Maybe it’s the opera music. Maybe it’s the smiling faces. It could even be the powerful image of wind power at the end.
Whatever it is, this viral video ad on collapsing cooling towers just works. British green energy company Ecotricity’s “Collapsing Cooling Towers ” video landed on YouTube February 7 and by February 17 it had amassed nearly 1.6 million views, a healthy haul for a little known brand.
The spot was created by ad agency Man+Hatchet and seeded by Los Angeles-based shop Denizen. The ad amassed those 1.5 million views in one week solely through organic pass-through without any media spend, Denizen said. According to Visible Measures, about one in 12 branded video campaigns reach the one million view threshold. Denizen said it built a strategy around “global seeding,” recognizing the international appeal of the ad. Denizen first reached out to influencers at green sites, but generated little traction there so turned to pop culture and entertainment sites with the spot landing on Daily What and Reddit. The Guardian then covered the campaign online and that’s how the ad topped one million views in four days of being released, said Denizen. In addition to views, Denizen noted the ad generated 5000 tweets, and 250 blog posts in the first week .
There’s been criticism that the ad is having the opposite effect and that viewers feel sympathy for the collapsing towers because they are so cute with their animated faces. Perhaps. But really. We’re not stupid. We know we need cleaner energy sources.