How do you get 71 million views on YouTube with some sticks and your bare hands?

There’s great content, and then there’s GREAT content, such as this video from Primitive Unique Tool:

This video has gotten a whopping 71 million views on YouTube in just over a year and a half. What makes it such a high performer?

On the surface, watching this man build a swimming pool using only a simple tool and the resources of the surrounding land is just incredibly soothing. Right from the very beginning, it builds anticipation — you know at the end you’re going to see a completed swimming pool, but you don’t know how he’s going to get there. Despite the fact that there’s absolutely no dialogue, it still manages to tell a story and take the viewer on a journey. It’s just incredibly satisfying to watch someone build something with their bare hands — you feel like you’re right there digging into the earth with him.

But that’s just scratching the surface. On a deeper level, I think the reason this video resonates is that unlike most other pieces of content, it delivers an experience.

Where most videos are about delivering information — teaching you how to do something, explaining and demystifying an interesting concept — this one delivers you an emotion. You’re not just going to learn how to build a swimming pool, you’re also going to have an immersive and novel experience for the duration of that video!

That’s why this experience-based format, when done correctly, is killer when it comes to performance. It evokes that feeling of being there and doing something you’d likely otherwise never experience for yourself, and it makes sure that you have a great experience with that click you just committed 15 minutes to. It’s just so satisfying.


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