We recently had a moment of temporary insanity when we decided we wanted to invest in producing a viral video. Enough of us at FreeCharge have been around the block to not be sucked into the naiveté that viral videos have a tried and tested formula. Of course if that were the case, they wouldn’t be as rare as they are. Layered on top of that was the complexity that this would be orchestrated by us; it wasn’t serendipitously viral, such as the Harlem Shake, which then set off tons of purposeful clones; this was going to be something whose ultimate aim would be to popularize FreeCharge.
In India, very few folks we came across that had the rare combination of creative genius, social media savvy, and pop culture knol. TheViralFever.com instantly came to mind, and Kunal reached out to them to see if they would be willing to do an extension of their underground viral hit series, Q-tiyapa. Think of these guys as the CollegeHumor.com or Funny Or Die of India. They are young, understand the nuances of traditional media, and are viciously bright when it comes to exploiting the cynicism that the youth have around traditional content. They know their audience well, and time and time again have proven that they can produce original content that speaks to this audience.
So what did we learn in our experience with TheViralFever.com when conceptualizing and producing Emotional Atya-charge? Some basic bullets that we took away:
- Pop culture is a must – venturing into the world of weird, unexplainable, and downright bizarre (e.g. Harlem Shake) is typically a once-in-a-blue-moon type of phenomenon. If you want to connect, try to anchor the content on some pop culture phenomenon. And f*ck cats.
- Be subtle – had we gone in with the intention of making FreeCharge the epicenter of this original content, it would have surely failed. Figure out clever ways to put your brand in the background; your audience is much smarter than you might give them credit for.
- Push the envelope – you have to be able to make your audience laugh, cringe, squirm, possibly all at the same time! Don’t be afraid to take risks, especially in a market like India, where edgy content is far and few between.
Enough gyan. Without further ado, Emotional Atya-charge: