Reaching 2.9 Million People with a Viral April Fools AI Prank
Colossyan’s AI video software helps individuals and businesses generate quick, hyper-realistic, synthetic videos. As an early-stage start-up, they faced the challenge of getting the Colossyan name out there and reaching new audiences.
The Colossyan platform combines real-actors with a deep-learning algorithm to allow users to create media from company onboarding videos to YouTube clips using just a script.
Confronted with finding a way to show the value of our software to the public, we decided to collaborate with well-known internet star, Hide the Pain Harold. Colossyan created a shareable AI prank where users could send a personalized video of Harold to their friends. The collaboration saw some impressive results.
The challenge: Raise brand awareness and create awareness about synthetic media
There is huge, relatively unexplored potential for AI in the world of influencers, celebrities, social media, and marketing. With a boom in celebrity messaging platforms like Cameo, and fully synthetic influencers like Lil’ Miquela (who has over 3 million Instagram followers), the combination of cutting-edge technologies and influencer audiences is a powerful one.
The solution: Create a fun, shareable campaign tapping into a global audience
The solution was to create a unique, fun, shareable campaign that invited as many people as possible to experience the Colossyan software for themselves.
The campaign involved creating an AI digital twin of beloved meme star Hide the Pain Harold. This ‘twin’ would deliver customized video messages to people on the internet as part of the biggest ever prank campaign.
Hide the Pain Harold’s distinctive pain-hiding grimace shot him to internet fame as the star of countless memes. He now has a following of over 1 million fans across his networks which Colossyan leveraged to give the tool maximum visibility.
Preparing for the campaign
The creation of the video prank involved bringing Harold in for a short filming session to capture his voice and facial expressions. Colossyan then used their own algorithm to build out the prank algorithm, introducing elements that users can customize. Third-party partner Resemble AI helped to clone Harold’s voice for the campaign using the voice data recorded in the filming session..
Colossyan implemented a pre-launch campaign that experimented with building expectation through different channels, and capturing email addresses. Pre-launch activities included taking over Harold’s social media and utilizing his organic reach to increase awareness. Through the testing phase they learned that the US and German markets were the most active.
As the typical prank-pulling day of April Fool’s was approaching, Colossyan was inspired to build their campaign around this. They reached out to Hide the Pain Harold to create his digital twin. As a meme star, Harold was perfectly aligned with the mood of the campaign. The mutually beneficial collaboration allowed Colossyan to leverage his 1 million reach while giving him more exposure.
The results Reaching 2.9 million people
This was Colossyan’s most successful campaign to date, and created significant targeted awareness and engagement. These were the key outcomes. Throughout the week of the campaign, it generated a total organic reach across all channels of 2.9 million.
The generated videos were seen by 1.5 million people through Facebook and Instagram 500k people on TikTok 100k people on LinkedIn 100k people on Twitter
Most videos were generated in Germany, followed by the US. The user response on social media was 100% positive, users expressing their love for Harold and sharing their videos on social media.