IN A NAME?
Stephen Voltz (left) and Fritz Grobe (right) going viral.
Viral video manifesto
Pure Alaska Omega is an all-natural, cold-pressed, extra virgin
wild Alaskan salmon oil.
+ The only food-grade, edible
salmon oil on the market
+ Naturally free of heavy metals
and other impurities
Pure Alaska Omega salmon oil is
made in Alaska with wild Alaskan
+ We use only Alaskan salmon:
tracked and traceable
+ From sustainable fisheries
that are responsibly managed
Our unique process preserves
the natural and unsaturated
essential fatty acid bonds.
+ Cold-pressing protects
naturally occurring vitamins
and antioxidants, as well as
+ Naturally formed omega 3s
are more readily absorbed
+ Next best thing to eating wild
A TRIDENT SEAFOODS COMPANY
WAREHOUSE/ COSTCO.COM | AVAILABLE NOW
14 ;e Costco Connection APRIL 2013
ON A QUIET Saturday morning in June 2006,
Costco members Fritz Grobe, a Yale mathematician and circus performer, and Stephen Voltz,
a former attorney, ventured into a country field
and dropped a bunch of Mentos into Diet
Coke, creating a fountain of geysers and a
video that would take the world by storm. It’s
called viral video, and Voltz and Grobe have
made that their life’s work. In their book The
Viral Video Manifesto: Why Everything You
Know Is Wrong and How to Do What Really
Works (McGraw-Hill, 2013), they offer their
take on how to make creative do-it-yourself
videos to promote yourself or your product.
They were happy to share a few of their tips
with fellow Costco members.—Steve Fisher
Create something unforgettable. You might
not have a lot of money, but you do have
time, or you can find an artist, performer
or young filmmaker whom you can afford
to pay what might be meaningless dollars
to the big guys, but could mean a lot to a
young artist. Give them a few thousand
dollars to spend a couple of weeks doing
nothing but exploring fun things to do
with your product, and chances are they’ll
find something offbeat and interesting that
no one’s ever done before. That’s the begin-
ning of the path to unforgettable, and it
might just catch on. Spend your budget on
finding unforgettable, not on production.
Shoot in real locations. On the street. In
your office or store. In a local park or
playground. Rahat Hossein, whose
“Invisible Driver Drive Thru” prank
video went viral, with more than 30 mil-
lion views in two weeks, shot his opening
in a parking lot and the rest of the video
at drive-through windows of real fast-
food places. That’s the right approach.
Keep working on the idea for your video
until you can describe it in just a few
words in a way that will make people want
to click. “No Pants Subway Ride” or “Baby
Monkey Riding Backwards on a Pig” are
great examples. Get that right, then shoot
a video that lives up to it, and you’re well
on your way to being contagious.
Don’t create fictional characters. Use
yourself or real people who are part of
your business and let them be themselves.
Authenticity is currency online, and it
doesn’t cost anything.
Don’t put typical product shots in your
videos. You know what they are. They’re
Vanna White holding the product up,
label front aimed right at the camera.
Don’t do that! People want to watch your
video for entertainment or for information. Either way, they aren’t watching to
see an advertisement. As soon as you
include a product shot your piece
becomes an ad and everyone immediately tunes out. Use your product as it
would be in real life and tag the end of
your piece with the brand and a link.
Don’t edit your final piece. This is a little-known secret. Sure, lots of viral videos
have edits, but if you plan and practice
well before you shoot, you can get a two-minute piece done in a single unedited
take. Doing that will give your video a
power and an immediacy that is hard for
an edited piece to approach.
For more information, visit Voltz and
Grobe’s website at