Happy in Manchester UKFast video

Happy!

Last week I embarked on my first real attempt at a viral video. By viral, I’m talking ‘local viral’ not ‘global viral’ (that’s my next mission!)

Taking on Pharrell’s Happy and inviting some of Manchester’s most influential businesses, famous locations and amazing public to dance along and show us just how happy they are to be part of Manchester.

The first day filming proved a little challenging. Plucking up the courage to ask a stranger in the street to dance in front of a very professional-looking film camera was daunting to say the least but with a good sense of humour and plenty of encouragement, we got the city dancing.

Putting in hundreds of calls and emails over three days, I was amazed to see how many different people agreed to join the project, despite not knowing what it was all about. We decided to keep the idea for the finished project a secret, only telling the people who we invited that they’ll need lots of energy and to have their camera faces ready.

Spending three days running around the city to fit as many filming appointments into each day as possible, we managed to squeeze in more than 30 key Manchester faces and their dance moves into the three minute video.A manic editing afternoon later – thanks to the amazing @bexgillespie – we were ready to launch. I started the send out with hundreds of emails and calls to everyone invited to take part in the video, the dancers themselves and all of our media contacts. I then drove a three-day social campaign around the launch and the big reveal to fuel the buzz and encourage more shares.

Within an hour of launching the video local news outlets were getting in touch and not long later, the Manchester Evening News news desk dropped us a line. They loved the clip and featured it on the newsite’s homepage, as well as a double page spread of video stills in their Saturday print edition.

For our first toe dip into local-viral videos, we’re delighted with the result – hundreds of social shares and more than 8,000 views in a matter of days (which is huge compared to previous B2B videos we’ve produced) plus some bonus press coverage too!

Ultimately we achieved our aim to bring some joy to a grey week in Manchester!

I hope you enjoy the result, I’m really proud of it and really proud of my team.

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