Rating the 2010 Olympic trailers

Post by Mike Klassen in


The "unofficial" I Believe 2010 trailer has gone viral – is it the best?

Back on January 31st we featured a video that had just been posted on YouTube, with only a few dozen views. It was a mysterious work by an unknown 2010 Games superfan who calls himself Vancouverite1989. That was then, now the I Believe video has had over 95,000 views (another 10,000 just since last night)! I showed this video to several folks, including people I know who work in government and the response to it was universal praise. Everyone who watched it got a lump in their throat, and some had tears well in their eyes. It was a masterful piece of editing by the man they call Vancouverite1989.

Why did the video connect with people? Part of it is the magic of the video's pacing, but ultimately I think it's because it made that important connection between average folks, our national pride, personal achievement and the Olympic Games. It's a connection that for all their money and power the IOC has a hard time making themselves. I mean, we're all proud of our athletes, but there is a stronger bond to people like ourselves, and our community leaders.

Fast forward to 6 days later, and the "official" version of the trailer was released by CTV during the Super Bowl broadcast last Sunday. The response was good to CTV's offering, but few said that they had the same emotional reaction that Vancouverite1989's video stirred. What make things worse, is that in order to watch CTV's video you are required to install a Microsoft browser plug-in to view on anything other than Internet Explorer. Yeah, I know. That's so 2002, isn't it?

As a result of this unwillingness to share the video through YouTube, the world's most popular social media video application, the CTV version of the "I Believe" video has many barriers for viewers. And if you're the approximate 50% of web browsers today who avoid Internet Explorer, you'll probably take a pass.

I contacted Vancouverite1989 to find out more about his video. It turns out that the editor's name is Kenneth Chan, a UBC student and one of the world's biggest fans of the 2010 Games. He cobbled together all the footage he could get his hands on from the web, borrowed the "official" CTV song by singer Nikki Yanofsky, and slaved over his Macbook Pro to create something great. Like us bloggers he was driven by the passion for the work, and not by personal profit.

Chan is humble when he describes the work, giving more credit to the people who appear in the video, those who shot the footage, and Yanofsky herself. Now, it's difficult to celebrate Chan's accomplishment too loudly because he's broken a whole bunch of Canada's copyright laws. In fact, the minute some executive from CTV or Yanofsky's music label reads this, they'll probably fire off an email to Google to get the video taken down.

That would be the typical, heavy-handed reacton we expect from the corporate guys. The smart thing to do would be to court Chan instead, or at least emulate his work. Then, they should find ways of sharing the video in a way that millions can truly enjoy it by posting it on YouTube.com.

I've done lots of video editing in my day, and my opinion of the CTV video is that there was too much effort to include every famous Canadian Olympian in the assortment of clips, and not enough effort to make people feel the emotion of the Games. Chan, not bound by the business imperative to make as much money as possible selling song downloads, has made something more artful and memorable.

We've repeated it over and over again. Vancouver's Olympics is the world's first Games where social media matters. Chan's work represents the excellence that comes out of a culture that values sharing.

- post by Mike


Absolutely: "Chan's work represents the excellence that comes out of a culture that values sharing".
BRAVO!and, again, BRAVO!

This is a great video. I think it's better than the Official one. I saw that official one last night on TV and it didn't do anything to me.

This one, it made me teary eyed. My one year old son was playing behind me and then he got quiet all of a sudden... he was watching it too. He watched it to the end. Guess what he did when the video was finished? He clapped! I was surprised. He only claps during hockey games on TV.

What does that tell you. It made a 33 yr old man cry; a 1 yr old sit down and watched and clapped at the end. This video is just great. It surely does touches the heart of the really young and old.

Thank you Kenneth Chang! and thank you CityCaucus for sharing this.

It represents the 'best' of Canada and the Olympic Spirit and is worthy to be part of the Opening Ceremonies! Thank-you.

It really is a great video -- the one by Vancouverite1989, that is. Sure, the CTV one is decent enough, but this contrast certainly does highlight what is possible with the technology that allows us to create visually-pleasing media easily -- and as importantly, share it.

Talent and heart are not just the preserve of Olympic athletes. Those with skills and drive can get to the top of the social media chain as well, improving the access to information and level of participation for everyone else. Indeed, the success of the CityCaucus site itself is an example of this -- 82,000 hits a day and counting. Nicely done.

A few months back, I was interviewing one of Vancouver's premier social media marketers for a BC Business article which touched on social media for the Olympics. My source noted that the Olympics is arguably one of the few organizations that would not necessarily benefit significantly from social media, in that it requires no extra boost of publicity or attention -- if anything, it has a surplus of demand, and not enough supply of media liaisons to adequately respond to all media queries.

But it is already clear, even before the Olympics have officially begun, that social media has benefited the games in terms of promoting participation of those who might otherwise feel left out or at best, ambivalent about the games.

In my own case, as a guy with no tickets to any venues and not much real interest in sports generally, I've definitely been able to connect to these games more through social media. I have read blogs about free Olympics-related events that I do plan to attend and am definitely much more aware of how the Olympics impacts Vancouver as a result of timely Tweets. I've been inspired by videos depicting our athletes to actually learn more about our participants. Undoubtedly, social media has helped develop my own sense of participation in this event, even if I am still observing at a bit of a distance, and to appreciate the energy and enthusiasm of others who are participating more directly.

Just a note, the CTV video is on youtube on the CTVolympics channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/CTVOlympics#p/a/f/1/Xpu3qmVYABU

That being said, I agree with your comments, and I sincerely hope CTV basically pays the guy for the rights to the video!

Thanks for finding CTV on YouTube! I did search, but didn't fund their video.

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