YouTube is streaming and streaming. A study conducted by Google itself measured the most successful YouTube livestreams of all times. It measures the virality of the videos using the number of people who were streaming it simultaneously as an index. The findings are insightful and have an impact on your (current and future) brand communication.
If you are here for the short story: just know that out of the 100 most-watched YouTube livestreams ever, 60 of them aired in the years 2017 and 2018. For you as a brand manager, entrepreneur or marketer, this means that the time to invest in high quality, top engaging video content is now - because the audience is ready and waiting.
If you want the long story, keep reading my review of some of the top 10 livestreams of the YouTube history.
Redbull shoots Felix Baumgartner into the stratosphere
Redbull is known for its marketing inventiveness. Their marketeers are just ahead of time more often than not. I am trying to imagine the marketing meeting in which one of them once said “As our next marketing gig, I think we should throw a man down a helium-filled balloon floating in the near-vacuum of the stratosphere”. I try to imagine how everybody else in the meeting also thought that it was a good idea. A free fall. A tiny parachute. And, to tell the entire truth, no 100% knowledge that the plan would actually work.
Felix Baumgartner is the name of the man who volunteered for being the first man free-falling from that high - at the age of 43. He broke the barrier of sound. Few seconds before the jump, his iconic phrase “I’m coming home”.
39,045 meters of altitude. The fall at 1,357.6 km/h. A Redbull branded helicopter, a Redbull branded livestream, a Redbull branded mission control team. The energy drink who has been promising for years to give us wings to fly, showed that it could live up to its promise. Redbull made it to the world record. With one of the most emotional marketing campaigns of all times.
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rockets to space
Yet another branded space dream. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, created an entire new venture and a space plan in what may have been one of the most expensive marketing campaigns ever. Riding on the evergreen dream of conquering outer space, Elon stands up (during yet another marketing meeting) and proposes to ship a Tesla to Mars.
Here again, I am sure that many of the meeting participants had prepared detailed pitches about buying a solid combination of billboard placements and online media coverage, or a “Win a Tesla” campaign. And then Elon comes in and makes the pitch of the pitches - he’d rather conquer Mars than spend money on paid media.
What can you argue to that? Well, not much. The SpaceX Falcon Heavy shot a Tesla Roadster into space on February 6th 2018. In the car, the mannequin of a man in a spacesuit enjoyed the ride while listened to David Bowie’s Space Oddity soundtrack. And maybe still is, if the battery is still running.
Beyoncé sings at Coachella
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival attracts approximately 250.000 music lovers every year since 1999, with a gross revenue of over 100 million. It takes place in the Colorado Desert and originates from a group of people who stood up against mainstream venues.
Beyoncé singing at one of the most popular music festivals in the world was a success for her, and for a part of the American society. She was the first African-American woman ever to headline at the festival, and reinforced her pride by enhancing her performance with elements taken from the black college culture. Twitter went crazy for #beychella and Netflix aired an over 2 hour documentary about her performance.
Meghan marries Harry
If Royal Family’s brand is reinforced with every public event. Royal weddings are some of the most reinforcing ones. In 2018, Prince Harry got married to former actress Meghan Merkle, and their wedding livestream numbers smashed William and Kate ones. The entire UK stopped doing whatever they were doing for 2 hours, and watched the Duke of Suxess getting married, Meghan becoming one of Their Royal Highnesses, and her mother crying happy tears.
In the following months Meghan and Harry’s brand grew so strong that they split from the Kensingtons (which whom they have shared one same media team and strategy until then) and started off their own channels and an independent media strategy.
What engaging video content can do for your brand
Four livestreams have shown the power of engaging video content. What do they have in common? While they are very different, they all focus on one key aspect in human interaction: empathy, and connection to real-live emotions.
The watchers of those video always dreamt of conquering outer space on a Tesla, free-falling from the stratosphere or becoming a princess, Making those dreams true for your brand fans - even if just for a moment - can bind your customers forever.