If you've seen Matt dance on the web then you know that his videos are sponsored by Stride gum. In fact, I can't think about Matt without thinking about Stride gum and I can't think about Stride gum without Matt.
I'm not alone.
Over 12 million 13 million people (as of July 6, 2009) have the same connection in their heads. The best part: when I'm in the drug store and I see Stride at the counter, I smile.
Video on the web can do that.
Matt's website http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/about.shtml tells the behind the scenes tale of a guy who quits his job, travels, and does something on video for a laugh and then someone sees it and then another someone sees it and then a sponsor wants to share in the idea.
But Stride gum didn't destroy the charm. And that's something in this day and age.
What I like about Matt and Stride's viral video:
- It's goofy. Sweet goofy. As Matt writes, the message is "to have fun."
- There's a slight tension. Where the hell is he going to go next... that keeps you watching.
- Stride doesn't shout from the trees that's this is being sponsored by them. According to Matt's website, Stride didn't force an agenda. Stride said, "We like what you're doing. We want to help you. We don't want to mess with you."
- It's not a one-shot video idea. A second video was produced over the course of a year and debuted this year. It's been seen by 13 million people. You've got to believe Stride and Matt are dreaming up #3.
- The video has created must see real estate on the Stride website. I'm sure most folks first saw this video on YouTube, but if some of those viewers were curious about the story (like I was) they went to Stridegum.com to find out more.
Can viral videos be produced at will? Or is it sort of like producing theater on Broadway: you can't make a living but you can make a killing.
I hope not.