Harmon Brothers Team up with Poo~Pourri
Does your sh*t stink? That conundrum has been popular for years, but when it came time for Jeffrey and Neal Harmon to promote a new product called Poo-Pourri, a “before you go” toilet spray, he chose to use one of the most powerful tools of the Internet age available to him, the viral video.
Viral videos are nothing new, of course. Everyone has seen newscasts that feature the latest video that has “gone viral,” but what is it, really? A viral video is simply a video that becomes popular via the process of Internet sharing, mostly through websites such as YouTube, social media such as Facebook, and email.
Several years ago Jeff Harmon, his brother, Daniel, and writer/director Joel Ackerman produced a video for Orabrush, supposedly the world’s best tongue cleaner. When the dust finally settled the video had gone viral, generating more than 18 million YouTube views. Holy sh*t, right? No. Not yet. That comes more recently when the same creative team was enlisted to unleash their industrial strength potty humor at a whole new level with Poo-Pourri.
Enter the “Poo Crew”
The Harmon-powered Poo Crew hooked up in Utah to (in less than three weeks) write, produce, test, and launch their new viral video which consists of a cute, prissy young girl who flawlessly delivers her lines in a stuffy British accent that is as perfect as her crinoline-lined blue dress, perched on top of, you guessed it, a toilet. In fact, this young lovely gal speaks the first lines of her pitch between the walls of a lady’s room stall, complete with other as they fumble with toilet paper rolls and X on either side of her. But that’s only for starters.
The video starts with the girl proudly announcing, “You would not believe the mother load (sic) I just dropped…and that’s how I like to keep it,” and it only gets more hysterical from there. Take it from an astute group of marketing judges in the form of my son, Brandon, and his sophomore business class at Vista Ridge High School.
It’s hard to explain when a father and son moment is inspired by a video titled “Girls Don’t Poop,” but that’s exactly what happened one day not long ago when he came home and explained that an unusually boring class took an unexpected upturn when as he was looking at his phone during a lecture about marketing and YouTube videos. Suddenly, his attention was rerouted to the classroom screen when he heard the familiar flush of a toilet. He reported that the entire class loved it and couldn’t stop laughing. This is despite the fact that he knew that the owners of Poo-pourri and I are friends and he already knew about the video.
What Does It Take to Create a Viral Video?
All of this is a long way around the question, “How do you actually make your video go viral?” The truth is, that there have been numerous studies conducted and books written on the topic, but as relatively new as the Internet is, researchers have learned a lot and the answers can help you to not only accomplish this elusive goal, but to reap the benefits.
All of the answers you need to create a viral video were packed between the covers of a book published a few years ago titled, “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. In his book, Gladwell introduces three elements of a viral video. They are:
The Law of the Few. Put another way, this is the old “80/20 Rule,” which says that 80 percent of the work is done by 20 percent of the people. In the viral video world, you need to find that 20 percent of the subscribers who will see your video and promote it for you.
The Stickiness Factor. “Stickiness” is that inherent characteristic of your video that makes people want to watch it. There are lots of elements to this: Is it not too long? It is entertaining? Does it play on popular themes?
The Context. This element refers to the conditions and circumstances of the times and places where they occur. Is it easy for viewers to identify with it?
When you can answer all of the questions above, you will have greatly increased the chances that you have a viral video on your hands.