The explainer-video that went viral and gave me more than I expected

This is the story of how an explainer video (which I never charged anything for) solved a communication problem and gave me the chance to work with numerous new clients and make friends with interesting people.

Today I was drawing and painted a little face on my finger, just for fun. That reminded me of the story of an explainer stop-motion video I made almost 8 years ago, which went viral among people from the tech industry and gave me the chance to work with very interesting people in the future.

In 2012, I was invited to be part for the first time of a #StartupWeekend. At that moment, I had no idea what it was about. So, I went to youtube and found out there were no videos that explain it. That was the moment where I came up with the idea of making one. 🤔

The right community always adds.

The first thing to know about this explainer video is that the community got involved. I posted on my social media accounts asking for pictures of people’s fingers. Surprisingly, they sent tons of them, more than the ones needed to make the video. Thanks to all of you dear ‘Finger actors’. 🙌

Some other friends jumped on the project: Rodrigo Boyzo (reviewing the script and content), Luis Jaloma(voice-over), Dany Alarcon(designing the faces of the characters), Andy Wol (helped a lot with cutting out characters and letters). Thanks, guys! 🤜🤛

Having all the pieces ready, the script reviewed, the voice recorded, the faces designed, and the pieces cut, I started taking pictures for hours, to put them together later, then add the music and upload it. The organizers were very happy with it because it solved the problem of not having a helpful multimedia tool to explain what was the event about.

The video was originally released for the first #SWCiudadObregon, but later #SWMexico wanted to use it for events in the rest of the country, Gus Alvarez Moreno made it possible, thanks, man. Time after, I was contacted by another dear friend Pau Celestino from Crea7ive to make the English version for #SWMiami, and we did it. 💪

If it solves a local problem, it can solve a global one

It was just a matter of time to get emails from SW Avignon France, SW Taiwan, SW Chengdu, João Pessoa, Brazil, etc, to make versions in their respective languages, French, simplified and traditional Chinese, Portuguese, and the list goes on. ☝️

For years people were interested in my work and hired me mostly because they found this video, and most of them called it ‘El de los deditos’ (the one with the little fingers in Spanish), this gave me the chance to work with interesting brands outside of the country I was living. Nowadays, I still show it as an extra thing in my portfolio. Although some clients think is not a style that fits well with their brands, they keep in mind that I’m capable to do that type of animation as well, and not only 2D vector motion design. That helps a lot with my personal branding. Yes, it is a bit of a show-off sometimes, but works when you’re selling yourself. 😇

Reasons for the video’s success

I believe there are 3 main reasons for the success of it:

  1. It solved a problem for the startup weekend community (explain and summary an event that lasts a whole weekend in 2 mins).
  2. It was made using simple elements making it not only visually attractive but familiar (the fingers).
  3. The effort of a community that was willing to share it and ask about the adaptation of the video to their own languages.

Don’t get stuck in the past, but be grateful for it.

Nowadays, the video is still out there and people are still watching it judging by my Vimeo’s and Youtube’s channel statistics. In fact, if you go to Youtube and type: ‘What is Startup Weekend’ or ‘Qué es Startup Weekend’ (in Spanish), and you’ll see it on top of the results, there are still people watching it, cool! 😎

My hopes for getting a client or project that requires stop-motion are still up. In an ideal situation, instead of brands would be fantastic to have the chance to make a video for a music artist or a collab with any type of artist. For instance, let me recommend to you the fantastic work Daniel Bruson made for the artist Paula Cavalciuk, just to mention one of many. To be honest, I can still see the chances of working on projects like these in my future. Wish me luck! 🤞

In the end, as long as Startup Weekend exists this video would keep bringing value to people, especially the ones who are not familiar with the event. And for me, well, I do think about it as one of the projects that gave me more happiness and the chance to make friends with people from a community that gets stronger while moves forward. 🤓

Thanks to all of you guys! 💚

PS. At the end of the credits of the video (Spanish version), there is this letter ‘A’ with a mustache. Yes, that was my personal brand 10 years ago. 😂 😂 😂

Multidisciplinary Artist & Media Storyteller. Vancouver based mexicano. Taco enthusiast.

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