Every marketer dreams of going viral on social media. We’ve all seen it happen before. You know the ones – the videos that make everyone want to share, swear or care. They’re video you can’t help but to watch, even when you’re running late. The one you laugh out loud at and have to share with that one friend who it made you think of instantly.

There’s something really magical about making content that goes viral. To put this in context, 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute. One hour every second, every day. That means you’re one in a billion, not just one in a million. The one that goes viral is truly an anomaly but the formula to make it happen? Not so obvious.

That’s why it’s a hall of fame, of sorts. When things go viral – that’s a resume builder. A pillar that marks your huge success. It’s a medal moment among marketers yet sometimes employer branding people forget that we can do it too. It’s not an accomplishment that only marketers with big budgets and ad agencies can achieve.

That bar being lowered has led to half assed employer branding in one way or another – usually a result of not actually investing ourselves in the process in the first place by determining a culture and then working on how to share it. Doing the work and investing the time to find the most compelling part of our company and translating it into a video that’s equally as compelling.

Dopey, Sleepy, Doc: The Fairytale of Employer Branding

Most of these half assed videos are Disney level cheesy, and fall into two categories.

The first, and most common, is the poison apple. It looks harmless but when you take a bite.. it’s not what it appears. It’s a clone of a good thing. So many big brand recruitment videos are semi-scripted commercials nearly identical to their competitor’s videos and don’t actually reflect what’s happening in the organization. I imagine they come up with the script simply by finding the person who hates their job the least and wants to get out of work the most. It’s uninspiring and forgettable.

The second is the glass coffin. Videos that give you a “look inside.” Yeah, been there. Done that. Sure, it’s great to give people an inside look at your workplace and culture but it has to be better than an aerial shot of the building. Build a plot with a memorable story that motivates people to share, even if they aren’t looking for a job. 

The reason both of these fail so miserably is that they don’t create an impact or, really,  have any impact at all. They don’t tell stories but rather skip to the script. No one wants to share something that’s so predictable, like both of these examples. 

Who is the fairest of them all?

Rather than create a bunch of predictable advice about creating your own videos, I wanted to show you what a great video looks like. You can take the best from the mess and sift out how you tell your own culture story in a way that’s original, entertaining, and most important – shareworthy. 

  • Bashful (aka the heartwarming one): Mack knows their target audience, and it’s not millennials.


  • Dopey (aka the creative one): A  clever approach to the same ol’ story.

  • Happy (aka the funny one): The joke is on you at Twitter because even with over 300 dislikes, they’re getting more shares than ever.

  • Doc (aka the news one): Change the rumors by telling your own story.

    • Grumpy (aka the relatable one): As HR folks, we can all relate and have a chuckle at this.

About The Author:

Audra KnightAudra Knight is a Recruitment Marketing Strategist at Tenable Network Security and co-host of The #SocialRecruiting Show. When not sharing all things employment branding, she is a bassist in a rock band. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.