Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Viral Videos

I have a trip coming up this weekend, so I have been rushing through my work, my homework, my papers, my travel advice book (which will be published around New Years), and have spent maybe a total of one hour watching television at most and that is while eating dinner. However, when the head honchos at my workplace are not around and I have a few moments to relax during lunch, I will occasionally pop onto YouTube or Hulu and watch a video. Most of these videos are usually professional music videos or snippets of television shows, but there is the occasional viral video that catches my eye.

What is a viral video? According to ZDNet, a viral video is "a video that spreads quickly via the Internet. It is often a short clip on a video sharing site such as YouTube that people reference in blogs, e-mails and instant messages" (ZDNet definition for: Viral video, 2008). Without using wikipedia, it is difficult to find other sources that discussed when viral video began and when it became popular, though some speculate that it was shortly before 2000 with the creation of flash animation. There were some of the earlier animations such as the "Dancing Baby", "The Hamster Dance", and "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" (Peters, 2007). Now, it has grown into an amazing world-wide phenomenon and has generated sites such as Youtube, JibJab, and has encouraged social sites such as Myspace and Facebook to add a section for viral videos.

What is the importanct of viral video when it comes to marketing? Marketers have caught on to the popularity of viral videos and marketers usually will not turn down a good opportunity to advertise their products. One of my favorite examples is the Hydro "Train Coaster" advertisement video they used in order to promote the power of future resources such as kids. The company is a major aluminum and energy supplier in Norway, but this video of a group of kids building a roller coaster out of train tracks has allowed them to win a gold medal from Europe's most competitive advertising championship called Epica (Our business, 2008; More gold for Hydro's train stunt film, 2007).

Now, let's say you are a new company or a company that does not want to risk everything on a video that may or may not become popular. What do you do? Well, you can do what Mentos did and take an already popular viral video and turn it into a promotional tool. Steve Spangler first started this craze in 2005 when he was on a television news network where he had a weekly segment and performed this experiment (Marketing that's hot, 2008). Mentos later on heard about this stunt and turned it into a campaign where they challenge their own customers to post their own videos for a prize. This boosted avenue by $10 million in free advertising, which means they received over half of their usual alotted amount of advertising dollars for free (Nauert, 2006).

Still nervous? If you are still feeling doubtful about the power of viral marketing, then you may want to take a look at these statistics (Viral marketing study, 2006):

* 89% of adults share content with friends, family and associates by e-mail
* 63% of the respondents share content at least once a week
* 25% share daily or almost daily
* 75% forward content up to six other people
* 89% have no adverse feelings to brand sponsorship

So, what are some of your favorite viral videos? Personally, I am a fan of the "Drama Prairie Dog" and the "John McCaing Gets Barack Rolled". I'm also a huge fan of Mortal Kombat viral videos as well, but for censorship purposes I will withhold the link from this entry. Feel free to list your favorite viral videos and who knows, maybe you will see your favorite video reenacted or see a commercial based off of your favorite video.
Marketing that's hot. WebProNews Video. Retrieved December 17, 2008, from

More gold for Hydro's train stunt film. Hydro. Retrieved December 17, 2008, from

Nauert, H. (2006, June 14). The Mentos an Diet Coke sensation. ABC News. Retrieved December 17, 2008, from

Our business. Hydro. Retrieved December 17, 2008, from

Peters, A. (2007, July 7). Pick of the week: The history of viral video. APLink. Retrieved December 17, 2008, from

Viral marketing study. Justilien. Retrieved December 17, 2008, from

ZDNet definition for: Viral video. ZDNet. Retrieved December 17, 2008, from


Manish Malhotra said...

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Dexter jazz said...

I read this post. Its just perfect about the creation and the use of the video in many fields. Thank you so much for the post.
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