OneShift – 3 Cool Tips on How to Make a Video Viral

Video has always been an effective medium, however how has the change to online impacted the creative and script choices that are made by video production and creative companies?

We’ll talk about YouTube since it’s the biggest online video hosting company in the world. As far as advertising goes we’ll talk about pre-roll ads, which are ads that play before your cat video is about to start. Unlike television, with online video you don’t have the benefit of someone watching your ad for even 30 seconds – unlike traditional television which will play your video ad in its entirety, YouTube will only play the first 5 seconds of the ad, and after this the user has the option to skip it (and I’m guessing over 95% do).

There was a video that played recently however… that I didn’t skip. That I watched until the end, and it intrigued me – what was it about this video that made me watch it. Below is the video for you to check out:

This video is exactly what is needed for a pre-roll ad. Here’s why:

Unexpected & Random – the video begins in a boring fashion. An executive is talking about some boring company… straight away your eyes begin to glaze and you place your mouse over the ‘Skip Ad’ button. Then… a ninja jumps out of nowhere and chloroforms this poor little executive lady to sleep. Ok… you have my attention! The whole video is actually unexpected and random. Like when it zooms out to show a woman is working at her desk and making a vase with her feet at the same time. These moments come up again and again, never letting up, catering to the short attention span of 99% of YouTube users (including myself).

Violence – what gets a person’s attention faster than violence? If you were the typical ‘corporate’ company you would think using ‘violence’ in your video PURELY for purposes of entertainment would be ‘simply wrong’. However a company such as the Rail Safety Board in Brisbane used violence (dying on platform tracks) as a purely comedic device. The point is that if you use violence in a funny way you immediately gain attention (a valuable commodity online) and create a conversation. In this particular video a person is not only chluroformed but another is killed with a ninja star. It’s the last thing you would think would be in an HR recruitment company but it gets attention!

Understand the Medium – if you go to the OneShift website you’ll notice that they have a video on there… but it’s totally different from the one on YouTube! Why? Because the producers of the content quite intelligently understood the medium. When showcasing your video on YouTube the most important thing is gaining attention, remember you are basically competing with millions of videos, not to mention full length films. Why should someone watch your video? However once someone lands on your website they all ready have at least some interest in what it is you do and your services, so you don’t need to be as outrageous to capture attention, now you can be more relaxed and explain exactly what you do.

Risk – there are risks taken in the One Shift video from a creative direction… and here’s what I’ve realized, while the video is not THAT funny… it’s interesting. It kept me entertained and for that I actually became interested in checking out their website. Think about this… if you make a commercial that ATTEMPTS to be funny while getting the message across but it doesn’t achieve the ‘funny’ goal is that a big deal? Are you going to be dropped from your prime time slot? No, it’s a commercial, you’re not making a TV series. I can guarantee your commercial will be more interesting than 95% of the generic stuff out there.

Remember, anyone can make a non memorable ad. It’s easy to stay safe, it’s harder to go outside the comfort zone and when you do people take notice and you get the attention and respect you deserve.

What do you think? Do you find this ad funny or way too crazy?

Why being hated is good business for Anthony Mundine

After following the recent news regarding Mundine’s fight leading up to and after his defeat I’ve realized that Anthony Mundine is either very smart or very, very dumb. Let me explain.

Even the most casual boxing fans will know that there is another boxer with a big mouth that says things that tends to get on people’s skins and piss people off. This boxer is hated by a large part of the country with his controversial opinions… and he is the same race as a disadvantaged minority. The boxer that I’m referring to is Floyd Mayweather. One other thing that Floyd Mayweather is known for, besides his big mouth is the fact that he was the highest paid sports person of 2012 (and yes, that includes Tiger Woods).

Mundine showing what it’s all about

Athletes like Floyd Mayweather and Anthony Mundine choose to hold (and express) opinions that simply piss people off and make them unpopular which means that they forego the big bucks that come from sponsorship deals. Nike, for example, would never sponsor Anthony Mundine or Floyd Mayweather because it stands for something, such as sportsmanship. And blowing bubble gum in people’s face during weigh-ins I’m guessing is not an example of the sportsmanship that Nike stands for.

Floyd has a bit more money then Mundine though

However while Anthony Mundine and Floyd Mayweather lack income coming from sponsorship deals, they make it up in the PPV (pay per view) numbers from people who pay to see them get knocked out.

So is this an effective strategy?

Well let’s look at the facts, in the year 2012 Floyd Mayweather only had 2 fights – one against Victor Ortiz and one against Miguel Cotto in order to make up his $85 million income. That’s it. So not counting training we’re talking about less than 1 hour in the ring. Which at $85 million divided by 60 minutes comes at a total of over $1.4 million a minute.

He earns more than I do.

The second highest paid boxer earned $36 million and had 3 fights. Even with all his endorsements he is not earning even half of what Mayweather is pulling in.

[Manny Pacquuiao has a clean image and major endorsement deals backing up his 2012 $36 million income

Anthony Mundine is basically the Australian version of Floyd Mayweather.

People that are on Anthony Mundine’s Facebook page hating on him and really anyone that expresses a negative opinion are just doing what he wants. Let’s be honest, how many people would care about a Geale fight if it wasn’t for Mundine and their need to see him knocked out?

how not to make friends and influence people

So now that we know that being hated is good for business when it comes to boxing, are you really surprised that Mundine made the statement about Advance Australia Fair leading up to the fight? Do you really think Mundine cared that his opponent is not a full Aboriginal and that he’s dating a white woman? Is it a coincidence Mundine is running his mouth leading up to the fight? Mundine is a great marketer, and he knows exactly what to say to pick the sensitive bone of Australians and get them riled up. As this post that has over 100 comments on can attest.

Or maybe he’s just dumb.

So many dumb ways to die…

If you haven’t heard yet, a video created by Metro (which is like Melbourne’s Cityrail) has generated over 8 million views on YouTube. This was a safety campaign talking about how basically you shouldn’t jump in front of trains or do other dum things.

So anyway, this video launched and they hoped for a good result but it blew past all expectation. You see the original idea was to target people in Melbourne with a a safety message (you see these all the time in Sydney, like those big posters telling you to mind the gap between the train and platform).

Of course with the internet you can’t really contain a message and especially with YouTube, once it’s out there th whole world has access to it. Well this vdeo was so good that eventually people started sharing it and it simply blew up. Checking on Wikipedia, Melbourne has a population of 4.1 million, and considering the video on YouTube has over 8.4 million views, you could assume that it is the equivalent to everyone in Melbourne watching it twice (the Metro YouTube channel owner would have more precise stats of exactly how many people are watching the video from each country, I can’t know that information).

Anyway it’s true that as soon as a viral video comes out people start analyzing why it has garnered so many views and try to replicate the success. Considering I’ve been in video production practically my whole life I thought I might throw in my views on it and the experience that I have from videos that have generated a lot of views and others that have generated very little.

By the way watch the video below if you haven’t seen it all ready

P.S. Between the time I wrote this article and embedding the clip the video has gotten an extra million or so views. It’s crazy.

Violence and Danger

Violence and danger are pre requisites for an engaging experience. That’s why most films you see that make big money in the cinemas have violence or at the very least drama that could lead to violence. This video simply goes all out with grizzly death scene after death scene. There is simply no way you would see so much death and violence (especially coming from a government organization which are known for being very boring) and not want to share it with a friend. While people will talk about how genius this piece is it’s actually really simple, lots of violence. The violence is done with cartoon characters and a happy theme in the background which adds to the contrast and makes it artistic and interesting (instead of just violence for violence’s sake).

In fact if you go on YouTube one of the most viewed videos are street fights/gangster and prison documentaries and war footage. People love violence. Of course you can’t just come out and create some violent video, you may get a lot of views but it’s not going to look good for your brand/service. However if you can create something interesting/artistic then it’s the perfect combination.

It Doesn’t Preach

Okay the whole purpose of this video is to tell people to not cross the tracks and do other silly things at train stations that could get them killed. However the video doesn’t get into this straight away, in fact the first half of the video makes no mention of trains whatsoever. Viewers (and especially the YouTube audience) hate watching an advertisement, that’s the reason we’re on YouTube! So if people see your video and they realize immediately that it’s an ad they will IMMEDIATELY leave. This video does well because it’s actually not even obvious what it does (in fact that creates some interest – like what is this all about, making people want to watch further).


It has a cool jingle that stays in your head. “Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die”. This sticks in your head and you’re probably going to end up singing it after you watch it and when one of your friends says “What the hell are you singing?” you can show them the video and so the ‘virus’ spreads. They even have a song you can download from iTunes.


This video has a good combination – unimaginable violence and being funny at the same time. It’s great. Kind of like Jackass. Actually the video is more funny then violent (the focus is more on that).


Whenever you do something completely unexpected, or film someone reacting to something unexpected it’s always classic. No one expects a video like this.

That’s all the things I can think of at the moment. Also you don’t have to be violent to create a high engagement with your video, but you do need some drama to get engagement. Controversy is also good however inerestingly enough this video really lacks any controversy (besides the controversy from being so violent, but because it’s so cartoonish no one would really have an opinion). This is so much better than those lame smoking ads where they cut open a liver.

Finally running across the train tracks at night is no longer cool, it’s just a dumb way to die.

P.S. Notice the YouTube video also links to where people can learn more and they even have setup a Tumblr blog – I wonder how much traffic came to the website from the YouTube video. Anyway, great work.

Channel 9 – How the Might Have Fallen

I knew television would meet a demise some day, but I didn’t know it would be this quick. We all ready know the problem Channel 10 had, but Channel 9? This is the staple of Australian broadcasting. I mean these are the guys with 60 Minutes, A Current Affair, not my cup of tea but something ever person over the age of 35 who is a full blood Australian would tune into without fail at least once a week.

I hate television and what it represents as far as advertising goes. We’ve advertised a couple of times on television and haven’t seen any great results for our money, but that’s just us.

Here is the future of television:

  • You will login like Facebook and those 30 second advertisements will be specifically targeted to you
  • You will have in advertisement options such as going to a website or saving a book mark or pressing a button to show an extended ad if you wish within the confines of your television
  • The television will track what advertisements you respond to
  • Everything will be streamed through internet cables, this is so you can watch what you want when you want
  • Programming will be truly democratic, with anyone able to create and upload a show; kind of like podcasts these days. No longer will a group of editors sit and decide what should and shouldn’t make the list. The public will decide what they like most and this will be aggregated into a ‘Most Popular’ or ‘Top Rated’ section (kind of like YouTube)
  • You’ll be able to rate shows and recommend/share them with friends
  • Advertising will be tailored to you (no more nappy ads lol)
  • Just live you have live streaming of television shows, anyone will be able to setup a live stream show – even now setting up live streaming is not that expensive

I can’t think of any more but I do know these are all things these major television networks lack. I love the shows on Channel 9 but why should I have to adjust my schedule to watch them?

Also as far as the Channel 9 CEO coming out and saying that their debt problems are solved because they’ve been bought out doesn’t address the main issue. You’re not making anywhere near the money you used to make, you’re valued at half as much as you were 5 years ago. So you saved yourself this once, what about next time?

Note at :50 he says:

“All those doomsdayers out there will have to eat their words, we’ve never had a more powerful balance sheet which means we’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll.” – Channel 9

Actually you were able to get a cash injection but that doesn’t change the fundamental nature of your business and the fact that you are in a declining industry.

Whatever I wish them the best.

When the NBN hits, you’ll see a very, very quick change.

James Bond is back in Skyfall

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I have a question for you, why won’t Bond die?

And I don’t mean in the sense that he has had more bullets fired at him then the entire Australian artillery stockpile and survived, but more so as far as a movie frachise.

The movie industry is competitive yet for some reason James Bond always finds a way back to our cinema screens across generations. And this is not a third or fourth instalment, this is like the 70th film.

My view on it is because it has the lethal combination of sexy women, violence and action. Of course Bond films in a lot of cases have great story lines but I think you need to stick to the basics.

Just think about it, what other movie series has been known to survive this long.

I remember a video director I worked with who was looking to make a feature film, but he didn’t know what he should do it about.

I told him “As long as it has action, sex, explosions and violence you’ll be fine”.

For your next video, make sure to include one of these elements and you’re guaranteed a winner.

The good news is that the new Bond film sounds like it’s going to be a classic – 100% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Can’t wait to put it in my calendar.

Oh and if you get a chance check out Looper too, saw it yesterday and it was awesome (if you’re into sci-fi).



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Before you sit down with a designer to plan out how you want your website to look, it helps to grab a piece of paper and a pen (or a good software package, more on that later) and sketch out exactly what pages you want your website to have. Most web designers worth their salt will create a site map before starting development, it allows for a long range and complete look at the website architecture, which helps to avoid creating extra work by seeing what pages can be combined and eliminated, and also gets the whole team on the same page as to exactly what is required.

The other great thing about a site map is that you can also use it to plan your SEO strategy. Including what pages should be optimized for what keywords, doing this correctly from the beginning can also focus your SEO campaign from the beginning to make sure your site is structured for the most important thing – traffic!

But what exactly do you need to include on a site map, and what software do you need to make it useful , and what mistakes should you avoid?

  • Choose a good software
    There’s a lot of great software out there, free and paid, as well as downloadable and online (cloud). One bit of software you may be interested in picking up is SmartDraw, which I personally use for a lot of things other than just a site map. However if you’re on a budget you may want to go for the old pencil and paper, however the problem with this is that it’s hard to modify. If you don’t want to go out spending money just to draw up a sitemap, you may want to check out It’s not strictly a site map generation software but it can get the job done – to check out SmartDraw click here and to check out click here
  • Understand the goals of your website
    If you know the goals of your website, including how important each goal is, planning your site map will be much easier. For example, if you have an online store, you would need a Products page, with sub pages for different categories of products that you offer. Planning this up front will let you know what categories you may have to combine (if you only have a couple of products in that category). If the goal of your website is simply to educate your prospect about what you do, instead of making a sale, you’d need to find out what is that makes your company unique and gets clients to buy from you and organize your site this way. Do you have many satisfied clients? Then be sure to include a ‘Testimonials’ page. Are they from different industries? You may need sub pages in your ‘Testimonials’ page for industry.
  • Research your competitors
    Competitors for your product or service have probably all ready put in much time and thought as to how they need to organize their sites. Clicking through and hanging out on their domains should give you some ideas for how you can organize your own site.
  • Save and revise
    The first sketch out of your site map will never be the one you end up using. Save your site map and share it with your designer or your team and get feedback on what pages should be added or removed. However don’t try to share with too many people, otherwise you’ll have a headache incorporating all the feedback. Sometimes all you need is one person to bounce ideas off.
  • Think keywords
    While it may be tempting to make your website site map have the mandatory About Us, contact Us, Products pages, you may want to consider looking at keywords that your customers are searching for and including them in some way. For example if you sell control panels, instead of naming the page ‘Control Panels’ why not go for a more descriptive name like ‘Home Automation Control Panels’ to make sure that you can get listed for that keyword.

Good luck with creating your site map. Remember, your first draft is just that, a first draft. Make at least 10 – 15 boxes to get started and you’ll have a lot of ideas come up as you do. Good luck.

Snoop Dogg and Rico team up for Airline New Zealand

Some time ago I did a blog post on Iceland Airline’s quirky online video to promote its airline, you can check it out here. Lately I’ve stumbled across some funny videos from Airline New Zealand which are random and a little controversial. It seems out there advertising is the new norm for the airline industry, which is known for its more generic promotions. Check these videos out from Air New Zealand’s online marketing campaign, keep in mind some, of course, were offended but perhaps that was Air New Zealand’s plan to get attention. One if its videos has pulled almost 6 million views.

Bare Essentials

There are a couple of videos. The first one has almost 6 million views, and is basically a safety video with a twist. You’ll know why it’s called ‘Bare Essentials’ when you watch it.


This was probably the commercial that got everyone in a huff, however it only has 300,000 views. Lots of innuendo here. Apparently Air New Zealand staff are upset that this is their mascot (Rico) though I find it funny, what do you think?

Snoop Dogg

This is the latest video from Air New Zealand with Snoop Dogg:

Very, very useless wedding video

In today’s news, British couple are suing a camera man for a useless video that ruined their wedding memories. The couple Martin and Heidi Shubrook literally cried when they saw the mess that Clayton Bennett (cameraman) produced.

‘He failed to record the couple signing the register, cutting the cake, most of the speeches and the bride and groom’s entrance at the reception.’ [from]

‘video that included shots of guests’ feet and backs.’ [from]

How can people be so reckless and selfish. I mean this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, you could give it at least a little bit of effort. Anyway the couple sued the camera man and won, however, not surprisingly the camera man is broke so he is paying the couple in $30 installments.

I have no idea what this guy is doing.

The only thing I’d like to add is where did they find this guy? If you’re going to be getting someone to film your wedding make sure to obtain references or videos of past work. At least make sure the guy has a website. It’s not worth it to take a risk, especially on a wedding.

Also check these lines out:

‘He turned up to our wedding with scars all over his face and said he was a cage fighter. He looked a mess.’

‘During the day he went missing and we found him at another wedding.’

The couple

It’s so bad it’s almost funny. Shame about the couple having to live with that crap video.

The moral of this story is that if a price for a wedding video seems too good to be true it usually is. You get what you pay for and I do think this couple tried to save a couple of hundred bucks by hiring a random and they paid the price.

Read the story here:

2 minute pre-roll ads… but you can skip them

I was browsing the internet yesterday and I stumbled across an ad format on YouTube that I’d never seen before but was very clever. Basically you know pre-roll ads, where ad plays before the video starts. Well this was a pre-roll ad, but it went for 2 minutes giving you an option to skip it if you wished.

The 2 minute ad was actually really funny, it was an ad for a mouth freshener that looked like a toothbrush and they were mocking apple. If I find it I’ll add it to this post.

[Update: just found a post on Mashable about this, you can check it out if this sort of stuff interests you: ]