I’ve been asked to provide some commentary as to how this video was created, marketed and received. Oh, and I’m supposed to answer the ever-important question as to WHY I did all of this. Well, read on and you will get the answers to the questions you seek…
First, it’s a joke. It was a planned process that was shot over the course of 3 hours on Saturday afternoon. While it was planned, we wanted to stage it so it looked like it wasn’t planned, which we were successful in doing. It was a video project for one of my MBA classes where, while largely based on how you approached the project, the number of views the video received counted towards your grade. A clever little scheme by a clever professor (Prof. Michael Parent). There were a number of groups, so there wasn’t a static number that once you reached a certain number of views you received a certain grade. No, it was all relative: where you and your group placed compared to your classmates determined your grade.
It wasn’t just me that took this idea to reality either. I had two wonderful group members. In fact, it was my teammate, Vivian, that came up with the idea of doing a prank video. Then, as a team, we developed it into the masterpiece you see before you =P We chose a prank video because we felt that humour was something that was cross-cultural, and if we want to make our video as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, we wanted the underlying theme to be one surrounding humour.
We, just like the rest of the groups in the class, tried a number of different avenues to attain “hits”, or views of our video. For instance, we not only promoted our YouTube video by embedding it on websites, but we also created our own website, embeded the video on it, devised a way to make the video automatically play once a visitor came to the site, and then promoted that website as well. This way, in a perfect world, one person could be marketed to twice (if that makes sense, which, coming from me, means it probably doesn’t!).
Another avenue we took was immediately building a Facebook group promoting the launch of our video. We invited all of our friends so that they could easily access the video. Being the admin of the Facebook group allowed me to get in touch with everyone in the group in one fell swoop, which is very important when you want to push your video at any given time.
Anyway, the video was received very well. As mentioned earlier, we wanted it to seem authentic, which it did. The authenticity helped create truthful comments on the video, usually based around the idea that someone “out there” managed to pull this kind of prank off. In fact, I was even approached by MTV, who wanted to use this video to help promote one of their new shows which revolved around pranks. While myself and my group members declined their offer, it just goes to show that even a small-time video, made by students from a 45-student MBA class in Vancouver, can make its way onto the radar of a large, global company.