Was that real or fake? It’s this type of question invoked by millions of YouTube video viewers that leads a brand to viral video heaven.
Remember when Roger Federer knocked that can off a crewmembers’ head in what they claimed was a trick shot.
Or more recently the Microsoft video of the longest waterslide.
These types of videos aren’t just watched once or partially watched and passed over for the next video link or news story. Viewers are watching repeatedly, tweeting it, posting it, sharing it, and creating an organic buzz as a result of the skepticism surrounding it. Proving the “social” in social media, people are asking, “How’d they do that?” “Is it real?” and “How could they fake that?” Everyone is going online clicking the video up for dispute, playing and pausing and trying to solve the mystery. The online community without any coercion will circulate the video and come together creating CSI-like discussions. Thousands will comment, reply, like and dislike building a brand’s real/fake video into something equivalent to a highly publicized celebrity scandal. In the end, viewers will amplify the “Is it real?” video to rack up millions of hits to a (what seems to be) scantily placed YouTube video.
Some brands do this very well and some well, they might be making it a little too obvious like this one just done by Pepsi where David Beckham nonchalantly kicks not one but three soccer balls into trash cans in the far away distance.
However, that said it didn’t stop this “Is it real?” genre video from going into viral bliss as it approaches the 4 million views mark. What really makes this genre of video almost always a home-run for brands is its playful nature. Yes, they are messing with the viewer, but they are also entertaining them and usually using a celebrity to do so, and in return receive a highly positive response from viewers/customers who enjoy the challenge of putting their inquisitive skills to the test.