Our First Viral Video | STORY TIME

Can I share a story with you? It's about a video I made that went viral... and I had NO idea until a few years later! 

For as long as I can remember, I've had a passion for cars—specifically, German vehicles like BMWs and Mercedes. 

 Naturally, when I picked up my first camera (a Canon 5D MK III), I started off shooting friends' cars for fun. I'd make short edits paired with my favourite hip-hop songs and upload the videos to Instagram. It wasn't long before people were starting to comment, like, and share the videos.

 One day, I get a DM from a guy who wanted to shoot a video with his BMW M4 (my dream car at the time) and his friends' BMW M cars. I agree, and I was stoked to start shooting. I could already picture the video in my head... 

 The morning of the shoot comes, and all the car owners start to show up at my house. My driveway was covered in over one million dollars worth of BMW M cars... it was NUTS! The shoot went amazing. We get all the footage I had planned for and some amazing B-ROLL content. 

 Over the next few days, I edited the video and uploaded a private link to Vimeo so the car owners could see the final result. They LOVED it...

 I also uploaded the video to my personal Instagram but didn't even think about uploading the video to YouTube...

 It wasn't until I started to notice big BMW pages repost the video that I thought, "wow, this video has the potential to go viral."  

 I still didn't upload the video to YouTube... 

 One day, I get a DM from someone on Instagram asking if this video is mine... I click the link to discover that the video I made was on someone else's YouTube channel with over 25 MILLION VIEWS...

 

Was I pissed off? Not really - as a young creative, it was cool to know over 25 million people had seen my video... 

 

What did I learn? A few things...

 

  1. If you're a creator looking to grow on social media, it's essential to broadcast your work on every social media platform. Could you imagine the position I would be in if the video had gone viral on MY YouTube channel with MY website and social media linked? 
  2. Watermark your content. I'm not a fan of big watermarks, but aside from a text overlay at the start of the video, my name or logo wasn't anywhere on the video. Even a small watermark would've protected my footage from being circulated by other pages without permission. 

 

I did build many great connections off the video's success that have shaped my career, which is fantastic! The craziest part is that the video or clips from the video are everywhere now. I'll stumble across videos on YouTube with my footage all the time. The best part is seeing the messages from fellow creators who enoyed the video.

 

P.S the original video I made is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eejtEH8IGc