This Video, Made by a Bank, Will Give You the Chills

Dan Lyons
Dan Lyons



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Last week Google India released its moving Reunion video. Now, a similarly touching video is going viral. This video was actually created in 2012, but for some reason it's getting picked up and shared again now.

The gist is this: A little girl puts a coin into a busker's cap, and he starts playing Beethoven's Ode to Joy. And then something magical happens.

I don't want to spoil it. But watch the video and you'll see. It's pretty amazing.

Ode to a Bank?

The video was created to celebrate the 130th anniversary of Banco de Sabadell, which is in a city in Catalonia, Spain. As with the Google video, the brand placement is there, but it's subtle. All during the film you keep seeing the Sabadell bank in the background. Then at the end there's an explanation.

Of course the whole thing was staged. Who cares?

What's fun about the video is that here's a piece of music that we've all heard a million times. But somehow when you deconstruct it, break it down to a single instrument, then two, then four, then more and more -- and when you take it out of its usual context in a concert hall and put it out on a sidewalk, somehow it's as if you're hearing this old song in a new way. With new ears. 

Maybe that's what the bank was going for. Because what's more boring than a bank, right? You walk past it every day, and you take it for granted. But then they do this "flashmob" concert and you notice them again. 

I don't know. Maybe the bank just wanted to celebrate its anniversary and say thank you to the community by putting on a free concert.

Going Viral

I was in San Francisco this week and talking to some marketers about the explosion of content. Everybody's cranking out mountains of content. How do you rise above the noise and really stand out?

It's getting more and more difficult. But it's still possible. This video has has been viewed 16 million times, and has received more than 10,000 comments. 

The thing is, you can't just reverse-engineer something like this. You can't make something go viral. And it's foolish to set out with that goal in mind.

That said, videos like this that manage to attract an audience seem to have a few things in common:

1) They aim for the heart. They dare to be sincere, and honest, and authentic.

2) They employ high quality production values rather than trying to do something fast and cheap.

3) The video is presented as a gift. It asks for nothing in return. There's no call-to-action. You don't have to fill out a form to watch it. There's no sense of, "We did this for you because we want you to buy something from us."

4) The creators don't try to pretend that this has nothing to do with their brand. Their brand is part of the story. The brand placement can't overwhelm the video, but it has to be there.

What do you think of the video?

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Topics: Video Marketing

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