wo years ago I went crazy viral for travelling half way around the world to surprise my family for christmas and sister for her birthday. This blog will show a little behind the scenes on exactly what happened during that time.
But first, here is the all important video.
I hope you are feeling nice and festive after watching that!
The video itself does a pretty great job explaining exactly how I pulled this off. For clarity here it is broken down in to easy to follow steps:
-Before leaving – set up elaborate treasure hunt
-Leave for the promised land of the United States of America
-Don’t get deported
-Around Christmas contact sister with her first clue
-As she is off on the treasure hunt – fly home
-Run into innumerable challenges
-Fly through 4 countries and 5 cities
-Ninja into back garden
-Give Mother a minor heart attack
-Construct human sized box
-Hide in said box
-Burst out of suspicious box and give sister major heart attack
Pretty simple process huh?
Most important thing first. I need to give major credit to one of my closest friends (and cousin) – Sam for being the only person who knew about this ruse.
We planned this whole thing together from the very beginning and he was the kind soul to pick me up and give me a place to stay for the night when I arrived back in the country at some ridiculous hour. Basically anything I do Sam is heavily involved in and I can never thank him enough for his tireless work behind the scenes.
P.s. Sam is a very well established wedding videographer. Check him out here: http://www.ambertreefilmhouse.com
Now, back to the subject at hand. What happened after I posted that now rather famous video online? Well… it racked up 1,000 views in its very first hour and I sat there thinking “Wow, that’s pretty cool”. Later in to the night I took another peak and it was sitting at 8,000 views… Something suspicous was going on. I don’t know 8,000 people!?
When I logged on to Facebook I had hundreds of notifications from friends, family and complete strangers telling me how much they loved the video. Things were getting out of hand. And then I began getting tagged on local media’s social media pages. Oh dear, what have I done?!
Next thing I know the phone is ringing. Journalists were tracking me down through whatever means they could and I ended up on BBC radio!
This lunacy went on for about 2 weeks and the video ended up racking up over 400,000 views from at least 100 countries. Of course, this is the internet we are talking about so not all viewers were happy with the free entertainment I had bestowed upon them and took to the comments section to vent their anger. Seriously, have a look. It is hilarious.
Then I got a strange message from a woman in China saying: “You know? Your video is very famous from korea!! Facebook and other sites. Congrats!! And I watched very well.”
So, it turns out there is an Asian Youtube called YouKu where a guy whose name roughly translates as “SquidBoyBoy” stole my video and racked up over 500,000 views (And a tasty sum of advertising revenue). Here, this is what the site looks like.
Way to play the ‘Asian steals Western ideas’ stereotype there SquidBoyBoy.
So yeah. 2 years on and I still look back at pulling off these surprises as one of my proudest achievements. The whole going viral thing was fun but rather superficial. Interestingly though, roughly every 2 minutes someone around the world watches the video to this very day!
The whole experience has taught me that a crazy idea needs a little self belief, a lot of passion and the support of a close friend to make everything possible.
Video making is an absolute passion of mine and something that will stay with me through the rest of my life. As such I will be coming up with many more audacious plans and posting them online in the future. Until then, stay tuned and feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN_tIKTtja1R3f1dnA-cetg
Merry Christmas everyone!
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