A Look at Mercedes-Benz’ Viral Video ‘The Catch’
There are very few sure-thing formulas when it comes to trying to create a video that will be shared time and again over social media to the point of being considered viral. Catching insane natural phenomena on video is one way to get millions of views, especially if the event appears dangerous in some manner like being stuck in a hurricane or filming a tornado as it tears its way through your town. Likewise, catching an animal doing something out of the ordinary will also end up garnering a massive amount of hits, especially if said animal is a cat. One video type that isn’t as reliably viral but can yield impressive view counts, though, is when people attempt to break or create world records. Mercedes-Benz video ‘The Catch’ is one such video, which, to date, has earned itself over 2.7 million views.
Released in June of 2012, ‘The Catch’ was released at a time when the internet couldn’t have been more ripe insofar as viral YouTube videos are concerned. If you take into consideration that the ridiculously popular (and hilariously ridiculous) music video Gangnam Style by PSY was released less than a month after Mercedes’ video, it’s not difficult to imagine ‘The Catch’ having received millions more views with only minor changes to the presentation. By no means should this be taken as an implication that the car manufacturer’s video should have been a Korean music video, but there are a few tiny modifications that we think could have likely doubled its view count.
‘The Catch’ would benefit from a little commentary overlay that described either why they did the stunt, where the idea came from, previous attempts by other people or some other bits of interesting information. Preferably, this commentary would be given by David Coulthard and Jake Shephard – the driver and golfer, respectively – to quickly create the feeling that they have some sort of bond with each other. The commentary wouldn’t have to be the entire length of the video, but would have been well suited to happen during the failed attempts at the beginning of the video.
While this change would be practically impossible, the video still would have likely received many more views if a different entity had released it. Rather than Mercedes-Benz itself, a smaller company loosely associated with Mercedes like Adsitco (www.adsitco.com) would have made the feat feel like a bigger win all around. ‘The Catch’ still would have brought all the intended attention to the SLS, but a smaller organization wouldn’t have felt like there was unlimited money behind the filming. The burnout and breaking after the catch could have transitioned into, “if you need replacement brakes for your Mercedes visit us”. Or “If you blow your Engine out on your Mercedes Benz get one from us”. Being able to drive sales directly through a marketing effort like this could increase sales on items like Transmissions and other parts related to owning a Mercedes Benz like drivetrains.
Whether part of the aforementioned commentary or just as a brief text overlay, the video should have described the parameters used to make it a world record. As one YouTube commenter noted, “couldn’t you just install a giant funnel on top of your car?” You see, by posting the rules directly in the video, people would have been more tempted to attempt to break the record set in ‘The Catch’, which in turn would have meant more repeated viewings and inbound links.