Last year, I stumbled into mainstream Internet recognition in Seattle. Actually, I drove into it.
My wife and I got stuck in a terrible storm from Seattle to Tacoma, where we live, and in the boredom of our 10-hour “#snomg” commute I tweeted about everything that came to mind, with little filter. As a result, I flooded the stream on Twitter and gained some very minor celebrity (I mean, levels below even Kathy Griffin) during the event and a few days after.
This year, I had no plans to produce media around the impending storm, but then MCDM colleague Madeline Moy suggested in a Facebook thread that someone parody the “Sh*t Girls Say” meme with “Sh*t Seattle People Say When It Snows.” I found inspiration in it and got started. I filmed for a couple hours after work and dropped the first video that evening on YouTube, just to entertain my Facebook friends.
That first video took off. I thought it’d get 1,000 views at the most, but by the time I woke up the next morning I was well into five-figure views. I had plenty of shots left over, so I edited Part 2 and posted that, too. The two videos received many great comments in 48 hours, so I “replied” to them with Part 3 just earlier today, featuring many of the suggestions viewers provided.
So, how in the hell did this work out so well?
In digital media circles, we often talk about content and distribution models, but we rarely talk about newsworthiness — a more common discussion amongst PR flacks. Even great content — and I think I produced amateur content — needs a reason. To go viral, and I don’t think the “Sh*t Seattle People Say When It Snows” videos have hit that hockey stick growth quite yet, content needs more than a business reason or approval of an inner circle of friends. It has to appeal with reason and context for a broader audience to “get it.”
This year’s snow was my perfect storm, pun intended. I knew that a) people like to talk about the rare snow in Seattle, b) Seattlites have plenty of free time on snow days, and c) everyone likes a good laugh. Madeline’s request reminded me that there was a familiar and popular meme format to leverage.
It has been all Seattle snow jokes since.
This post is categorized in: Social Media