Great Social Media Idea: Aca-Awesome Meme Hijacking

My take on parodying viral videos is pretty simple: You can do it, but you damn well better do a fantastic job, or else it will be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad embarrassment.

What Does the Fox Say is the big viral hit these days, making parody videos inevitable. And while there are many, many bad ones out there, this version by Bates College is most assuredly not one of them. In fact, it might be the BEST one! 

A lot of things make this awesome, charming, and fun.

1) It features talented students doing a cappella, which is itself sort of viraly thanks to the movie Pitch Perfect. Very smart to not just sing over a karaoke version of the original song.

2) It is SHORT! The biggest mistake of parody videos is trying to recreate the whole thing. Much better to keep it short and sweet - long enough for everyone to get the joke, but quick enough that it doesn't become tiring. This also has the added benefit of making it easier to shoot one of these. 

3) It incorporates the mascots from all the schools in Bates' athletics conference, which I think is absolutely genius.  A perfect inside joke for the school's audience.

4) It uses two student groups - the choir and the modern dance team - to star in the video. People who are comfortable performing in front of an audience do MUCH, MUCH better in front of a camera than people who aren't. 

5) It hits exactly the right tone of being a well-produced parody but not taking itself too seriously. There is joy in this, which can easily be seen by all the kids in the choir struggling to keep straight faces throughout. 

6) Last but not least: Fantastic brand placement!!! Every single person in the video is wearing Bates College gear, which is important to keep in mind when making something that has potential to go viral. When this was posted on Facebook it had something like 50 shares already, so it's definitely reaching people that don't have a connection to the school and will watch it just because they know the fox video. The maroon really sticks out, and it's impossible to not know this is coming from Bates.

If this video doesn't make you smile - especially on a Friday - you have no heart. 

Well done, Bates!!! And special props to the Bates Crosstones and the Bates Modern Dancers for their great work in this video. 



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