Showing posts with label viral. Show all posts
Showing posts with label viral. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Using Hitler downfall parodies for library marketing?

Okay this could be one of my craziest ideas yet.

Of course you would have heard of Hitler Downfall parodies  , where a classic scene from the German movie Downfall has its subtitles changed so it seems Hitler is ranting about anything from being banned in Xbox live to disappointment with the latest Apple product.

In the library context, I suppose it would be trivial to create many such parodies as there is plenty to rant about. One can make Hitler rant that ebooks are slowly being denied to libraries , to rising serial prices and/or lack of library jobs, closing of libraries etc. In a more recent context , we can create one ranting that J.P. Porcaro was named LJ mover & shaker. There is so much material, I am surprised few exist yet.

However the difficulty it seems to me is this, how would you use it a official marketing library campaign to promote one of your services? Such videos are inherently subversive and negative.

In fact the videos I have seen so far that are library related are ones created by users unhappy about a new library policy and one by Phil Bradley for advocacy purposes - Hitler concerned about savelibraries campaign .

My first idea was to create a video where Hitler finds out about a new service, say "Hitler finds out he can text the library questions" , but after toying with it a while, I felt that this wasn't in the spirit of such parodies.

I finally hit on a solution. He could rant about a genuine problem of concern to users for a long time, that the library has finally solved. (credits at the end would mention that)

Here's one idea, many libraries are employing discovery services like Summon or next generation catalogues like Aquabrowser. One could create a video where Hitler finds out about some weakness in the catalogue that prevents him from doing what he thought he could do.

For instance Hitler is told by his generals he needs three peer reviewed articles and he confidently states that that he would search for articles in a classic catalogue. Then watch his dismay turn to anger when he is told he can't do that....

After ranting about other difficulties and issues that he has put up with regards to the classic catalogue, the end credit could scroll... "Don't be like him... Use to search for articles for your assignment".

Below is one example."Hitler finds out he can't search for articles in the library catalogue"

Okay, so it wasn't hilariously funny and kinda lame, but you can probably do better. For this video, I tried to include references that many librarians active on Twitter/Facebook/blogs would recognize as this is the target audience but ran out of steam at the end.

The actual one you create for your library would be more specific of course, and should be peppered with references your users/students would recognise including petty problems, references to events and polices etc You could also sneak in references to new or existing library services as I did here with text a librarian service.

How much technical skill does it take to make one like this? Not much, you can follow the instructions  but it will obviously take time to come up with a funny script and then time to sync the subtitles.

The second part becomes easier once you have created the first parody since later ones just involve changing the text without needing to position and time each subtitle again. In fact, the video above wasn't my very first one. The first one was one made for the local context ,which explains a bit why the one above isn't very smooth or as funny as it should be I think.


I think this must be my craziest and perhaps most dangerous idea to date. I can see why this idea will not pass muster because of so many reasons. Here are some.

While it is good to be able to poke fun at oneself and admit shortcomings this might be going too far. A "approved" video of such nature would be by necessity  restrained which may prevent the video from achieving the pure spontaneity the best parodies of this class exhibit.  It might even lead users among this line of thinking and you might see a spate of such parodies made on library shortcomings,  which while fun to watch might not go down so well with management.

However as an internal staff video why not? It might be a good creative exercise to create such a video for internal use only that accurately captures the issues that annoy our users the most, a funny but accurate one could remind and focus our staff on what issues we should focus on solving rather than trying the latest fads.

So what do you think? Is this totally crazy??

Added note - I hesitated for a few weeks before deciding to release this post. But in the end I decided to take the risk and release this idea. After all, we are always asked to try to innovate and that doesn't come along without taking a few risks. It goes without saying, but I will say it,  no offense was intended with this post/idea.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Funniest library related movies made using Xtranormal

Xtranormal has the tag line "If you can type, you can make movies" and it's really that simple! Just select a background, select 1 or 2 characters, type in dialogue, select a couple of camera angle and special animations using point and click and you get a  cartoon animated movie with no programming required. It's mostly free and quite flexible and you get a passably good quality movie, though you have to pay if you want additional scenes or characters that are not given by default.

It's not exactly a new service and. libraries have also being very quick to use this to use this to create movies for their own use.

A quick search shows that there are easily over 200 of such videos. As you might expect they have being used for various purposes from orientation videos to "how-to" videos to information literacy to introduction of new services etc.

Most of these are pretty standard, what I will showcase below are some of the most entertaining library related ones... Be warned not all are complimentary towards librarians.

Library School: Hurts So Good

Want to be a librarian? This funny video tells you why you shouldn't!

My Rules for Using Law Library Reference

A frank (too frank) law librarian lays down the law. Rule #1 & #4  are my favorites.

Librarian Strangelove.....or how i learnt to love the patron and not worry about

Ever had to serve a difficult user? This one takes the cake!

How do I print?

Teaching patrons how to print is a common experience that most librarians share. This is a pretty funny, but quite realistic look at how frustrating it can be for both librarians and users.

Neither a borrower, nor a table be lists true life stories of encounters with customers who make crazy demands. The above movie has dialog that is drawn from the website with regards to a library user. Others in the series include Why everything takes so long, Just because I'm paranoid, that doesn't mean they aren't out to get me and A subtle yet meaningful difference .

Typical Reference Interview

This librarian is eager to serve but.... Similar is "Important Question"

The Librarian

Another difficult client...An arrogant librarian....

Honorary mention  Library: Humor , What Not to say in a library interview , The Death of Dewey Decimal

Have you created any movies using Xtranormal? What was your experience? Any entertaining library related movie created using Xtranormal that I missed? 

BTW I have this idea of spoofing the old "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" type ad, except replace Mac with Google/Google scholar/Amazon and PC with library catalogue but don't have the creative chops to do it , but it does seem easy to do with Xtranormal.......

Thursday, August 19, 2010

12 good library videos that spoofs movies or tv

Are libraries really the "next Big Pop Culture Phenomenon" ? We have all read about the old spice libraries viral videos (and spoofs) of course. There's also, Librarians Go Gaga: 9 Of The Funniest Library Videos.

But perhaps the easiest way to get a hit viral library movie would be to spoof a tv show or movie.
Here I list some interesting library video spoofs I have come across.  

1. Lord of the Rings - KU Libraries

While there is another Lord of the Rings library parody here , this is by far superior. Very good prelude! The description states that the student who created this went on to win an Emmy for his work in Heroes, which explains the quality. Good adaption of plot. Characters look spot on. Also "Book of Power" and "Book wraiths"!  The last portion introducing the library drags a bit. High quality video that has being viewed a low 5,000 times.

2. The Matrix - KU Libraries

Again, there are probably other library spoofs of the Matrix, but this one is clearly superior. It's by the same person and library noted above. The theme fits very well I think with the idea of information literacy. and is my personal favourite. Surprisingly it has being view only under 1,000 times.

3. Mission Impossible - SUNY Geneseo's Milne Library

This is an orientation type game by Milne's library. "This message will self-destruct..." Pretty obvious, but fairly effective. My own institution used a similar theme recently.

4. Ghost Busters - New York Public Library

This one is very famous (also listed in  Librarians Go Gaga: 9 Of The Funniest Library Videosand probably meets the definition of going "viral" with over 2 millions views.
This mimics the famous ghostbuster's scene in the movie. Was done to drum up support for NYPL.

5. A Christmas Carol - The University of Bergen Library

Was promoted at along other places, Stephen's lighthouse. Very professional, very clever. Over 100,000 hits.

6. Conan - Real tv??

Another listing from Librarians Go Gaga: 9 Of The Funniest Library Videos

7. Phantom of the Opera - University of Central Florida Libraries.

Not my taste, but appears well made. Viewed under 1,100 times.

8. Cops (TV series) - Seattle Public Library?

Can't tell is this one a real TV Show??

9. CSI - Cook Library

Not into CSI, so I'm not sure how good this is. Here's another library related CSI video.

10. Survivor - Brazoria County Library System

I'm a fan of survivor! Libraries have also used the theme of reality show-tv Amazing Race for events as well as The Apprentice.

11. Wizard of Oz - Salt Lake County Library

Presented at 2007 ALA

12. Star Wars - "Jennywildcat"

This is the actual movie (library related scenes in parts of Attack of the clones)! Jennywildcat adds comments about library related stuff and uses this for her class on reference service.

Other non-movie related library orientation videos I like

The Magic of the Library - The University of Bergen Library

This has very professional editing & special effects. 8,000 hits. Was promoted at Stephen's lighthouse as well.

Help Me, Ninja Librarian! - AIW Library

There are quite a few Libraries and Ninjas videos, but this is a straight out orientation video , I think the Ninja librarian is pretty cool! Seems to be shot a while ago. Over 10,000 hits.

Get a Clue @ Your Library - Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County

Mystery type theme.

NUS Libraries: Orientation 2008 - NUS Libraries

Normally, I don't talk about my own work, and technically I'm not doing so as this was done without any input from me! My institution has done this 3 years already, with roughly the same plot. I personally like this 2008 (and first) version.


Hope this listing inspires you to create your own viral library videos. There are plenty more movies and tv series to spoof. If you know of any more good ones please add in the comments!

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