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Becoming a Star With Viral Video November 17, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Advertising, Social Media, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
Tags: , , , , ,

Thanks to higher bandwidths, many Web sites now contain video of one kind or another. Stuttering footage is a thing of the past, and video-sharing Web sites are hot properties.

The viral meme is a new phenomenon. If you’re trying to break into the business of becoming a viral Web star, the most important thing is to understand the dynamics of the medium and the nature of Web audiences:

1. Be funny and get to the point. People are clicking all the time and you need to hook them in the first 15 seconds, or they’ll move on. Gary Brolsma managed to do so when he created his Numa Numa Dance flash video in November 2004. It’s now on over 80 websites, with over 13 million views on Newgrounds.com

Numa Numa – Views: 6,899,308

1. Push every demographic button. Judson Laipply, whose gyrations have long reigned as the most-viewed on YouTube, says his video crosses almost every generation – there’s no language barrier and lots of nostalgia going for it:

Evolution of Dance – Views: 64,907,725

2. Tenacity and self confidence. Fritz Grobe the guy on the right of the Diet Coke and Mentos video says many of the biggest Web videos were made by real people showing what they are passionate about. The experiments in his video took six months to develop:

Diet Coke + Mentos – Views: 3,945,642

3. The right genes. Adam “Chocolate Rain” Bahner, known as Tay Zonday took off not just because his video had a catchy hook, but what he says are his looks and deep voice. Judge for yourself:

Chocolate Rain – Views: 11,179,018

4. Keep viewers wondering. Matt Harding leaves something for people to figure out at the end of his videos, like: Who is that? How did they learn to do that? Is this for real? What the hell is going on:

Where the Hell is Matt? – Views: 8,358,33

Being the latest, greatest Web meme has its drawbacks. You’re human kitsch and never sure if people are laughing with you or at you. Brolsma’s videos are on his newnuma.com Web site, his celebrity status taking him on talk shows like Oprah.

Bahner is hoping his viral will turbo charge a career in show business. Grobe and his partner are paid to travel the globe setting up Diet Coke fountains. Harding is filming a new dancing/traveling video for release in June. Just enjoy the ride and laugh.

Related reads:
Saving a Favorite Web Video
Viral Videos for Small Businesses
The Secret Strategies Behind Viral Videos



1. Ian Denny - November 17, 2007

I tried a funny video to raise money for charity. People tell me it’s funny, but only 500 have seen it.

Basically I got business people to throw a custard pie at me. For £5 a throw. Got close to a hundred thrown at me – 44 on the video, a “stereo” custard-pie, a few interviews with people to ask them how they felt afterwards.

I’m trying to raise £10,000 for an outdoor playground. And asking people to donate direct.

Any ideas on getting a video viral so I may get a bit more raised and at least a little closer?

2. khengze - November 18, 2007

Cool, thanks for sharing the idea Ian. Looks like fun, and putting a face to a good cause.

3. Singapore MDA Singalong « Webs@Work - November 23, 2007

[…] Certainly has all the ingredients of a Web viral I wrote about in this post. […]

4. Geoff Video Dodd - April 4, 2008

Heck that was the most impressive video page I’ve ever seen! The Matt Harding, world traveller video seemed totally genuine as I’ve been to a lot of those places, in NZ, Aust, USA etc. although you could fake it with photo backgrounds – gee…the evolution of dance. And of The ‘Net!

5. coffee - January 4, 2009

i nominate Chocolate rain as the #1 most likely song to get stuck in a person’s head

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