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Hands up who spent their childhood playing Mario Kart?

Of course you did. We all did. Mario Kart is one of the few things in the world that can be both nostalgic and timeless all at once, which is why it was the perfect subject for this viral video…

 

 
 

In a collaboration between stunt group Base37 and Go Pro, the group don go-karts dressed as Bowser, Peach, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Yoshi and Mario to re-enact the game’s famous ‘Coconut Mall’ race in real life.

 

The video garnered 1.4 million views in two days, making it a viral video sensation, with coverage on the Daily Mail and ITV News.

 

But what specifically was it about this video that paved the way for that ever-elusive viral success? Let’s take a look…

 

Humour

There are plenty of viral videos out there that are deadly serious (and rightly so) to raise awareness of a serious issue. But you’d only go down that route in the right situation and on morally sound grounds. Of course, promoting a camera isn’t going to fit that bill, so here we are. A bunch of millenials in full-size Mario Kart costumes doing something we’d ALL totally do, given the chance. It looks like so much fun, and the attention to detail with the game’s stunts are genius, like the banana throw at 1:15.

 

Simplicity

Complicated narratives do not a viral video make. Simplicity is a key factor in the quest for virality because you’re looking for mass appeal – that carries a requirement to hold people’s short attention spans. Ultimately, you need to make your audience think as little as possible.

viral video ingredients mario kart flash mob

To be honest, this should be a leading point in any campaign you’re planning, video-based or otherwise. Overcomplicating a story or calls-to-action usually spell a death sentence for marketing success.

 

Surprise and delight

One of the things that strikes us as we watch the Mario Kart video back is how brave you’ve got to be to film this in the first place. Because this video definitely came with risks. On a basic level there’s simply being seen dressed as a Mario Kart character in public, which would wrack the nerves of many. Add to that the Go-Kart race in public and without the permission of the shopping mall, and you’ve got a never-ending risk assessment on your hands.

 

That said, those factors are what keeps the conversation going in the video comment. Just the idea that the group had the guts to go through with this becomes really topical – even creating speculation that the video was a fake (it wasn’t, by the way). This viral video ticked every box on the surprise and delight checklist, and became part of its overall success.

 

It’s short

There’s a time and a place for long-form video content, but when you’re competing for viral video fame it simply won’t fit the bill.

 

Short and snappy vids make shareable content. And in the infamous words of Bobby Womack: “Always leave them wanting more”.

 

Music

There’s an obvious win in the music stakes where a Mario Kart video is concerned – those Nintendo jingles are burnt into our memories forever (see also: the theme tune to The Flintstones and logging into MSN Messenger).  

 

But as we’ve said before, music changes the pace and style of a video. Or sometimes, it can be a pronounced lack of music that really sets the tone. Either way, use sound cleverly and you’ve got another ingredient that works hard for you to help you on the way to viral success.

 

And finally, the unforgettable ending

Ok, it’s time to talk about that ending!

 

In this case it was the police catching up that makes this video unforgettable, and leaves one last hilarious joke with the viewer in the form of the Game Over screen and accompanying sound effect.

 

We’re not saying you should plan to take up valuable police time with the production of your next video. But we are saying that your next ending needs to stick in the mind of your audience for good reasons – with a clever joke, a big reveal, or an easy instruction that they just can’t ignore. Plan it carefully and viral video success is yours for the taking.

 

Want to chat about how we can help your next video be the one you’re remembered for? Drop us an email.

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