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8.2 million views on a business video is awesome.

It's a fantastic video (and John Coogan's most viewed) that deserves this many.


But without a doubt, the thumbnail helped it out a lot.

Let me explain...

Social Hacking

One of the reasons this thumbnail performed so well is because of social hacking.

Yes, this is only made possible by the idea itself but one of the major benefits of social hacking is the packaging, and this is a great example of how to do it well.

The reason social hacking is so effective (if you do it well) is that your video is built around a topic that you know your audience is going to recognise and be interested in.

In this case, two of the most famous entrepreneurs on the planet (Mark Zuckerburg and Bill Gates), as well as two of the most famous brand on the planet (Meta and XBOX).

By making all of those very clear in the thumbnail, you create a situation that is going to appeal to a lot of people.

You combine that with a good idea and a lot of people are going to click.

Social hacking is extremely effective for your thumbnails.



As mentioned above, the fact that this idea is built around two very recognisable people, and two very recognisable brands helps it a lot.

But it’s also worth mentioning that this video was also published at the height of interest in the main part of the idea.

At the time, everyone was speaking about the Metaverse.

This made it clickable to a lot of people but what also helped was the fact that the idea taps into the common sentiment around it.

A lot of people didn’t like the Metaverse and particularly John’s audience (entrepreneurial, business-minded people) knew that it was also ‘failing’.

This meant framing the idea around Meta/Metaverse failing, confirming people's belief.

Better ideas = better thumbnails.



The clever selection of assets (+ enhancements) creates this manufactured situation that’s driving this thumbnail.

That shot of Zuck is perfect, visually capturing the idea and being fairly unexpected and attention-grabbing, raising curiosity.

The contrast of the shots between Zuck and Bill Gates (laughing directly at him) creates this conflict and tension that you need to resolve.

You can’t help but have questions.

The best thumbnails visually represent good ideas in the most effective way possible.



This thumbnail is also really well-designed.

The assets of both Zuck and Gates are great but are extremely well executed.

They are scaled and framed perfectly, and the colour grade is enough to make them stand out without being too unrealistic (staying on brand and appealing to John’s audience).

The background is also clever.

It’s subtle but emphasises the tension between the two (acting as this invisible barrier), fits the topic of ‘Metaverse’, and adds some colour which stands out and creates some contrasts with the headshots.

Use design to prioritise what it is that's going to get the click.


Want more?

These techniques (along with plenty more) are all explained in the Digital Bundle.


The Bundle is everything you need to make effective thumbnails and includes:

1. Digital Book

82 pages explaining exactly how to make effective thumbnails.

2. Thumbnail Worksheet

Outlines how to turn your ideas into clickable concepts.

3. Thumbnail Checklist

Check every title and thumbnail do what they need to do.

Interested? Check it out.

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