Commentary on the Vilnius promotional video

On April 4, the tourism marketers of the Lithuanian capital unveiled a video that has also attracted the attention of Estonian marketers and reached today Delfi's front page news. If you haven't seen it yet…

Regarding the video content, I share the opinion of Edward Lucas, especially his remark about the "Vilnius - Europe's G-spot" campaign, which was even covered on the John Oliver show, thereby bringing in millions of dollars worth of free attention.

On the technical side of the video, I have some more general observations that are not limited to this video.

Thumbnail or thumbnail is fine using a popular reference style that works well. But the color contrast could be even brighter and the “Expectations vs Reality” text a little lower so that the YouTube play button doesn't get stuck on it. Also, mentioning Vilnius three times - with the title - might be too much. Overall, though, it's fine. 

The subtitles are nice, but it would be better to add them separately after uploading the video to YouTube. In this way, they can be translated into other languages with a few mouse clicks, which is especially important for tourism videos. This version with subtitles is suitable, for example, for presentation at fairs or other platforms. Also to Facebook the page could add subtitles to the video separately, although the current version may also work there.

However, “burnt subtitles” can for some videos, part of the whole idea.  

In the video description it's good that the link is included, but the description misses a large part of the 5000 character limit. Links to other Go Vilnius channels, additional text, background information, etc. could be added here.

The title and description of the video can also be quickly translated into other languages using ChatGPT, which Estonians would certainly like if the title, description and subtitles of the video were in Estonian.

The main appeal of the video (Call to Action) is to encourage the viewer to take the first steps towards Vilnius. The address at the end of the video is not clickable. It would be better to direct the viewer at the end of the video to watch another video on the same channel, for example “Where is Vilnius?", and offer the opportunity to subscribe to the channel. You should almost always take advantage of YouTube's end screen options.

In addition, it should be considered whether website it makes sense to use a video at the end of which there is an invitation to visit the page if the viewer is already there. Instead, you could use a different version of the video with a different call to action.

It is often wise to produce multiple versions of one video, as it is not difficult. For example, there could be a version with subtitles for screens where no sound can be heard, a version without subtitles to take advantage of YouTube's captioning capabilities, and versions suitable for different platforms and screens with different calls to action. It is easy to create such versions in the assembly process.

In summary the purpose of this story is not to criticize Lithuanian tourism marketers, but to use a good example to point out some technical details and thoughts that you can consider to make your YouTube marketing clips more effective.

The point of the story is to emphasize that after uploading a video to YouTube, there is still a lot of work to be done before the video is made public.

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