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Less roadrunner, more ostrich, by Morgan Mitchell

One thing you don’t expect to see during a morning commute to work is a man riding an ostrich. But that’s exactly what many people thought they’d witnessed when a video of the before mentioned act went viral. The online community went mad trying to figure out the story of how a man managed to hitch a ride with an ostrich and the video was soon being shared across social media.

But the amateur cyber detectives out there were forced to put this case to one side as The Bank of Astana came clean and announced it was the company behind the video. The point of the video was to highlight that society is living “bored and pragmatic lives” and that we should instead be living our dreams.

Putting aside the subject of ostrich riding, here are the top four things we loved about the strategy and approach behind this video.

  1. Simple and short, the video is easy to digest.
  2. The idea has come from an aspirational brand message rather than trying to force a functional product-focus.
  3. As with many great viral videos, it balances something unexpected with an edge of possibility.
  4. Without overt branding (or any in this case), the content gives the audience time to wonder, explore and share the content before the reveal takes place. This type of video creates that all important mystery and excitement that encourages people to pass videos on and comment. It’s also more media-friendly.

In social media video production, there is often a battle to balance the level of branding included in a video. If the branding is too heavy, it can suffocate the feeling of mystery, discovery and raw realism that viral videos often thrive on. If it is non-existent, you risk not being associated with the content at all or receiving no brand value for your spend.

The Bank of Astana chose not to brand its original video at all. Instead, it created a grand reveal on Facebook which included additional footage showing how they made the video to build further engagement and cash in on the intrigue it had built. As a result, the company achieved coverage in a plethora of national titles and links are being shared across the internet. Granted, it’s just one of many viral video approaches to have celebrated success but we look forward to seeing what The Bank of Astana come up with next!