Pulling YouTube Marketing in a New Direction.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

This is a philosophical question that has stumped (pardon the pun) philosophers for generations. But it does suggest some interesting implications for entertainment marketing. Some implications which the Australian tour of The Addams Family have already used.

YouTube is quickly becoming a very powerful tool for marketing in the entertainment industry because it allows users to increase their engagement with shows and get a sneak peek behind the curtain at the immense talent within a cast. But among the millions, maybe even billions, of YouTube videos it is very easy to get lost in the crowd.

While not prevalent in all shows, there are certain musicals that are pushing the envelope beyond the obligatory promotional videos. Mary Poppins and Wicked have uploaded videos with the cast miming along to relevant songs and Newsies released a photo montage of lyrics for their song King of New York. But considering the length that these shows have run, none have been anywhere near as popular as the above cover from The Addams Family. With a special Addams twist . . .

Entitled I Was Killed By Somebody I Used To Know, the video features a re-recorded version of Gotye’s infamous Somebody I Used To Know with some creepy and kooky alterations accompanied by a music video featuring the entire cast and crew.

I saw this show on Broadway and despite being one of the best shows I have seen, it unfortunately failed to resonate with Australian audiences. However, this video that was released after its closing date was announced has been seen by more people than the Newsies video and is currently running head-to-head with Wicked‘s offering (a show which has been on Broadway for 10 years and toured the world extensively!).

But there are two reasons why it has been viewed so many times.

The First Reason: It is Shareable.

Last week, I talked about the shareability of Todrick Hall’s Disney-inspired Cell Block Tango video. Well the same principles are in play here. In most of these videos, the only novel stimulus in the YouTube upload is the video montage as they have used the original version of the song as the audio track. However, in the case of The Addams Family, the song has been re-written, re-recorded AND performed by the cast. That means YouTube viewers have three reasons to not only view the video but also share it amongst their friends.

The Second Reason: Buttering up the right people.

If you want to be seen then you have to be in YouTube’s good books and unfortunately in today’s world that means buttering them up with money in exchange for promotion. But luckily the amount that YouTube demands is dependent on the popularity of certain key words which means that there is very little excuse for theatre companies not to pay to have their videos promoted. Since the theatre key words generally don’t overlap with those used by Apple, Coca-Cola and BP, they cost less when audiences click on them which means better value for money and ultimately more traffic for a lot less $$$.

So take a lesson from the clever marketing at The Addams Family which is giving Broadway blockbuster Wicked a run for their money when it comes to YouTube popularity.