I got April Fooled, but it further substantiated my comments about viral traffic.
“God fucking dammit!!” I woke up my neighbors yelling late last night. Cruising the /r/all, I spotted a post with the headline HeavyBubbles Uncut and clicked without suspicion.
Yup, that video I praised yesterday for being so fantastically executed… was a prank.
The original video was posted to Youtube on March 30th and only submitted—by what was likely the account of someone on their marketing team—on April 1st. Since the Original Poster (OP) of the video didn’t claim ownership of the content, no one suspected it to be a (more elaborate than most) April Fools prank. Well played Soda Stream, well played.
The ‘uncut’ submission has garnered 2,214 points and 123 comments in the first 20 hours which has driven 77,969 views on Youtube… which is 2K more views than it had when I started writing this email. The original video has jumped from the 800K views it had yesterday to 1.1M and will jump again once it starts making the rounds in the media.
Soda Stream’s ‘Heavy Bubbles’ prank has already been covered by PR Newswire, Boy Genius Report, Us Weekly, Lifehacker, Huffington Post… and Ghost Influence.
When you win Reddit the media does the rest of your marketing.
Funny thing is, they actually proved my point. When you do something ridiculous and absurd, but execute it unnecessarily well — people take notice and talk about you.
Lyft on the other hand, spent a lot of money doing something really idiotic. They pranked Festus Ezeli of the Golden State Warriors by making him think he had been cut from the team… and they revealed their tomfoolery a whole sixty seconds later. Soda Stream pranked us for a day, my roommate got tormented for three weeks, and I’ve been screwing with my neighbor for the last six months. All Lyft could manage was a minute long “gotcha!”
The Verge covered their “prank” with the less than flattering headline, “Meet the executive-level fool who gets paid to organize Lyft’s elaborate, expensive pranks.”
If you’re going to do something, do it unnecessarily well or don’t do it at all.
Last night—at a happy hour for a local agency—I met Bowdy Brown. He’s a Snapchatter that’s developed characters like Crocodile Bo-dee, Brock Obama, and Tom Bro-kaw. While most people just share their story, Bowdy is using the platform to create them.
Having shared my “unnecessarily well executed” formula with Bowdy, I challenged him to a Snap-off. For the next month, we’re going to text each other posts from /r/WritingPrompts and use them as a foundation for our snaps. To start it off, I assigned him this:
“Childhood imaginary friends are real and they don’t like being forgotten.” via /u/jburg12
Follow us on Snapchat and see it unfold, ‘brianswichkow’ and ‘bowdence’.
One of my goals for 2016 was to find a new way to challenge myself each month and this month’s focus is going to be on dominating Snapchat with Bowdy (and other friends).
The last time I committed a month of my focus to dominating a particular platform was in September of 2014 when I first learned how to leverage Reddit. True progress requires exploration… and both are more fun when you do them with friends.
Whether you’re learning a new social platform or a technical skill, as Kevin H. put it in the Ghost Influence community, it “feels huge.” Thankfully, it’s a lot more manageable when you’re doing it along side those pursuing similar goals with complimentary experience for elevating and supporting you along the way. Whether you find that within Ghost Influence or build it for yourself elsewhere, never underestimate the power of establishing a team.
Who’s on your team?