Videos that Work: A message to the MTA

Think your target audience is tough to engage?  Try getting the attention of MTA in New York City.  Dean Peterson managed to do just that with this 90 second video.  After stumbling over the same step one too many times while exiting his subway line on 34th street, Dean, a filmmaker living in Brooklyn, realized the problem was the step itself, so he pulled out his camera and started recording people’s falls.

After editing the clips together into an 87 second video, he shared it on Reddit.  Twenty-four hours later, the video had been featured on Gothamist, Mashable, and The New York Times, and had been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
We’re impressed by this video not because it’s been watched over one million times this week, but because it reached the people that really mattered—the MTA. The MTA carries about 11 million passengers to hundreds of stops every single day. It’s safe to say they have their hands full. This video did what no letter, call, or a tweet could: forced the MTA to take immediate action.  A letter wouldn’t have gotten the MTA’s attention, and even if it had, it couldn’t illustrate the problem as clearly and succinctly. No one that watches this video can deny that there is an issue with the step itself that should be addressed before someone is seriously injured.

Visitors to your site are not unlike the MTA.  They are constantly being bombarded with information, offers, and distractions on the internet.  Dean’s video got the MTA to fix a step on one of the hundreds of staircases in the 12 counties they serve in under 24 hours.  What can an explainer video do for your homepage?

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