The Blank Video Project Case Study

Challenge

Challenge the value of a YouTube View

In a world where over 300 hours of new video content is uploaded to YouTube every single minute, marketers often use views as a quick and easy indicator of content power. Believing creative effectiveness is rooted in engagement not view counts, we challenged convention and set out to prove that views are a false indicator of success.

The Solve

Show that even a blank video can go viral

We created a 4-minute blank video. Literally, four minutes of emptiness – no sound, no motion, no graphics. Then we uploaded it to YouTube, where our blank video generated 100,000 views. In fact YouTube metrics showed 46% of viewers watched for at least 30 seconds. And that 22% watched the entire four minutes. How could that be? We simply spent $1,400 – 1.4 cents per view – promoting our video using YouTube TrueView In-Stream advertising, thus proving views do not matter.

 

Results

Much ado about nothing

  • Widespread press coverage including featured articles in Fast Company, Adweek, CreativeReview, Hubspot and more
  • Millions of earned impressions from hundreds of social media users who made the project part of a global conversation
  • A 10X spike in agency website traffic
  • An additional 71,000 unpaid blank video views

Client Quote

In the agency’s compelling four-minute look at – well, nothing – the fact that YoutTube views are a useless metric for measuring what people are actually paying attention to becomes abundantly clear.

-Dan Solomon, Fast Company