Boutique Australian production company The Woolshed Company has admitted it is behind the latest ‘viral’ video which features a hawk dropping a snake onto a family enjoying a BBQ beside Melbourne’s Yarra River.
The clip was originally uploaded on Monday by Youtube user Douglas Wong, who has no other videos published under his name, with media picking up on the video on Wednesday.
However, there was a lot of debate around whether the video was real or not, with The Age speculating that it was another video from The Woolshed Company which revealed in July that it was behind a number of viral videos that had ticked news companies worldwide.
Speaking with Mumbrella, Dave Christison, MD of The Wooldshed Company, revealed the video was produced on behalf of AFL club the Hawthorn Hawks.
“The marketing department at the Hawks came to us after the release and the media around the viral experiment and wanted to work with us on a brief to generate buzz around the Hawks leading into the finals,” he said.
“It’s the second video we’ve done for a client, the Tornado selfie we did a while ago was for Roadshow films.”
The new video aims to encapsulate the club’s final’s theme of ‘Embrace the Hunt’ and generate widespread media coverage as the club aims to win its fourth straight premiership. The video even features a pointer to next Friday’s qualifying final which will see the Hawks take on the Geelong Cats, with a Geelong Cats sticker featured on the esky in the video.
Dave Christison: “The response we’ve had in the media is pretty much what we were going for”
Christison said the challenge with creating these videos is getting an idea into one sell-able image that audiences will want to click on.
“The idea of a snake falling from the sky on to you ticked those boxes and our key objectives with this were to get Hawks into the news and embrace their marketing line ‘Embrace The Hunt’ and for us that was thinking of ways to integrate that with a hawk, and we ended up with the snake on the BBQ trick,” he explained.
Despite the media debating the ‘real-ness’ of the video, with The Age even speculating it had come from The Woolshed Company, Christison said the media response was exactly what the company wanted.
“The objective of these things is to get into the news, get into the media and to create an audience online,” he said.
“I’ve said this in the past when we were asked about what worked and what didn’t in our past virals and one of the key factors of that is to create debate around authenticity; that’s what generates conversation and re-shares. The response we’ve had in the media is pretty much what we were going for.”
“The media helps propel these videos and the momentum of them online, that’s the first step and that can take a little while. It was posted Tuesday morning and some media had reported on it by that afternoon and night and yesterday was when it really took off,” Christison said.
“That is quite fast in our experience – it usually takes 24-48 hours to get that initial pick up and momentum.”
“It was quite refreshing to work with a client who was quite trusting in us in the creative process as well as the seeding and distribution process. Without that trust and confidence it is really hard to guarantee the success we’ve had with this.”
A Hawthorn spokesperson said: “We wanted everyone to know that it’s September and the Hawks are on the attack, and hopefully we’ve succeeded.
“Our aim was to create a real buzz around the launch of our seventh consecutive finals campaign and really get people talking.
“The debate over its authenticity has been had by various media outlets across both Australia and the globe.”
The video has been picked up by the likes of Buzzfeed, 3AW, The Age, SBS, the Daily Mail, The Mirror in the UK and The Telegraph in the UK.
“Hopefully we haven’t scared too many people off a BBQ by the Yarra.”