The Bodies Those Skeletons Inhabit

The Bodies Those Skeletons Inhabit


The Ad Council hits a home run with this online video for the site,, a site that seeks to raise awareness to stop bias and prejudice.  The video got 40 million views in the first week on YouTube.

The video does many things right.  Here are a few.

People love to participate in a message.  They want to be left to complete a thought or to figure out a simple puzzle.  Each couple or group, whose skeletons are projected on the screen, is a simple puzzle for the viewer.  Can viewers anticipate the gender, race, age, ability or disability, of the bodies those skeletons inhabit?  The video rewards viewers with puzzle after puzzle.

Successful videos leave out everything that viewers can provide on their own.  Viewers’ anticipation and realization of who is behind the screen is itself the meaning of the video.  Viewers tell themselves the message.  An announcer never has to belabor the point.

The open and obvious affection among each couple or group is moving.  Viewers may forget the specifics, but the emotion will be remembered.

Viewers pay a lot of attention to how others react to the revelation of the people who belong to those skeletons.  The evidence of how others feel saves viewers the trouble of having to evaluate how they themselves feel.  The enthusiasm of the crowd is contagious.

Viewers are touched by the video and are eager to share it.

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