Over the past several months, Pharrell William’s song “Happy” has become a sort of Internet phenomenon, as well as a bona fide musical hit. Released in October 2013, the song really caught fire earlier this year. Along with the official music video, Williams also did something that had never been done before- he released a subsequent 24 hour long music video. The world’s first 24-hour music video, that is.
Viewers can visit 24hoursofhappy.com and literally watch 24 straight hours of people dancing along to the song. From celebrities to everyday people to Pharrell Williams himself, people can be seen dancing up and down streets, alleys, hallways, and more, all throughout Los Angeles. The catchy song combined with watching all different types of people dancing gives off an almost infectious “happy” vibe.
Obviously Williams and those behind the concept of the 24-hour music video did something right. The song has been sitting at number one on the Hot 100 chart for consecutive weeks. One week alone the song had 490,000 digital downloads and outsold the number two song by more than 100%, with more than a million sales altogether. The music video has had more than 200 million views, and has spawned a number of cover videos, with people from all over the world dancing in their respective cities.
So what exactly led to such great success for Williams? We think there are three major things to be learned here.
People Love “Feel Good” Content
Have you ever noticed that the videos that go viral tend to be things that make people feel happy? Cute videos of babies or puppies, soldiers returning home, hilarious things that make us laugh – people love to feel good, and they love to share content that makes them feel good. The “Happy” video is nothing but four minutes – or 24 hours – of feel good music and dancing. It’s practically impossible to watch the video and not perk up just a bit. This is definitely something to keep in mind the next time you need to create something for your brand.
Social Media Is Key
As stated above, the music video for “Happy” has more than 200 million views – an unbelievable number. There is no way that number would be so high without social media shares. Once a video takes off, people begin sharing it with their friends and followers across all platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube itself. Likewise, the success of the 24hoursofhappy.com website also comes from social media shares. News outlets don’t typically pick up on stories of this nature, so how else would the site be marketed? Social media is certainly key for online success of any kind.
It Pays to Stay Ahead of the Curve
A large part of the buzz behind the 24-hour video is because it is something unlike anything that has been done before. The fact that it is the first 24-hour music video ever is enough to cause many people to take a look. Once you view the site, it’s hard not to stay and browse around. It’s such a unique concept that viewers want to be a part of it and to find out more. Lesson to learn? Doing something before the rest of your peers jump on board is a great way to draw attention and stay ahead of the competition.
Since online success is something all businesses hope for and desperately need, it’s important to take note whenever you see something similar to the success of the “Happy” music video. There is something to be learned from all great Internet success stories, no matter the actual content. Taking note of how the success was accomplished can be a great takeaway for your business and something you can strive for in the future.