Someone once told me, “If you want to increase the number of hits to your website, stick up a video of kittens”. Needless to say I thought the person had uttered it in jest. However, there was some truth to what they said and it has stuck with me ever since.
On a personal level, I have to admit I am a major cat fan. So I often get sucked in when I see videos featuring cute cats or any animal now that I think about it.
Displaying cute animals may be a clever way to direct traffic to your website. Yet, from a business perspective, we need to be serious and remember what we promote on our website or through social media needs to be linked back to what we are selling, especially when we wish to come across as a credible and professional organisation.
Interestingly enough GoPro achieved amazing exposure and credibility, when they were fortunate enough to come across a video created by one of their users when they saved a kitten from a smouldering house in Fresno, California.
The hero was firefighter, Cory Kalanick who rescued an unconscious cat back from a burning house in 2013. Mr Kalanick was wearing a GoPro HD Hero3 camera attached to his helmet, when he entered the smouldering building and found the kitten. The video showed Kalanick going into the building, finding and carrying the lifeless cat called “Lucky” back outside where he proceeded to resuscitate the kitten by giving it oxygen and dousing it with water.
Kalanick uploaded the video to YouTube attracting over 1.5 million views in the first couple of weeks. That Autumn, GoPro came across the heart-breaking yet uplifting video. They recut the footage, added their logos and released it on their own YouTube channel using the title “Firefighter saves kitten”.
Up to then, most of GoPro’s clips involved people taking part in extreme sports such as surfing, skiing, skateboarding amongst others. So, having previously captivated an audience of sports junkies, they were now able to tap into a new market – cat and animal lovers.
This was quite a different approach for them, yet it turned out to be a worldwide marketing success. The clip brought in 5 million views within a week. At last count (July 2016), the number of views was over 31.6 million.
By trying something different and appealing to people’s emotions (yes - even with cute kittens), GoPro has successfully demonstrated how the GoPro camera can capture so many memorable moments. However on a sad note, word has it that despite the heroic efforts of the wonderful firefighter Cory Kalanick, the gorgeous cat was not so lucky after all as he later died of smoke inhalation.
Whilst sad to hear, it is good to know there are wonderfully brave and caring people out there – so on behalf of fellow cat lovers thank you Cory Kalanick. And to GoPro, as a marketing professional, I say well done.