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Making a Viral Video

Before we say anything, check out this video:

Did you just watch the whole thing? We thought so. This video is almost irresistible. It has the fatal element that wins us all over. It has fun.

It’s all about having a good time

A language that has almost completely died out is a serious and sad topic. The video could easily have been presented as a sob story, playing on its audience’s sympathy and preaching about the importance of keeping Busuu alive. Obviously, it went in a different direction.

The video works so well because of its humor and playfulness. It’s a little bit absurd and it pokes fun at its own message (for example, when the singer tells us to learn Busuu and then sings, “No one will understand you but you’ll be happy”). The people in the video look like they’re having a great time, and their high spirits are infectious. The tune is so upbeat and catchy that it may be stuck in my head for the next few years. Sitting in my chair at work, I am tempted to sing and dance along. Because the video so enjoyable, it spread its message to a huge audience.

Where fun can get you

According to the YouTube playcount, English speakers alone have watched this video more than 200,000 times. Considering that the song mentions the word ‘Busuu’ hundreds of times, the audience has established millions of impressions of the word ‘Busuu’. This would be interesting even if the video were only promoting a dying language, but in this case there’s more to the story.

The secret behind Busuu

Busuu is actually a website for language learning. Surprisingly, you can’t even learn the Busuu language on the site. But they do offer materials to learn English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, German, and Italian.

The story of the Busuu dying language is true. The video, however, is not as genuine: it features actors that natively speak other languages and was clearly made on a significant budget. What busuu.com would have spent on advertising they instead poured into the creative process of their video.

What makes the Busuu.com video successful is they’ve created a unique and fun branding machine. They succeed at their goal. viewers remember the name Busuu. Think about Busuu the next time you’re wondering if your video will go viral. Is your video funny, interesting, and relevant to a large audience?

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