'd ask contestants to include my product visually, but not require product features be discussed. My goals would be to 1) entertain the public, and 2) pique interest so folks want to know more.

How would I define success?
By the percentage of people who clicked from the video to my website to learn more about the product. I would look at industry benchmarks to determine the percent and then communicate the goal to the teams and see who does it best.

Executive Take-Away
Your company website is the space to discuss product features—not your viral video. Use video as a "call to action" to send people to your site where you will have a better chance of converting them to purchase.