Lessons from making the world’s #1 Vuvuzela instructional video

By Ted Wright June 22, 2010

We recently produced what turned out to be the #1 Vuvuzlea (South African soccer horn) instructional video in the world, or at least on YouTube which IS the global clearing house for videos. We had a Vuvuzela in the office because my mother came back from Jo’burg the week before the World Cup started and brought me one. We did the video just for fun because it turned out that I could make a long and sustained note on the horn. I’m also a huge soccer fan and knew about the horns from last year’s tourney in SA. Here’s what we learned from our efforts.

Headlines matter
“How to Blow a Vuvuzela” was ours. Straight forward, to the point and with no adjective flourishes. After people start sharing the video then headlines count for less but getting those first 200-300 eyeballs is critical. This is where headlines matter the most.

Quality rules
The truth is that our video is only OK. It has a strong start, the points are straight forward and the sound/video is good but the end lacks pop because we didn’t plan out the end. However, the video delivers on it’s headline promise and people were able to use the video to learn how to blow a Vuvuzela. Strong quality all the way through is key to maximizing pass along rates

Have a point of view
At this writing, our video had 8,300 views. Videos that professed hate or love for the Vuvuzela have between 50,000 and 125,000 views at this writing. We did not do our video to gain views. We just did it to watch what would happen. If we were to do another one and we wanted to maximize views, we’d start with a singular premise like “We love to Vuvuzela” or “We hate the Vuvuzela” and let the creative process flow from a more specific and direct POV.

Basic story telling counts
Great stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Your video should as well.

Be relevant to current events
When all the world is interested in X then a way to maximize the number of times your video is discovered in search results is to be relevant to X.

Finally, you must pass the “dinner party” test

To pass the “dinner party” test (i.e. a story that would interest others at a dinner party) your video has to have three elements. It must be interesting to those cutting edge influencers that are always seeking out stories to share with their friends. It must be relevant to your influencer’s audience and it must be authentic to how your audience currently understands your brand or the category it competes in.

These are Fizz’s notes on the subject. Let us know if you have any additional thoughts.


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