I’ve heard people say so many times “I’d like to create a viral video” or help me “start a movement.”…I wish it were that easy! Of course there’s no exact formula to create a viral video or start a movement. But you can create a compelling piece of content and hope people want to watch and share it. And those very rare times when something really catches on, when you reach the tipping point and people are sharing your own video back with you…well, that’s unplanned, inexplicable and impossible to predict.
The launch of #LoveHasNoLabels has blown me away. You know you’ve created a movement when people outside your family start calling it a movement. And when someone at Buzzfeed emails you and calls it a “massively viral” video. And when your video gets more than 70 million views in 4 days! And when FLOTUS tweets about it!!
The response to the release of the #LoveHasNoLabels video has been beyond inspiring. We’ve heard from people around the world who have been touched and moved to tears. They’re sharing their own very personal stories of how they’ve experienced bias, prejudice and discrimination. And we’re starting to hear people saying that they’re thinking about their own implicit bias (our ultimate goal).
Here’s what I think was the trifecta of our success:
- It’s an incredibly brilliant piece of film developed by our amazingly talented agency partner R/GA that makes you cry every time you watch it.
Lesson: Choose the right content creator, make sure your product is something that people want to watch over and over again.
- Upworthy agreed to debut the video exclusively to their 7.5 million Facebook fans (Upworthy creates and promotes social good content). Within seconds the video was viewed thousands of times. Within minutes it was shared around the world.
Lesson: Your content is only as good as your distribution or “launch” plan. Identify the people you want to reach and go to them first.
- It’s the right message at the right time. We are a country that feels divided. The stories that dominate the news headlines exemplify that. Kids are bullied every day because they are perceived as different. The message, and the people we featured in the video (who have real relationships), were personal and identifiable.
Lesson: If content echoes the cultural climate, you have a much greater chance of hitting it big.
Oh, yeah and it’s about love. And who doesn’t love love?