Corning's 'A Day Made of Glass' video is a viral hit

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Glass manufacturer Corning and ad agency Doremus did not expect an online video called “A Day Made of Glass” to be a viral sensation, but as of last week the video had received 12 million views on YouTube since being posted in February.

“It's a surprise breakout,” said John Mannion, director of client relations at Doremus San Francisco, which created the video.

The video is part of Corning's overall “Possibilities Made Real” campaign, also created by Doremus San Francisco, and it was originally designed as a sales tool for Corning to use in meetings with manufacturers.

“This was originally created for Corning's top executives to use as a conversation starter with some of the biggest product design and R&D organizations on the planet,” Mannion said.

The five-minute video showcases futuristic applications of Corning specialty glass by taking viewers through a day in the life of a family that uses their appliances, cars and technology products in advanced ways.

For example, when Grandma calls on the smartphone in the morning, Dad puts the phone down on a glass counter, where the video image of Grandma is scanned into the countertop and enlarged by the kids, who carry on a teleconference while eating breakfast.

Mom gets in the car and uses Corning technology to navigate to work, finding alternate routes and getting updates on appointments through a touch screen on the dashboard.

All these products use specialty Corning glass, such as handheld display glass and automotive display glass.

Following a preview of the video to about 200 Corning executives at a management meeting in January, and prior to an investor conference in early February, Corning received so many requests for the video that it decided to put it up on the company's website and on its YouTube channel.

Within a week the video had received more than 50,000 views; and it took off from there, registering millions of views within weeks.

“Agencies know that, when you have a discussion with clients, you can't "architect' a viral video. You can't guarantee that it will go viral. That is part of the mystique,” Mannion said.

Doremus is doing its own analysis of the viral nature of the campaign, trying to figure out how and where viewers shared it. “We previewed it with a few hundred people who tend to be very chatty in terms of blogging and engaging in social media. That turned out to be a strategic place to start, with all the technology in there that is appealing to people. It's not that far out there, there is no voice-over, and you get to project yourself into it,” Mannion said.

The popularity of the “Day Made of Glass” video is rubbing off on other Corning ad campaigns, such as its recent “Gorilla Glass” effort debuted in January to promote a brand used in consumer electronics products.

“The hits we're getting on YouTube are helping the hits on "Gorilla Glass,' ” Mannion said. “This fits into the overall corporate communications efforts to demonstrate new applications of Corning glass and fiber optics that make these types of possibilities real.”

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