If you're traveller, you've probably already seen the 'Move, Eat, Lean' video series from STA Travel for their I Want to Know Campaign. If you're not a traveller, or you haven't seen it, check out 'Move' below (my favourite of the three videos) and you'll soon be thinking about your next trip.
(be sure to check out the Eat and Learn videos as well)
To say I liked the videos would be a massive understatement. As I write this I'm listening to the extended versions of the videos' sound tracks (composed and performed by Kelsey James) and I must've watched 'Move' a hundred times since I first saw it a few days ago.
I'm not alone either. The videos have spread like wildfire, receiving 6.2 million views on Vimeo and 390 thousand views on Youtube in just a week. 'Move' was number 1 briefly on Reddit and has been shared by: Huffington Post, Newsweek, CBS Digital, Oprah’s Blog, OK! Magazine (UK and US), Daily Mail, CNET, Mashable, EW.com, Nymag.com and hundreds of other high-traffic web spaces across the globe.
Adam Fyfe, the campaign coordinator, was nice enough to talk to me about the marketing of the videos and campaign (my questions in bold).
What were your objectives for this project?
At a brand level we had a need to increase awareness of our brand. At a more personal level, it was about putting some excitement back into what should be an inspiring industry.
Were you inspired by other similar projects, such as ‘Where the Hell is Matt?’
Not necessarily. We admire that video but it did not form part of the brief to the crew. It is difficult to condense the “why” of travel without editing a series of shots of the principal in a variety of locations.
How much direction did you give to the film makers?
I prepared a brief for Rick back in February. We discussed initial concepts and Rick and Tim White took it from there. One of the reasons the clips have been so popular is that I did not put too many “corporate” restrictions on the creative – it just had to nail the objective of the brief.
Has STA ever done something similar to this?
Not at all. I have been very fortunate to have the support of the Marketing Managers (Brendan McGrath and Tania Tandora) and the Marketing Director (Natalie Placko) as well as the rest of the business.
Were you nervous when you released the video or were pretty sure it was going to be a hit?
I have known Rick Mereki for a while so I had confidence that he would nail the brief. The rest of the team were blown away by the initial edit. From then on we were pretty sure it would be a hit but had no idea it would be as popular as it has been.
Who is Kelsey James and how did she get involved in the project?
Kelsey james is a musician from Melbourne. She is friends with the director Rick Mereki.
Many businesses have been dabbling in purely online marketing campaigns. Did you ever consider keeping this video to the internet only? What does the TV advertising medium offer that the internet can’t deliver?
It was initially conceived as an online campaign. TV was added in as it boosts search efficiency and contributes to our overall goal: Brand Awareness.
Can you explain what 'search efficiency is'?
Once TV starts to hit certain reach thresholds, search impressions for the brand name increase.
This is a result of increased Brand Awareness.
Increased efficiency comes in the form of a greater number of links from organic (as opposed to paid) search and higher search numbers overall.
I originally saw the video (Move) posted on Facebook, I reposted it, then I saw it on another friend’s profile who had posted it independently. Did you anticipate a lot of social sharing for the videos and did you do anything to encourage it?
The aim was to create content that was so engaging and inspiring that people would want to share it. The plethora of social network sites makes sharing of branded (and unbranded) content easy – they key is to give the public a reason to share.
What distribution channels did you use to get the video out there?
Primarily Vimeo and Youtube.
Have you been able to track, or can you venture a guess as to how the video spread so quickly?
The first step is to create engaging content (views will reach the thousands). Step 2: get the content in front of opinion leaders (views into hundreds of thousands). Step 3: get the content in front of mainstream media (views into the millions).
Part of the reason I liked the video so much is because I’ve recently been travelling myself and it reminded me of being on the road. Do you think the video will appeal to non-travellers and would-be-travellers as well?
We hope that the desire to travel is an intrinsic human desire. That is what we are trying to tap into.
Its still early days yet, but can you comment on the work, costs, risks and returns involved in this project vs a more traditional marketing campaign?
There is always risk in taking a non-traditional approach. The rewards can be great, as this campaign shows. The senior marketing team here at STA Travel took a chance in following my vision and trusting in Rick and Tim’s ability. It is sometimes necessary for smaller brands to take risks in order to be heard in such a crowded environment.
I’ve been impressed with the response time and answers to questions in the comments of the Youtube videos. Is this something you consciously implemented?
Yes. I ensured that our entire team were ready for the interest that the campaign would generate. This also meant answering questions at all hours and keeping near a computer myself on weekends. The excitement this campaign has generated has made putting in the extra yards quite easy.
What's the most important ingredient to make a video go viral?
For the travel industry – Inspiration!
-End of interview-
Thanks very much to Adam Fyfe for agreeing to be interviewed and to the STA Travel marketing team for a brilliant campaign.
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