Jill and Kevin Heinz met when Kevin’s childhood friend, Jeff, married Jill’s college friend, Ann, in 2005. Jill couldn't resist Kevin’s wit and charm. Kevin couldn't resist Jill’s intellect, not to mention her remarkable dance moves. This year, they got married and this video of their church entrance has clocked up over 30m views on Youtube, for one reason and one reason only: because it is AWESOME.
So far, so heartwarming, but the story gets even more interesting when you realise that the video is actually something of a landmark in music video history. That's because Chris Brown's record company decided to put that little overlay to buy a copy of the song at the start of it, rather than kicking up a fuss about the fact that their song had been used without permission.
The results have been astounding, with double average click through rates of other Click-to-Buys. Interest in the song also seems to have rubbed off on the original music video, which saw its Click-to-Buy CTR increase by 2.5x at the end of July. Most importantly, however, the song has rocketed up the US music charts, reaching as high as #4 on the iTunes singles chart and #3 on Amazon's best selling MP3 list over a year after its release.
The result is a whole heap of lessons about branding today and here are just three:
1. Throw away your dictionary: old definitions of things like "music video" and "advertising" are being re-written fast.
2. Context is king: a little nudge at the right time can make a big difference - and our data rich, hyperlinked world is is full of opportunities to grab people with the right message at the right moment.
3. Remember that the public has the last laugh: Chris Brown may have seen his chart position rise off the back of his record company's ad, but the decision of the happy couple to add their own overlay - for a charity that campaigns against domestic violence - is a healthy reminder of where the balance of power lies when it comes to reputation.