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Adapting the traits of viral videos

I recently saw a series of videos about the business of viral videos, and was surprised that it was actually informative and analytical.

The videos were given from the point of view of getting someone started in producing viral videos for profit, but some of the lessons could be applicable to designing and marketing board games.

What to pursue?

  1. Write a list of all your ideas.
  2. Go through each item and evaluate it from 1 to 5 on three criteria:
    • How big is the audience?
    • How much do they care?
    • How passionate are you about this idea?
  3. Take your top 2-3 ideas and go with them.

Make derivatives

Don't try to reinvent the wheel from scratch. Take the best parts of what works in other videos/art/games and innovate from there, especially when you are just starting out in a new industry or medium. Go for minor alterations at the start, and slowly learn how to effectively combine increasingly disparate ideas into a new creation in future projects. Decades of valuable learning and experience went into crafting other videos/art/games, and they were built on the experiences of those that came before them. Don't underestimate this.

The most contagious media

Most viral videos and popular stories combine one or more of the following to elicit emotion (in no particular order):

  1. Challenge assumptions
  2. A unique perspective
  3. Tell a story

Challenge assumptions means to challenge the assumptions of what people assume to be true. When people hear they might be wrong, they pay attention. I'm not sure how to apply this directly to board game marketing, but could it be good advice for the theme and setting?

A unique perspective is explaining your message in a way that isn't immediate obvious or cliche. Don't be afraid to be weird. This has given me some great ideas for an intro video instead of following the same format of others.

Stories are how we think and process the world. Stories bring us together in ways that share our common experiences. By sharing videos/art/games, we are asking others to share in that storied experience with us.

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blog | by Dr. Radut