By Jack Kenney-Herbert: Yesterday morning Candide Thovex, a French professional freeskier, released the third installment of his ‘One of those days’ series. At the time of writing, the video has accrued over 850,000 views on his YouTube channel with the teaser on his Facebook page amassing over 1.5 million – impressive numbers for an advocate of what is perceived to be a relatively niche sport.
In layman’s terms Candide Thovex is to skiing what Danny MacAskill is to cycling and through Thovex and his sponsor’s excellent content marketing, he is building his own brand and awareness of the sport much like Red Bull and MacAskill did in the late noughties.
Thovex first caught the attention of those outside the ski community when his principal sponsor, Quiksilver, published his first ‘One of those days’ video: http://bit.ly/1soGitM. The footage was viewed over 3.6 million times on the Quiksilver YouTube channel alone and many million times more via various other social media platforms. From watching the four minute clip it is easy to understand why the footage achieved ‘viral’ status – who doesn’t appreciate watching someone pulling off the seemingly impossible yet making it look so easy and having a blast at the same time?
Buoyed by his success, Thovex and his team went back to the drawing board, and a year later dropped ‘One of those days 2’, yet this time there was a vital difference. Feeding from his newfound internet stardom, ‘One of those days 2’ was hyped with numerous hints and teasers and when released it did not disappoint: http://bit.ly/1CqYQPA. Immediately it is clear that there was serious budget behind both the production and post-production of the content and the 18.8 million YouTube views on Candide’s channel pays testament to this. By releasing the footage through his own channel rather than his sponsor’s, it is clear Thovex recognised that he was onto a winner and has regained ownership of the content. The video dwarfed the success of its predecessor and was shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media and achieved global media coverage.
Since ‘One of those days 2’ the strength Candide’s personal brand has rocketed. His videos caught the attention of the marketing departments of behemoths such as Audi and Google and over the summer he was involved in projects for both. For Audi he was filmed skiing down a snowless mountain which unsurprisingly was hugely successful: http://bit.ly/1jMeYau and to promote Google Maps he jumped off Mont Blanc: http://bit.ly/1QDRDHu. Very impressive for a guy who just loves to ski.
Two years on from his first video, it is clear Thovex the brand has never been stronger. He is courting the world’s biggest brands and has nearly 340,000 likes on his Facebook page, dwarfing his peers despite having never competed in the Winter Olympics. Singlehandedly Thovex is taking freesking into the mainstream and cementing himself as a household name in the process. This can all be put down to two excellent pieces of video content and expect his newest offering to explode: http://bit.ly/21djZNI.