Great Social Media Idea: Awkward Hugging

Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time! No defying the laws of gravity on the docket, alas, but instead I've been conscripted to help direct a lip-dub video our student-athletes are organizing. I haven't been involved in the planning at all and I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen other than we'll start filming around 10PM. It's going to be magical. As Bart Scott would say, CAN'T WAIT!

So, though I don't have much time to write a bloggity blog tonight, I figured I would dip into my suggestions box (this will be a recurrent theme this week - just you wait!) and showcase a fun parody video from St. John's University that - I must admit - totally cracked me up with its wonderful akwardness.

A parody of the "First Kiss" video that made the rounds a few weeks ago (and which itself turned out to be clever marketing for a fashion line), this video features various students awkwardly sharing a first hug with the St. John's mascot. From the submission email:

We finally embraced parodies at St. John's University. After seeing countless videos being remade by other universities, such as the "Call Me Maybe" or "The Fox (What Does The Fox Say)", we decided to launch the following video: The beauty of this video is that we used the concept but personalized the message with very own mascot, Johnny Thunderbird. Hope you enjoy the clip!

It's silly and it's definitely not very polished (shaky cam, sort of haphazard backdrop), but that just adds to the charm.

I just spent a week blathering on about the importance of being cool, but I probably could spend another week in the importance of not taking oneself too seriously. It's absolutely OK to show a sense of humor, and it's very endearing sometimes to do something totally goofy like this.

And as is true for any parody video, fast action is required to keep it fresh and topical... St. John's posted this just a few days after the original video went viral. If they would have released it a few months after, it would have had a much different effect and felt stale and trite. Timing is crucial in parody videos like this, and St. John's nailed it.

Props, Johnnies!

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