Freerunning Viral Top-Performing Content
Common themes and tactics present in the top 31 viral Freerunning videos included:
- POV Extreme Heights: Capturing the viewer's attention with POV footage of parkour from extreme heights.
- Close Races: Footage of parkour races such as the World Parkour Championships capturing the race from start to finish. Viral videos showcased tight races with exceptionally close finishes.
- The Crew's Reactions: Videos feature the crew's enthusiastic reactions as they celebrate the athlete executing an epic stunt.
- Video Compilations: Videos feature a compilation of clips taken over a period featuring various stunts performed at unique urban locations.
- Trick Sound Sync: Videos feature music perfectly synchronized with the athlete's tricks.
- Group Challenges: A group of traucers attempting to do a particular jump or stunt individually.
- Reposts & Unoriginal Content: On Facebook, many viral freerun videos were shared by pages that reposted other people's video content. Additionally, some viral videos on Facebook have been reposted multiple times by their creators.
- Footage Variation: Videos show clips of a stunt from various angles and speeds.
- Keyword Stuffing: YouTube videos included keywords in their titles to increase their discoverability.
- Fails: Fail videos have been popular since the dawn of social media, and freerunning is no exception!
- Engaging Captions: Viral videos often incorporate engaging captions to generate more comments and engagement on the post, such as asking a question or asking the viewer to tag a friend.
- Stunt Breakdowns: Showcasing athletes' various attempts of a stunt until they are successful or a step-by-step breakdown of how to do the trick.
In this analysis, we identified common themes and tactics present in the Top 31 Viral* Freerunning videos.
*Viral videos are defined by videos with: >50M Views on TikTok and YouTube, >20M Plays on Instagram Reels, >1M Views & >100M Engagements on Instagram Video Posts, >10M Views on Facebook.
1. POV Extreme Heights
Six of the 31 viral videos identified featured point-of-view footage of practitioners practicing parkour from extreme heights. Videos grab viewers' attention by showing the view from an extremely high vantage point in the first frame or in the video’s thumbnail. Videos use trending music to add excitement to the daring footage.
2. Close Races
Videos featuring parkour races such as the World Parkour Championships performed exceptionally well in Q1 2022. Viral videos captured the race from start to finish and featured tight races with exceptionally close finishes. The videos use high energy, upbeat songs to capture the viewer's attention and compliment the excitement of the race.
3. The Crew’s Reactions
These videos did not use any music or special audio effects. Instead, the video audio features the enthusiastic reactions of videographers/crew members as they celebrate or cheer on the practitioner for landing an epic stunt or trick.
4. Video Compilations
A compilation of individual clips featuring various tricks, stunts, and jumps from unique urban locations performed exceptionally well in Q1 2022 on Facebook and IGTV. The top videos were slightly longer, being 1:30 and 3:10 minutes.
5. Trick Sound Sync
Videos feature music that has been perfectly synchronized with the athletes' tricks to help capture the viewer's attention and elicit an excited emotional reaction to these adrenaline provoking stunts.
6. Group Challenges
Videos feature a group of traucers individually attempting to do a particular jump or stunt in urban settings or over bodies of water.
7. Reposts & Unoriginal Content
According to Vox, most of the videos on Facebook's top 20 charts for Q4 2021 were posted by anonymous users or from accounts that primarily aggregated other people's content. In addition, many of the top videos are recycled videos off TikTok. Some of top Freerun videos on Facebook were shared by accounts whose primary purpose was sharing other people's content, such as House of Bounce and SPORTbible Australia.Additionally, some of the top Freerunning videos on Facebook had been reposted multiple times by their creators, generating significant views for each reposting.
*Repost Views includes the total amount of views from original video post plus the additional views from reposts.
41M Views; 55M Repost Views*
8. Footage Variation
Videos show clips of a stunt from various angles and speeds. The video on the left shows Dominic Di Tommaso performing various stunts, often repeating them from different angles or in slow motion. The video on the right shows Peter Teatime jumping from one building to another in slow-motion and then from a different angle.
9. Keyword Stuffing
Viral YouTube videos often include keywords in their titles to help increase the video’s likelihood of being discovered through search on the site. Alex Destreza uses vertical line bars to split up keywords in the title, such as “Frontflip Tutorial | Parkour | Tricking | Acrobatics | Gymnastics | Capoeira | Flips | Alex Destreza”. Tobypk uses capital letters, and brackets in his video titles, such as “PARKOUR POV - ROOFTOP JUMP P.30 (Epic Parkour POV Chase) || Tobypk”.
Fail videos have been popular since the dawn of social media, and freerunning is no exception! The two videos shown on the left are examples of viral fail freerun videos shared by Charles Poujade and Dominic Di Tommaso. Videos were quick, just 3 and 7 seconds long.
11. Engaging Captions
Viral videos often incorporated engaging captions to generate more comments and engagement on the post. Engaging captions included:
- Asking viewers an engaging question
- Asking viewers to caption the video
- Asking viewers to name the trick
- Asking viewers to count the number of jumps or flips etc.
- Asking viewers to tag a friend in the post
12. Stunt Breakdown
Viral freerun videos feature athletes' various attempts to master a stunt or a step-by-step breakdown of how to execute a trick. In video on the left, Brodie Pawson attempts to run up a wall and fails the first time, but then successfully accomplishes it in slow motion. The video on the right shows Alex Destreza breaking down the steps on how to execute a backflip.
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