The Art of the Viral Video Ad

If you’re reading this I am sure you’re familiar with the concept of a viral video. They range from fail compilations to babies being babies and everything in between. But the videos that are most relevant to your business and this article are the crowd funding kind. The primary examples we’ll be discussing are the original Tempest Gym video and the Dollar Shave Club Kickstarter campaign (it’s not parkour I know). This article will delve into how this type of media can book more birthday parties and more at your gym.

Now you may be asking yourself what Dollar Shave Club has to do with booking more birthday parties, and trust me we are getting there. But first let’s analyze what is actually going on in these videos. In the Tempest Gym video we see the brand new state of the art (at the time one of the only parkour gyms in America) facility and are shown athletes of all styles moving about in the environment in what one might imagine is a perfect dreamlike version of what an open gym session there might look like. The video continues to move throughout the space keeping you curious as to what’s around the next corner and what fantastic movement you’re going to see next. It captures your attention and doesn’t let it go, from the welcome desk to the closing moments all you feel is the desire to go check out this facility ASAP. And it definitely worked out for Tempest.

This video was not used for a crowd funding campaign but rather to promote the grand opening event (open gym session). However it could easily be used to this day in a Facebook ad to drive more customers to buy an open gym pass or drop by to see what the facility looks like these days, who’s training and what you can experience being there. With a few minor adjustments this same video format works just as well to sell birthday parties or private coach sessions. While writing this article I actually came across a gym that is using this format for their ads, but we’ll talk more about that later. The most important takeaway from the Tempest Gym video are that you can keep an audience captivated by a variety of movements that continue to happen in succession – it’s why people don’t click away from the video. And if that video is showcasing your facility or what your kid can play with on their birthday – you might have made a sale.

And that’s where the Dollar Shave Club video comes in. Where the Tempest video excites and delights and leaves you with more questions than answers the DSC tells you everything you need to know in order to get involved with this limited time offer. ($1 a month for high quality blades shipped right to your door). And it does it with a similar tactic of continuous movement and keeping the audience engaged by pattern interrupts.  And that’s the feeling you want to capture with a landing video for ads, you want the audience to feel an emotional response to the video that makes them pick up the phone or type in their credit card info to book that next birthday party at your gym. The most important thing you can learn from Dollar Shave Club is to be short but be memorable. If you can show your facility and what it’s like to play there and get the price and contact info all in a minute and a half, you’re in a great position to get that video shared around.

Now your gym may not be Tempest Freerunning, but I guarantee you have characters in your community that would love to get involved with a fun project like this. Have some of the kids smoosh cake in the face of the head coach. Drop the camera in the foam pit as that coach chases after the cake smooshers. Have fun with it! Throw a jam and get everyone to create lines and exciting moments for the camera that will help expand the culture and community of your gym through clever targeted marketing via Facebook and Google Ads.  You may already be putting money into these ad services and seeing results but if you haven’t experimented with video ads yet you are definitely missing out. While researching for this article I came across this video by Innate Movement Parkour that hits a lot of these basic points in their Birthday party ad! The video is a bit repetitive and could use a bit more stable camera movement and smoother information display but it gets the job done and I would love to get in contact to find out how well the ad is doing.

Think about your own experience with ads online. Which video ads do you let play on YouTube when you’re waiting for your double backflip tutorial to load? Which ones do you linger on when you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed? You want to create an ad that makes people stop what they’re doing to check out whatever it is you want them to. And if you want them to book a birthday party then showing them footage of an over the top birthday party in your facility is a better eye opener than a blog post or a tweet. You want to welcome the audience members in just like the Tempest Gym video and you want them to walk away excited for their first time in the facility. Warning: if your gym is really boring don’t make the video too fun, we don’t believe in fake it till you make it here at Parkour Entrepreneur, but we do believe in putting your best foot forward.


Give it a try! Let us know how it works out for your business. Does a video generate more leads for you than email marketing does? Are you only booking birthdays from referrals and word of mouth? We want to know what’s working best in the industry so we can keep providing you with ideas that help your businesses excel. Thanks so much for reading and I can’t wait to see your video ads pop up in my newsfeed. Happy creating!

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