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How to Make a Viral Video Like A Rock Star

Posted on the 22 September 2015 by Marketingtango @marketingtango
  • September 22, 2015
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How to Make a Viral Video Like A Rock Star

Get past the fact that this is a music video. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of The Foo Fighters, there are helpful lessons that marketers can take from the recent viral video cover of “Learn to Fly”.

If you haven’t yet seen it, take a moment to crank up the volume and check out Rockin1000’s “Learn to Fly” cover right now.

Wasn’t that fun? Rockin1000 was a labor of love spearheaded by Foo fan Fabio Zaffagnini of Cesena, Italy, who spent two years and raised nearly $50,000 through a crowd-funding campaign in an effort to persuade the band to perform in his hometown.

As fun as it is to watch, the video was meticulously planned and developed over a long period of time for a specific audience and for a specific purpose. Consider these lessons that marketers can take away from “Learn To Fly”, as summarized from Andy Smith’s list in Reel SEO.

Make It Awesome

If you really think your idea is awesome, there’s probably a good chance a lot of other people will agree. As of this writing (two weeks after the video was uploaded), about 24+ million people agree with the town of Cesena.


What if you were to team up with all those people who agree your idea is pretty awesome? Zaffagnini recruited 250 drummers, 250 singers, 350 guitarists, and 150 bass players, not to mention numerous techs and camera operators, to bring one band to their town.

Work for What You Love

It took nearly two years to make this single eight-minute video. Director Fabio Zaffagnini’s single-minded goal was to come up with the most amazing way possible to impress his favorite band enough to come play for the fans of Cesena.

Keep It Moving

Notice that very few of the shots linger for longer than five seconds apiece; or if they do, they pan or zoom to hold the viewer’s interest. Another key to grabbing attention: the video gets right to the point quickly by starting with the song and saving the backstory for the end (after the four-minute mark), so as not to risk boring the viewer too soon.

Make It Personal

Remember, the goal of “Learn To Fly” was not to go viral, but to persuade just five people. Nevertheless, it succeeded on both counts. Not only was it the most watched YouTube video in its first week, but the day after it was posted, bandleader Dave Grohl posted a personal reply, promising (in Italian, no less): “We’re coming, I swear, we’ll see each other soon.”

For more video marketing tips, check out our previous posts: “Measuring the Success of Your Video Marketing” and “How YouTube Makes Video Content More Shareable”.

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