I cant help but feel a sense of pride, not just because they are all from my Alma Mater, Yeshiva University, and not because I know a couple of these guys personally, but because their rise to fame is probably one of the best expressions of what Chanukah is all about. Its about the little guy beating the odds and coming out on top. As well as a great lesson for us marketers.
Only a week after the release of their parody to Taio Cruz “Dynomite”, The Maccabeats video “Candlelight” has cone completely viral, with over 2 million unique views.
This video proves that anyone can do it (not to minimize their success at all, because I happen to like their music a lot). This video gives hope to us all and shows that the little guy can win.
Its certainly not easy, if even at all possible, to predict what the inter-webs will make go viral. However, a few observations on what these guys have done to help drive their success forward that can help us do a better job when we try to make our content spread.
Catchy tune: They took a popular song on the radio, and parodied it, and actually, in my opinion, made it even better (not only because Taio Cruz is annoying and I cant stand his music, but because they actually sound good).
Timing: Obviously in this situation releasing a Chanukah video in July wouldn’t have made a lot of sense. But for all you marketers out there, timing is everything. Staying on top of topics, trends, etc. is crucial. Don’t be these guys.
Professional: Uri Westrich, is extremely talented. I have seen a bunch of his video’s in the past (see: Up in Wash-Heights staring my boy Rif-raf AKA Rafi Rosensweig). Unlike some of these make-shift video’s, a significant amount of time was clearly put into this. Appearance matters. Don’t just throw something together and expect it to work. Take pride in your what you do.
Unique: And I am not talking about the entire concept because in this specific Maccabeats situation, other than the fight scene with the greeks (which stars my buddy Shy), the background of them singing, and the song tune, are completely un original. And still, they brought something new and fresh to the table. And actually, come to think of it, I don’t know of any other popular songs that explain the Chanukah story quite like the Maccabeats do. Matisyahu tried to put something out around the same time with his Miracle on Ice, which also got a nice amount of views in a short time, but nothing like the 2 millions views to the Maccabeats “Candlelight” video.
So, to end on the corniest and most cliche analogy I could possibly think of: just like the little jug of oil, which was supposed to burn for 1 days burned for 8, a little A Capella group called the Maccabeats, which was supposed to be a bar mitzvah and Simcha band, rose to the ranks of CNN, MSNBC, the today show, and the wallstreet journal.
Mazel Tov Maccabeats. And to all you marketers out there, we all start out as the little guy at some point.