As a Public Relations major and journalism enthusiast, reading my tweets and scrolling through facebook is a daily occurrence for me. Being a college band geek, a lot of what caught my eye this past fall was Ohio State’s Marching Band performing something where they played some really cool music and made a really cool shape. That seemed to be their thing this past year. When these videos were posted, it was only a few days before it seemed all of my friends on Facebook had seen and were sharing this video.
COURTESY: OSUBuckeyeTV Youtube Channel
Here, Michael Jackson shows up, and the crowd goes wild. The band does one smooth moonwalk together, and the music sounds great! So, what is it that makes us share these videos? I’m in the marching band, so I’m interested in these, but what about everyone else?
Why do we share these?
Well – first off – the videos have well known music played by a well known group. Ohio State’s Band isn’t called The Best Damn Band in the Land (TBDBITL) for no reason. Aside from them being songs we all know and love, the video went viral for other reasons as well.
Lewis PR posted on their blog ways videos go viral. They used the video, “Girl Effect,” and “Kony” to make examples of viral videos. These videos are more emotional and have a great call to action. They both affected a lot of people, and Kony even attempted to make a revolution where people covered their town with Kony’s name and face. We all know it eventually died off, but it was a pretty strong campaign, and history’s most viral video.
Marching Band doesn’t tug on the heart strings quite as much as something like “Kony” or “Girl Effect,” but some of these shows do have feel-good music that makes people want to share them, and want their friends to experience them as well.
In Lewis PR‘s blog post, they gave three reasons videos go viral.
- Deep Connections
- Creative Disruption
- Community Influencers
So how does Ohio State get a marching band show to go viral, and where does it fall under this reasoning?
1. Deep Connections
‘Merica loves football, and football loves ‘Merica. It’s a love/love relationship.
Photo Credit: In Flex We Trust
With football comes marching bands, especially in Ohio. Ohio has a very strong passion for football and is generally supportive of its bands. Ohio State especially has a huge following for their bands. The school loves the songs, and the atmosphere the band creates at the games. So why not share it? A lot of the people sharing the video at first were fans of Ohio State, or people who attended the university. Their pride in their school and pride in their band caused them to click that share button. It’s a way for them to help share their love for the school and experiences of being a student with all of their friends on Facebook. That deep connection helped to start the sharing of this marching band video.
2. Creative Disruption
If you haven’t watched the video, and are just browsing through the blog, you should go check it out. Mr. Jonathan Waters, Ohio State Marching Band Director, does a wonderful job writing shows for these students. The various formations that they are able to make are just awesome, and if you’ve marched before, I’m sure your jaw dropped a little bit imagining your band trying to make these shapes. Mine did. What’s so great about TBDBITL is that they make it look so easy. The creativity is what makes them stand out, and share-able!
3. Community Influencers
Here, the community influencers are the people sharing the content. Those sharing the content see it as valuable enough to show to other people. Other influencers can come from media talking about the band. This story from Channel 5 News-WEWS in Cleveland shows another show the band did a couple weeks after the Michael Jackson Tribute. It was a video game show that featured an OSU ship sinking a UofM ship – definitely a crowd pleaser at this game. These community influencers bringing attention to the videos are a driving force behind the viral videos.
Back to PR…
Not every video you post will go viral, and very little of your content will be able to reach one million views or shares. But the ones that do have the ability to make an impact. For marching bands, I’m sure they didn’t mean to have their videos go viral. I know from experience that performing a show once, for all the time and effort you put into it, isn’t nearly enough. Being able to share their hard work and experience with people for years after makes the hard work a bit more worth it. Going viral and getting more people to associate positive thoughts with TBDBITL’s brand is just a plus. Ohio has a lot of respect for their bands, but sharing a simple YouTube video and sharing their hard work and efforts with people around the world has made them even more well-known and now, we can watch their shows any time of the year. Hopefully next year brings them just as many cool shows and share-able viral videos!
And just in case you haven’t gotten enough of the marching band videos (I know I haven’t…) here’s one of my favorite shows they did – their Hollywood Show.