A Viral Video Story
One of the neatest stories on social media today is that of Matt Harding. He was born on September 27, 1976. He was a video game developer in Westport, Connecticut. Not enthused by his career prospects, Matt quit his job and started traveling. One of Matt’s trademarks was a dance that he was known for. So, while traveling in Vietnam, a friend suggested he do his dance and they put it on video to upload and show his friends at home. So they did it. His friends loved it when they saw it on the web.
He recorded the dance at many more locations on his trip and ended up creating a video that contained 15 of the dance scenes. The video was passed around the internet. Matt’s video was being viewed thousands of times a day, prior to YouTube. Once YouTube came into being, Matt uploaded it there.
Stride Gum Sees and Opportunity
After the YouTube upload, viewership exploded. Stride Gum approached Matt and offered to sponsor his trips. When they saw the viewership the videos were getting, they saw an opportunity. So, with Stride’s sponsorship, Matt was able to organize another trip and completed a second video. This consisted of Matt dancing alone in from of famous monuments around the world.
In the middle of the second trip, while Matt was in Rwanda, the idea of dancing with people from the area presented itself. So he decided to do a third video, this time dancing with people. The video took 14 months to create and involved travelling to 42 different countries. It contains shots from 70 different locations. This trip was far more complicated because it involved much more organization. But it was well worth it.
As I am writing this article, YouTube reports that the video has been viewed 32,110,083 times. It has a 5 star rating and has been rated 102,559 times.
The Subtleness of the Promotion
When you watch the video the first thing you see is a black screen and then the word “Dancing” appears. From there the cut goes to an alleyway in Mumbai, India. And Matt begins to dance. The video cuts from location to location with music and other audio from the scenes. At the 4 minute 25 second mark of a 4 minute 29 second video, a special thanks to Stride Gum appears with their web address. Five seconds of exposure! Matt didn’t even wear a Stride t-shirt!
The video has generated all kinds of spinoffs. Just google “Matt” and you will see several links related to his videos. Most of those take you to YouTube, where there are more spinoff videos.
Click here to get to his website ( http://wherethehellismatt.com/ ) and view his latest video. Then Google “Matt” and see where it takes you.