Canadian Video Wars: User Generated v Official

Below is a video from Universite de Quebec a Montreal, made by communications students. Yep, that’s all in one take:

Universite de Montreal has a one-take video too. But they hired a team of PR specialists to work on it. The result:

Which is more compelling? You be the judge.

I’d like to point out that the first video has nearly 3 million views (some of you may even be one of those 3 mil, having seen this video before reading this post), while the second has 2,200. The first video has close to 11,000 comments, and the second has eight. EIGHT. And for those of you who speak French, you’ll notice that those eight comments aren’t exactly complimentary (one says that the video seems like it’s made for children, points out that it’s an advertisement, and says that musical comedies are out of style).

Why is the first one so much more popular? Certainly it’s not the video quality, or the perfect lip sync. It’s not the professional choreography or slick production values. It’s because the first one is just more fun to watch. It’s “real.”

Let me ask you this: what’s compelling people to watch your videos? Spending a lot of money on a professional team of filmmakers won’t necessarily produce great results. In fact, we learned a long time ago that in many cases, “official content” is no longer the way to go (see I am Fresno State for some great examples of student-produced content).

It’s not about your army of professionals, but about the content video itself. If it isn’t compelling, interesting, or fresh, why would someone bother to watch it?

A special thank to you to Leisha LeCouvie, Director of Parent and Affinity Programs at McGill University in Montreal, who first brought the “video wars” to my attention.


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