There was a time when having a video camera at home was a big thing . It usually came out at family functions and birthdays to capture those embarrassing moments that you never wanted recored in the first place. At least those video moments were restricted to only certain occasions with friends or family when your Dad decided to entertain them at your expense.That was then, this as they say is now, video cameras have shrank to portable electronic devices known as the cell phone. A trigger friendly mate of yours is always ready to tape you in an awkward disposition.The bigger issue though is that with the dawn of social networking and “Youtube” the audience to your video has changed to potentially whole wide world or the the world wide web.
The Web is littered with Baby video’s. Babies that cry, babies that have a weird laugh, babies that turned out to be Justin Bieber (parents like seriously?), Babies do/say the Darndest Things.
Do you remember the dancing baby ? Just to revise your memory dancing baby was a 3D rendered animation of a baby performing a cha-cha type dance. I think it was one the coolest thing on the computer back then (I remember I had it as a screensaver, yeah go ahead judge me, make a video while i like a disgusting video). Dancing Baby is considered to be among the first viral video that hit the Internet and as they say rest is history(read epidemic).
Dancing Babies is one thing , but what if they can do it on roller skates ? What you have is nothing but a branded viral hit in Evian Roller Babies.
So lets analyze this viral phenomenon, because there is so much more to it than wack infants.
What exactly is a viral video ?
A video that reaches out and connects to a far larger audience than initially intended.
What does it contain to make it viral ?
Anything and everything. There isnt a set formulae for making a viral video. It could be a funny video of you singing in the shower(ok dont try this at home) or your fat aunt slipping or a great goal in football or just a random video that tickles that bone, that one that’s on the funny side. It can be anything as long as it connects or appeals to the audience.
How do video’s get viral ?
YOU and I are responsible for most of these epidemics. Viral video’s aren’t really made to go viral, they usually just happen. And the faster we accept this the lesser pressure we put on ourselves allowing the creative juices spurt. What you can do though is understand the various categories of existing viral successes and try and meet some of those criteria that they meet. However, the danger as always when you’re trying to adopt an existing formula is that it tends to reflect in the final output and affects the viral quotient.
Type Of Viral Video’s
1. The Amusing + the Amusingly cynnical
You dont have to wait for TV show like America’s Funniest Video to get a good laugh . All you have to do is Youtube “funny video”.The world we live in has some serious dearth of old fashioned hysterics and the world we live in they’re mostly at the expense of another.So among all the viral video’s out there the ones that make you laugh are literally cackling there way into the pie.
No wonder the viral video below is rated among the top viral videos of all time.
Star Wars Kid
Say Hi to Ghyslain Raza , a student at Trois-Rivières Canada back in 2002 , made a video of himself with a golf ball retriever that he used as a light saber. The video saw him fighting the might of the evil empire and showed his not so excellent Jedi skills. Uploaded by a student on the internet the video became a viral internet meme. Estimated by the Viralfactory the video has been viewed 900 million times.
Why did this go viral ? At the core of it is the fact that it is indeed absolutely hilarious in an awkward sort of way, but also it attracts attention with a well garnished title “Jackass_starwars_funny.wmv”. Why wont you watch a video titled that?
Though the aftermath of the video lead to a lawsuit by the parents , this video is one of the most viral videos around. (P.S. Ghyslain Raza is now the President of a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the heritage, culture and history of Trois-Rivières. Go Star Wars Kid!)
Charlie Bit My Finger:
I would like to thank Howard & Shelley for accidentally uploading the video on youtube.
Why did this go viral ? Charlie and Harry aged one and three, for those good 56 seconds give us mixed feelings.
One second you’re thinking, o the kids are so cute just playing around whats the biggie, but the title says Charlie bit my finger, so is a dog about to pounce on one of them or what..until you’re made aware of the little devil sitting in his pommy brothers lap. He starts chewing onto his brother’s finger who seems bemused by the pain he’s experiencing till young charlie turns into a monster. And then when you except Harry to cry he actually sportingly laughs it away. The devil though is still springing his head, grinning. Its funny but there’s more to it. It comes together, extremely candidly.
2. Surprising Talent :
Sometimes talent is all you need to be a big viral sensation. Juggling 3 balls is a common sight. 5 Balls is not something great either, juggling 8 balls at the same time , you will give a second glance but what if we replace the balls with Chain saw’s. Now that would be a bigger hit. It would be greater hit if there is an accident and he self amputates himself Ouch!!! (this we’ll reserve it for the wtf? category)
Talent to the degree that it must A) Amaze B) is worth the repeat views.
Repeat views is the reason that makes people go back to youtube again and again to witness such pure talent. Unless you have a TiVo or Tata Sky plus at home, the chances you of recording it and viewing it again and again are very less. And lets be honest who cares about the plus on tata sky, its the HD everyone’s talking about.
Susan Boyle, age 48, she auditioned for British Got Talent Season3. Who would have thought such a voice was a resident to her odd appearance. She sang “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables and only thing left for you to do was to pick up your jaw.
Why did this go Viral ? It was pure talent. That lead people to leave their tv screens and look her up online. Everybody wanted to know what made Simon Cowell’s jaw submit to gravity. People wanted to watch her audition again and what better place than youtube.
Ukraine’s Got Talent : Sand Art
Kseniya Simonova is a sand artist who enthralled the audiences with her talent in the reality show Ukraine’s Got Talent. Her art was so breath taking that it moved people to tears. Here, not only was her art so incapacitating but there was also an emotional connect with the audience in front of her and worldwide.
3. Music Videos aren’t dead yet
Imagine you are driving back from work and you hear something new and wonderful on the radio and you end up humming it all the way back home. Where do you find the song ? Youtube ofcourse. It has become the number one source for a second listen. Thats why songs that are doing well on the billboard chart are also high on views on Youtube. Moreover, fans of artists act as a catalyst to promote their favourite artists. Tribute video’s, remixes and even parodies have become viral in nature all over the internet.
I know You want me – Pitbull
I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) is a song by rapper Pitbull released as the second single from the album, Rebelution.The song peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S so subsequently the hits on youtube page also increased. Though I think the viral nature of this video might have something to do with Brazil. #Productplacement, Just Saying. But seriously i think Pitbull’s introduction was personal, its that touch of something extra.
Free hugs – Sick Puppies ( Free Hug Campaign)
There is nothing better for a band to be associated with such a uplifting social movement.
Sick Puppies music video for the campaign made the whole movement viral and you could get free hugs almost everywhere you went. A hug is a small gesture but it in capsules a lot of emotions and I think this is what touched a chord with the viewers. Yeah i know it gives you that feeling what i do it, but that’s the whole point you’ve never thought like that, whatever makes you feel like that perhaps has that viral bug. Careful.
Band and music promotion :
Not all artists have big records supporting their talent. They don’t have the million dollar deal nor do they have the distribution capabilities. Such artists put their videos online and with some online viral marketing help, they spread their works among their audience. If it’s good it sells… and the rest is covered by the viral nature of internet to spread the word from one corner of the globe to the other.
Closer to home there are a few bugs research is still on –
O Re Piya / Rolling in the Deep” – Shankar Tucker ft. Rohan Kymal, Brendan Susens-Jackson
A collaborative effort to bring a musical Hindi / Western Pop song mash-up which has seen its views grow considerably over the past few months. The video is already at 406,939 views.
The Dewarist : Imogen Heap & Vishal/Shehkar
A musical initiative by The Dewarist to bring together artists and create magic. The Collaborative effort between Grammy Award Winner Imogen Heap and One of the most talented Indian music directors Vishal/Shekhar has been around for 2 days and already garnered 50,000 views on youtube.The episode is currently the #1 Top Favorited, Top Rated, and Most Discussed Indian video!
4. WTF ???
Dont worry , not going to show you “The juggler chainsaw mishap” ..
These are the kind of video’s you try understand why they were made in the first place but are such that you cant help watch it again & again and that what makes them work. I guess we can call it the X-factor but these video’s bring out something that no other video online brings, You going Wtf?? at the end
Charlie the Unicorn
It’s Annoying, it’s brightly coloured, its just weird random funny. Your sense of humor has to be kind of strange to get it. Maybe you found the video too funny and wanted to share it with your friends or maybe it was too unfunny and you still shared wanting them to suffer as well. Maybe it was random , and random videos work but too much random is bad,so bad that you try to figure out why are people liking it so much. So they watch the randomness of the video again and again . Random Thats the word. Ok, maybe its twisted. What the fuck.
Her Name is Boxxxy
Boxxy is an Internet celebrity who rose to fame through her videoblogs, telling the world about her through her unique way. P.S. She doesnt do drugs, she doesnt have ADHD.
Why did it go Viral? Leave it to people at 4chan (It’s a random imagepost site which has turned into a huge online community) to make her a big internet meme. Boxxy’s history is so intense that it actually lead to a bloody War. No kidding no. War between the people who loved her Vs the people who hated Boxxy and her fans (just like there are no competitions between those who can stand justin bieber and those who’re looking for the opportunity to puke on her). Anyway, know more about boxxy here -> http://boxxystory.blogspot.com
5. Some Videos Just don’t have a Category .
Taking for example The Silent National Anthem. There are no reasons except that someone somewhere asked why? and another one somewhere asked why not?