My journey with content marketing and videos started when the first video went viral accidentally. (watch here) The obsession about share-worthy videos and the pursuit of the method behind ‘viral’ madness, so far has resulted in 76 videos which went viral, at 470M views and incredible engagement across channels and earned media love. And every video follows the same fundamentals I obsess about, the framework as in the book.
Here area a few of my favourites.. :)
Agla Station Mars – 6.5M in a week
Our most ambitious, futuristic yet craziest video ever. It hit 6.5M overall views in 5 days, with 30K likes on Twitter, 250K likes and 18K shares on Instagram and widely shared on WhatsApp. Got extensive media love in BrandEquity, Exchange4Media and many others.
Mother’s Day (And Father’s Day)
Released just before Mother’s Day, this one hit the first million in 20 hours. We experimented with two versions and the Hindi version worked better. 2M on Hindi and 1.3M on English. Oh and great engagement on Instagram and shared crazy on Whatsapp. Also, a Father’s Day spin-off video validated the format with incredible engagement on social.
Stuff You Can Take From Hotels – Viral globally
Made on a budget of Rs. 7000, this went Viral globally, playing on Indian TV shows and then on Whoopy Goldberg’s TV show in the US! There was no way to measure how far it went, but to just search across media and countless WhatsApp messages. Oh and it won some awards too.This one picked up in few hours, with a million views on Facebook and crazy engagement on LinkedIn before going crazy.
Ghar Wali Baat – 15M heartwarming video
The most heart-warming 15M views. Released two days before India’s Republic Day, this one went from zero to 5 million views in 4 days. From a video, it became a phenomenal conversation starter. Driving thousands of heartwarming comments and messages. Currently at 15 million views with 100k shares, 500k on YouTube, Trended on Twitter, Shared by the Indian Railway minister (Twitter & Facebook) and Indian Ministry of Railways and posted by The Logical Indian, Anurag Kashyap’s Phantom Films, all organic. It became the video with highest engagement on Facebook that week, beating all big brands with crazy budgets. BrandEquity featured it among top un-skippable videos. Covered in the news here, here, here, here and many more, also countless stories from Whatsapp. From writing, shooting, editing to acting.. all done in-house. Except the celebrity voiceover :)
Naye Safar ki Shuruaat – Travel Re-open
This was the part two of ‘Ghar Wali Baat’ video, made when Indian Railways opened up after the first lockdown during Covid. The highlight was travel safety right after the first wave. Written and produced 100% in-house, during the WFH challenge. It hit a million in 3 days, and was featured on Financial Express, Exchange4Media, BrandEquity and was featured among top 10 creative picks on blogs.
Jaisa Ghar Waisa Desh – 10M multilingual experiment
This multi-lingual experiment, crossed 6M views in 3 days. It worked so well, we realised it twice, adding 4.5M extra views. Made in eight languages, it celebrated ‘Clean India’ movement from a travel perspective. Check out other versions in Marathi, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada. It was featured by IndianTelevision among many others.
Women’s Day – Ruk Jaana Nahi
Released on Women’s Day, this video was made 100% in-house with support from all the women in the office. With-in a day it hit a 1.6 million views, with 20,000 shares on Facebook, Trended #2 on Twitter, 66,000 likes on Instagram (grew follower base by 20x), Shared by celebrities and sportswomen. Covered by Live Mint, got coverage in Hindi , and many more. Plus an in-depth article on Medium. But the real success was thousands of heart-warming (and some heart-wrenching) comments about real issues spread across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & WhatsApp. The video made it to ‘videos with highest engagement‘ in India that week, beating big budgets with 100% in-house execution :). We also released part 2 of this next year called ‘Seh-Na’ with incredible engagement.
Vaccine Kyun? – Covid Years
This video was made on zero budget, with all spends down during Covid years. Produced 100% in-house, it was all about encouraging vaccines from a travel perspective. It was featured among top videos in India during that month.
Let’s Feed Together – Feeding 1.5M people
During the first lockdown, with everyone working from home, I got a call from a friend. He was the CEO was a company with big industrial kitchens and was pitching in by re-directing their resources to feed the migrant workers across India. They had a landing page, where anyone could donate and the teams would cook and deliver across with local NGOs. He asked me to do something to promote that. With no resources, my wife and I made this at home, spending Rs. 350 in production. The result, it sent 10,000 hits to the landing page with-in a week, and the donations from this fed 1.5M migrant workers across India.
Mario Takes A Flight – Viral PSA
With travel uncertainty during Covid years, this video went from zero to millions with-in hours, going crazy viral on WhatsApp. Air travel had become very different and to educate everyone about safest way to take a flight, we made this public service announcement. Beyond the online coverage, this was actually printed in Outlook Magazine, also featured on Afaqs, Brand Equity, SocialSamosa and started threads on Reddit. etc. To promote this in-house, we created Mario inspired DPs for everyone in the office, and 200+ people changed their DP’s at once.
Sounds We Miss – Famously Plagiarised
During the covid years, with WFH and zero budgets and zero travel happening.. we create this minimal video celebrated the sounds of travel. It went around super fast, so much so that it was famously plagiarised, was covered among multi-million dollar brands on ThePrint, the only entry made on zero budget.
Fool’s day – ixigo glass
Pranks on Fool’s day has become an annual tradition. Ixigo glass when released got the CEO calls to present at major tech conference. Executed 100% in-house, got the founders to act. Business Standard reported that Ixigo entered $20B wearable tech market, so did AdGully and ANINews, all a prank on fools day hah! To promote, we setup a booth at office, where everyone changed their DPs, wearing the Uber-cool Ixigo-glasses.
Fool’s Day – 4M views on a fake product
The ‘kavach’ was a smart lock, which solved the basic pain point of travellers, about safeguarding their luggage from theft. By the end of the week, it crossed 3 million views on Facebook with 25,000 shares, 300K on YouTube, incredible engagement on Twitter. Covered by NextBigWhat, TravelBizMonitor, Inc42, SocialSamosa and some hilarious spin-off videos many made on YouTube. It beat big budgets with kickass execution, ridiculously low budget and a solid idea. To the point, that when you search ‘Ixigo’ on amazon, it shows ‘kavach’ hah! Here’s more..
More April Fool's Day Viral Videos.. ▶️ Smart Seat - Anti-turbulence cushion ▶️ Rick-air - Executive class autorickshaws
Life Is A Rollercoaster
This was a video done for the theme park ‘Adlabs Imagica’ and instead of creating a video about rollercoasters, we focussed on people who took rollercoasters, and in a minimal video with a go-pro capturing the ride, we made it about life.
Goa Plans Be Like – 30K Comments In 3 Days
We did a meme few years back, which reached 20 million news-feeds. This one was re-imagining it in conversations. Hit 1.2M views on Facebook, incredible numbers on Instagram, but more importantly drove crazy engagement, 30K comments and 8K shares in first three days.
Train Jugaad – 4.1M
The biggest trend in marketing in India: Hindi Content. A short quirky travel hacks video made for train travellers. 3 Million views and 10k shares on Facebook, crossed 4M in few weeks. Made for भारत! Also made Episode 2, which did equally well.
Train Mein Hai Swag – RAP
Ten days of tireless execution, 100% in-house production. Super proud of the team for writing, song recording, music arrangement, shooting on four train trips, editing and distribution! What started as a song, became an anthem. Hit 1.2M on YouTube, 500K on Facebook and 44K likes and 10K bookmarks on Instagram and written about with biggest brands in India, only difference – we made it in-house and low budget. Update: Written about on AdGully, Hindu Business, Social Samosa, Exchange4Media and more.
Travel Pronunciation Guide
During the Covid year, when budgets went down to zero (literally), we focussed on ideas with zero shoots/production, and this one flew fast on release, it worked so well, we created Part two of this, which had incredible engagement as well.
Travel Photo Hacks
Continuing the zero budget videos during Covid, this one was about photo hacks for when travel began. Worked great, even got media love on zero budget :)
How to fake Goa trip
During Covid lockdowns, this one was for everyone missing travel, sitting at home. Climbed to a million with-in 3 days :)
How to Speak Series – 30M experiment
After the success of ‘How to speak Hyderabadi‘, we created eight videos with same story-telling format, and each video exploded in the regional communities. How to speak Malayalam became the video with highest engagement in India that week. The experiment crossed 30M views across social, incredible shares and comments (almost 1M). The experiments were done for Tamil, Gujarati, Punjabi, Arabic (for Sharjah Tourism), Kanpuriya and Lucknowi (along with Hyderabadi and Malayalam)
Food To Try Before You Die
This was the first experiment with food videos, Ibis opened up a new hotel in Hyderabad and this was about their awesome in-house restaurant. The video hit a million views in 3 days here, here and here combined. It was shared by 5400 people locally in Hyderabad, and the restaurant walk-in revenue increased by 70% and started huge conversation about Haleem. Did same for Goa (which Goa Tourism organically shared) and Rajasthani.
Unusual Series – The 120M Experiment
It all started with this one video.. It went crazy on Facebook, reached 205 million news-feeds, 60 million views, more than a 1.5 million shares, added 400,000 new Facebook fans, sky-rocketed iOS and Android app downloads for ixigo and made the Facebook page to the fastest growing in India. All organic! Also covered by Gizmodo (“Travel video that broke the internet”) and Tnooz (“ixigo proves Facebook is the place for video marketing”) and Viral Shots. Also, story on the learnings of this video on Social Samosa , Digital Defynd, Rodinhoods and went crazy on LinkedIn. UPDATE: Got shortlisted for DMAI Asia award. Scaled this experiment to create eight more curated video listicals, totally 120M views across.
Inside the bag of Indian student – 8M
Released this video on a Wednesday, and by Friday it had amassed half a million views on Facebook! Featured on NDTV and broke first day records of all previous videos. Here’s the first day story, the YouTube version is also being embedded crazy all over! Hit 1M in a week, then on last check it was hovering at 8M!
Hotel Hacks – 30M
This video hit 850k views on Facebook, and went crazy on WhatsApp. With no way to measure the views on WhatsApp, got countless stories of friends of friends sharing this across the world on WhatsApp. It also got featured on popular blogs around the world like Design Taxi, Bustle, BrainStorm9 and few more. Also a featured post I couldn’t read without a Chinese translator :) UPDATE: It got 3.5 million views when a Chinese Radio Channel posted it! Check here, ANOTHER Update: Just found that another Facebook page by the name TintoMon posted this and got 13 million views! Whoa! Check here; Yet Another Update: A Radio station’s Facebook page posted this and got 10 million views! Check here
Most Shared Brand Facebook Post in Asia (Campaign Asia) – 7 Million Views, 3.5 Lakh Shares, 2 Awards!
This is where Facebook emerged as the game changer for Video marketing back in the day. This one hit 4 million views in a month, accumulated 3.5 lakh+ shares on Facebook in 6 months. Got it’s own case study about how we got phenomenal numbers on a shoestring. It won the award for Marketing Innovation, was also nominated for Best Viral Marketing Campaign (India Digital Awards). Topicality wasn’t enough for video success, it had to be share-worthy and provide value to the ones watching. Update: Campaign Asia featured it as most shared brand Facebook post in Asia! :)
Visa Free Travel – 3M
This video got 250k views on Facebook, another 250k when a famous politician shared it. Adding a ‘Call to Action’ button on the video got us 6% CTR, app downloads jumped. A user downloaded it and posted it on his Facebook page, which got another 2.8 million views! “Shares” became the new currency for content marketing. It had to be share-worthy!