Want Your Videos to Go Viral? The Packard Brothers Show You How

Getting Viral With The Packard Brothers

Getting Viral With The Packard Brothers

On an unassuming Wednesday afternoon in February, two young men stood before a room of PR pros and demonstrated how to use shock, awe, humor and above all, creativity, to help online videos go viral.

Jack and Nick Packard of Packard Brothers, a Milwaukee-area video production agency, shared their knowledge, experience and examples of creating Web videos that get noticed and passed along.

Here are a few takeaways from the presentation:

The most successful videos on the Web tend to be one of these three types:

  • Craft (DIY instruction)
  • Co-op (leveraging existing entities, i.e. making a real-life Angry Birds game)
  • Idiocy (self explanatory)

Successful online videos need:

  • Simple premise
  • Catchy music synched with action
  • Short length (2 min or less is ideal)
  • Relatable format (viewer says “I could have shot that!”)
  • Great editing

Successful videos (for brands) should be built with:
A clear call-to-action (give the viewer something to DO after viewing)

Measuring online videos’ success:

  • YouTube Analytics
  • Google Analytics
  • Unique visitors to the site your video pointed them
  • Offer redemption if the video led to a coupon/promotion

How many views will a successful comedy video have? The Packards believe the number is 100,000. (Real/organic views – not purchased)

Advice to brands/clients/businesses/executives:

  • Be willing to take risks
  • Have patience – success doesn’t come overnight
  • Good creative ideas trump production quality, every time

Everyone hopes their clever videos go viral, but a communications strategy that sounds like “We will produce a viral video …” is absurd and a recipe for disaster. Jack Packard demonstrated that point with perhaps the most salient advice of the presentation by saying, “Calling a video on the web a viral video is like calling anyone with legs a marathoner.”