THE BEST AIR RACE PILOT EVER – facts about a viral fake!!!

 

(A German vision you’ll finde here.)

Last week, ProSieben a German broadcasting station dissolved:  “THE BEST AIR RACE PILOT EVER” is a fake! Some knew it straight away, some didn’t have a premonition of it, and even some discussed the clip with lots of others on the Internet.

The Air Racer is a viral campaign to create a rumor. The  DSG (that’s us=)) drafted, developed and seeded the clip internationally. Bill Hempel model aircraft landing inspired the conversion. Shooting and adaptation was made by JOTZ! Film production, postproduction was made by NHB.

We have been motivated by the fact that we were able to create a case from the scratch because killathrill.com, the brand that is promoted went online simultaneously. Because of this, all measured results can be ascribed to the viral campaign, as there has been no other marketing.

From our experience, we know the following: to spread a rumor successfully, it has to release a feeling inside the receiver. Which emotion is released is more or less unimportant. Important is that the reaction is not neutral. The receiver should sensate either very positive or negative to spread the rumor.  Is the clip real or fake? Is it possible to land an aircraft with one wing, basically? Is the pilot James Andersson a real person? And if it is a fake, who is standing behind all this? The air racer clip has enough of the above mentioned which made it discussable and forward able. Especially because it was designed like that on purpose that the user could easily see at the end of the clip that once played on him.

So far, more than 5 million people have watched the clip on the Internet. Not through conventional media bookings, but through seeding it strategically on relevant hubs. Furthermore, the clip was adapted voluntary on a lot of websites.

The interesting fact is that the DSG uploaded it to YouTube two times. The intention was to show how effective seeding is:

One version was uploaded on October 25th 2008 and has been left on its own. A second version was uploaded two days later but this one was seeded on an international basis.

The digits speak for themselves. Seeding as a media service is very effective:

The first clip that was left on his own generated 180.146 views until today. But the seeded one widespread internationally that after one week more than one million views have been generated. Until today it has 3.084.928 views.

If you compare the run of the courses from Insight-Data from YouTube the different intensity of the spread comes clear: the not-seeded one achieves its maximum on views per day at 20.000. The seeded-one achieves 400.000 views.

clipsimvergleich.gif

Moreover the seeded clip got lots of honors from YouTube in the first three weeks. It was rated “#1 Most Discussed (This Week) – Sport“, “#1 Most Responded (This Week) – Sport”, “#1 Most Viewed (This Month)“ and “#1 Top Favorite (This Month) – Sport“:

auszeichnungen.gif

Furthermore it gained more than 350 adaptations on YouTube, which means that other users uploaded it again to YouTube. More than 200 national and international communities and plattforms, and more than 200 blogs discussed, speculated and gave active feedback on the clip.

Even for us it was surprising that one seeding partner of DSG generated a high above average traffic on his site through implementing the YouTube link, as the following Alexa-Graphic shows:

alexa.gif

Actually, we don’t believe in the „Super-Spreader-Theory“, but on this hub the clip widespread 1,4 million times. It becomes traceable when you google the Chilloutzone-Link. Once can see that the link was taken more than 400 times to embed it into other websites. For outsiders this seems quite surprising but fact is that this link has been one of the first that embedded the YouTube-Link. Therefore it seems plausible that it influenced the international spread heavily:

chillout.gif

Beside of this, the broadcasting tv-show „Galileo“ on ProSieben documented and analyzed the video and the abounded rumors.

To complete the campaign and give insight information on the clip and the so-called pilot James Andersson the DSG gave him a face. James got his own website, which was not advertised but tons of clicks got on it because of investigative motives. Just as the graphic shows:

zugriffejames.gif

Furthermore James twittered to his fans and skeptics through continuous tweets about his life. And he states on his risky flight-maneuver in an interview on YouTube:

The contemporaneous start of the fashion-brand killathrill.com got a lot of positive spillover from that campaign. Killathrill is a website where users can design products themselves. Afterwards users vote on your design, so just the best go into production. It is remarkable that the keyword „killathrill“ was looked up in search engines from zero to thousands from on day to the other!

searchvolume.gif

Killathrill.com, even they were totally unknown could establish themselves in the online community through the preoperational character of the video. It created a buzz for the brand and generated traffic on their website. Sandra Thielecke, Managing Director of killathrill.com stated on the success as follows: „Our goal was to create brand awareness on the Internet, that is getting traffic on the website and spreading the keyword „killathrill“ through the Internet. Three weeks after the campaign kick-off we got hexamerous numbers of impressions and more than 45.000 visitors. In the same time, the keyword „killathrill“ was looked up at Google for more than 13.000 times (still today more than 4.000 times) and more than 9.000 times at Yahoo!. These results clearly exceeded our expectations.“

We would like to thank JOTZ! Film Production and NHB Postproduction for their commitment in that project. Also we like to thank the pilots Olaf Sucker, Sven Kroeger and Carsten Korff, the two aircrafts that have been seen on the clip. And last but not least, Flugplatz Hungriger Wolf (Airfield Hungry Wulf) in Itzehoe, Germany, where we let the air racer rise.

 

15 Reaktionen zu “THE BEST AIR RACE PILOT EVER – facts about a viral fake!!!”

  1. ViralMarketing » THE BEST AIR RACE PILOT EVER - Fakten rund um den viralen Fake!!!

    [...] « The Best Air Race Pilot Ever!?! THE BEST AIR RACE PILOT EVER – facts about a viral fake!!! » THE BEST AIR RACE PILOT EVER – Fakten rund um den viralen Fake!!! 18 Dez2008 Autor: [...]

  2. Mat Racine

    Unfortunately, I can’t play the Galileo broadcast – doesn’t work for me.
    Can you, please, provide some technical details about the video in question?
    Specifically:
    1. How large were the planes (I understand that there was two model planes)?
    2. If those are two different planes, when exactly is the switch between them occurs? Is there more than one switch? Are the planes identical, or is there a visible difference between them? Why the need for two planes and not one?
    3. What details were added in post-production? Markings on the plane(s)? Sound recorded elsewhere? The two blue-white pylons that a plane flies through in the beginning of the video? The pilot coming out of the plane – is it a real person superimposed on the screen, or a complete CGI fake?
    4. Most importantly – was the wing really separated from the plane, or is it just a digital illusion?

  3. Carola

    Hi Mat,

    thanks for your comment! Let me try to answer your questions:

    To question 1: The actual plane and all details about it are shown here: http://www.powermodellbau.de/giles2.html
    The site is in German, but you will be able to catch up the most information you are looking for. As far as we know the owner is considering to sell the plane, because people start making offers.

    To question 2: We have only used one real plane, the other one was made by CGI (computer-generated imagery). The switch between them is during the landing procedure.

    To question 3: Most of your points have been a matter of CGI, besides the pilot. Soon we will offer our making of clip for more production details in another blog post.

    To question 4: We had to film with a 3K resolution and 50fps to solve this issue in CGI. Nobody had to take any fear for the viral video… :)

    Hope I could help you with this information! Best regards

    Carola

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