A lesson in Viral Video Creation – “Mobile Year in Review” Animation

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On Monday, December 13th, iStrategyLabs launched “Mobile Year in Review” for our client Mobile Future. This custom animation features highlights from the mobile industry in 2010. In a week it was watched by over 60,000 people and is on track for 100,000+ views.

Producing viral videos is not magic, there is a formula and we’ve been able to do it again and again.

This is our formula in a nutshell:

  1. Have a great idea
  2. Produce great creative
  3. Get distribution however possible

With the Mobile Year in Review, we started with the idea that each year bloggers and mainstream media put out tons of ‘recap’ and ‘year in review’ pieces. This year, we thought an animation version for Mobile would be hot and highly sharable.

We then went into research mode to get the raw material together for a script.  We needed to understand anything and everything that happened in mobile in 2010. After many drafts of a script based off our key findings, we storyboarded the piece, produce custom illustration for each frame, and brought it to life piece by piece, making numerous tweaks along the way. Six weeks later… voila:

With the finished product in hand, we reached out to local and national tech blogs in order to get the word out. Our partnership with Mashable was helpful in starting a torrent of tweets.

We received coverage in Mashable, TechCrunch, and GigaOm.  We pushed the video through the YouTube, Stumble Upon, and Digg communities. It didn’t take long for the video to take on a life of its own, being spread virally through an estimated 7,500 tweets, and earning almost 60,000 views in just one week. At one point we were seeing about 50 tweets a minute.

Here are week one’s stats in more detail:

374 “likes” and 7 “dislikes” = 98% positive

Top traffic source for the video were external websites linking to the YouTube page. We also saw mobile devices as the 4th largest source of traffic with 3,559 views.

Traffic and activity surrounding our biggest social media mentions, and the YouTube video itself, were high:

The video was tweeted over 7,500 times.

Building the Mobile Future Brand:

Prior to the launch of the video, the Mobile Future YouTube channel had 14 subscribers. A week later, there were 109.

In its first week, Mobile Year in Review produced an 18% increase in @MobileFuture followers (+228).
The day before the release of the video: 1,166 followers
7 days later: 1,374 followers

That week, traffic to increased 998%

7 Responses to “A lesson in Viral Video Creation – “Mobile Year in Review” Animation”

  1. @Nakeva says:

    You have been Amplified! This is some impressive work with both the video and the statistics. How long did the entire process take from idea creation, through research to final product?

  2. corbett3000 says:

    Well, the idea was instant – hit us between the eyes. From that point it was about 5 weeks of scripting, illustration and animation. We can usually do a 2 minute piece in 4-6 weeks.

  3. patfrank says:

    Was this all After Effects?

  4. corbett3000 says:

    @patfrank yes. All illustration was done in Adobe Illustrator and all motion was done in After Effects. Check out our other animation work here:

  5. Matt Lindsay says:

    Nice work, well-laid out post, great analytics. Keep up the good work!

  6. […] A lesson in Viral Video Creation — “Mobile Year in Review” Animation. […]

  7. […] The “2011 Mobile Year in Review“. 2010′s Mobile Year in Review can be found here and has been seen over 150,000 […]