In a world where wacky and comedic viral videos usually garner the most attention, it’s always interesting to see something different that pulls at your heartstrings. Such is the case when it comes to the Water Is Life campaign video featuring little Nkaitole, a four-year-old Kenyan boy who might not make it to see his fifth birthday. When it comes to viral video production, this video showcases everything one requires to be successful.
The video informs the viewer (at the end) that unsafe drinking water is one of the leading causes of death in children under 5. It is this statistic that creates the foundation for the story: Nkaitole is taken on a journey where he gets to do the things he’s always dreamed of before he runs out of time. Watch it Here. As one of the premiere videography services in Toronto, it is our duty to make sure we understand the mechanics of a viral video such as this one—and we do.
WHY IT WORKS
“4 Year Old’s Bucket List” is a very intriguing title, to say the least. It easily leaves a potential viewer in a state of curiosity. Naturally, the chances of someone clicking on a link with a title like that are very high. It is obvious that there was a lot of thought put into this title – it is a very good hook that draws attention without giving away much.
Nkaitole’s story is touching. In two minutes, the viewer is able to connect with a hopeful Kenyan boy. He narrates his story in his native tongue (there are subtitles), explaining that he is going on an adventure to do the things he’s always wanted to do. In the next part of the video, you see him doing a variety of things. He rides on a boat, plays soccer in a stadium, and experiences his first kiss, to name a few. The whole thing is adorable to see and it’s highly likely that someone would share this video with at least one other person.
For even more effect, the story is intentionally told using dramatic irony. Nkaitole does not mention that he may not live to be five, but the viewer knows. He says that one day he will be a warrior, but for now he just takes care of the animals. Nkaitole’s unassuming perspective insists that he will live, and that makes it even more heartfelt for the viewer.
Visually, the video is stunning. Obviously shot with high quality HD gear, the shots and edits make sure to keep the story centered around Nkaitole as he embarks on what could be his first and last journey ever. The use of wide shots shows how small Nkaitole is compared to the rest of the world while the close-ups accentuate his joy during his adventure. All of these stylistic decisions help the viewer connect with Nkaitole. Video marketing is all about a cohesive and targeted presentation; this is executed beautifully here.
A successful viral video production depends on a reaction from its audience. The comment section under this YouTube video speaks for itself: many people felt compelled to share how emotional they felt while watching the video.
The most interesting comment was “cool but did you get them water”. There was a response by the uploader that ensured viewers that Nkaitole and his village were taken care of. Viral videos are even more effective once they become interactive and a breeding place for discussion.
From a branding perspective, this video is one element of a cohesive marketing campaign. On the website, you’ll see a slideshow of stills from the video with powerful captions (i.e. “No 4 year-old should need a bucket list), urging you to either “donate now” or “watch the film”. Each request is a call to action that will keep the campaign alive and relevant.
VCM is currently working on a video edit for a charity that supports and develops community-lead programs in Tanzania, Africa.
VCM Interactive offers more than just videography services in Toronto. We are storytellers that specialize in cohesive visual marketing ideas. Call VCM today and turn your story viral!