It has been three weeks since the initial post of the viral video “First Kiss,” which was beautifully created by Tatia Pilieva. This video has received over 73 million views on YouTube since the writing of this post and the number continues to grow with each passing day.
At first view, many believed it was like any other video published on YouTube that happened to attract the hearts of millions and became a viral success. However, with a bit of research, others found that it was actually an advertising campaign for the Fall 2014 collection of the clothing brand, Wren Studio. Many people have become skeptical about the video’s true intention with the discovery of the cast being full of models, musicians and actors. Although the participants in the video are in the entertainment industry, some tend to forget that these models, musicians, and actors are regular people too. Wren Studio CEO, Melissa Coker, assured, “‘Well there are people whose profession is actor, but it’s L.A. after all, I can’t help but have actor friends.’ But everything that you see is 100 percent authentic and real and exactly as how the video explains it.”
Coker explains how the “First Kiss” video significantly helped their brand with her article, “How We Made a Viral Video of Strangers Kissing and Increased Sales by Nearly 14,000%”
As said in the article, many people took interest in the video, began sharing it with their friends and family through social media and eventually had a huge following. I have seen this video shared numerous times on Facebook. Not only did “First Kiss” find popularity throughout social media outlets, it was also featured on national news outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Adweek, and many more. A number of parodies emerged from this viral sensation as well:
First Gay Hug
It also inspired one woman, by the name of Hye Yun Park, to make her own “First Kiss” video with non-famous strangers from the streets of New York City:
Coker discovered that people are more inclined to share something that is emotionally impactful. With that in mind, Coker sought out the help of Tatia Pilieva to create the “First Kiss.” Sharing the awkwardness of meeting a complete stranger, yet creating a humanistically delicate connection with them is something that not very many advertising campaigns have to offer nowadays. Not only are the people within the video share a connection, but as a viewer, one can connect with the reactions of the participants in the video and relate them to their previous experiences of their own first kiss.
Subtlety is also a key point that Coker implemented on the campaign. “Nobody, especially millennials, wants to be screamed at to buy something.” This statement is true. Pilieva was sure to include hints of the brand name “Wren” at the very beginning and in the credits. By placing the brand name at the very beginning and at the very end, it is hardly noticeable because the viewer is more focused on the content of the video.
By creating this very simple advertising campaign, Wren Studio was able to successfully generate brand awareness while restoring the audience’s faith in love with the help of social media.