Gymkhana: the video ad campaign which created a cult following and what made it successful.

What do you get when the co-founder of a well-known company takes a mostly unknown sport, and reinvents it adding a whole new dimension, with a dose of randomness, and posts it on YouTube for the world to see? You get the Gymkhana video ad series! DC shoes co-founder Ken block is also a rally driver who decided to take his love of cars, and his company to a whole new level. By re-creating the sport of Gymkhana to make it interesting and adding an entertaining aspect, the Gymkhana video series has generated millions of views with the highest being Gymkhana 5 at over 82 million views. This has been great publicity for DC shoes, Need for Speed, and in the latest video it generated great publicity for Block’s other brand Hoonigan, as well as all of Block’s racing sponsors. Based on this, it is easy to arrive at the conclusion that the You Tube video series has been a successful marketing campaign for DC shoes, Need for Speed, and Hoonigan.

But what is it that made the video commercials so popular? Well let’s examine it.

First of all perhaps the biggest factor in its success is the fact that they are very unique and creative. It took something which millions of people love (cars) and added something that had not really been done (drifting around random obstacles) and set it in unique locations which most people would not think of. They brought many different elements together into each video in a way that had never been done before and were not afraid to take a big risk. And a big risk it was. While they knew they should get a decent amount of interest based on the popularity of car videos on You Tube, such large scale videos with the intent of selling a product were a big risk. But ultimately one that paid off.

This leads to the next point, it was a very bold move. But, it was a move that launched DC shoes to the next level when combined with their other marketing efforts. They were willing to take the risk and do something that had never been done before, taking unchecked creativity and putting it into a series of video advertisements.

It is also worth making a note that the Gymkhana series was not native advertising. It was simply a series of videos posted to You Tube that anyone could share.

And finally, it was universal. Cars are something that many people from all around the world love. Add explosions on top of that and it created something that many different people with differing interests, from different cultures, and backgrounds could all appreciate.

So what does this mean for you and your business? It means that fun and creativity can pay off in a very big way. It doesn’t have to be nearly to the scale of the Gymkhana series, and you don’t necessarily have to blow things up, but by encompassing some of those elements that made it such a success, you too can create a successful advertising campaign which is truly unique and reaches a vast audience. So no matter what you are selling or promoting, having a strategy that embraces thinking outside the box can pay off, and bring your company to a whole new level! So go ahead, think different, think bold, and don’t be afraid to step outside the safe lines of what has already been done!

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