The Mysterious Ticking Noise and Fame

Posted on July 20, 2011


If you haven’t heard of the famous YouTube Harry Potter spoof ‘The Mysterious Ticking Noise’… well, to be honest you probably aren’t a Harry Potter fan. However, even if you aren’t a fan of the boy wizard with a scar on his head, there’s something to be learned from the satire video’s success. The lesson could be titled ‘How to Succeed on YouTube.’

The video, and indeed Neil Ciciereg’s whole Potter Puppet Pals series, is a relatively simple idea. Using puppet stand-ins for characters in the Harry Potter series, the video has the characters creating a boppy little tune a capella, to the rhythm of a mysterious ticking noise. For such an uncomplicated premise, it is amazingly catchy.

It’s also amazingly successful. Steadily in the top 20 of YouTube’s most viewed list, and the winner of the Comedy section of the YouTube Awards in 2008, the video has caught the attention of even the movie series’ stars.

The source of this success is what site owners can learn from. The video, and the series, came from real love of the series. This, combined with a new approach, was all it took to turn a basic idea into any search engine optimisation guru’s wet dream.

A lot of business videos fail because they’re made from the wrong motives. Certainly, any video posted as part of your SEO plan is going to have a business motive, but the central spark has to come from genuine enthusiasm. Otherwise the only mysterious ticking noise you’ll hear is your YouTube campaign about to bomb.

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