Each week we try to bring you a selection of the week's best viral videos. Some are eyewitness videos from amateur cameramen, while others are full-blown action videos promoting Hollywood films. In between, we have everything from incredible talents to creative musical covers. We'll also highlight some of the week's best branded viral campaigns, in the hopes we can learn a thing or two which we can apply toward our own video marketing efforts.
Caught On Film
Some viral videos simply would never happen if the camera operator wasn't in just the right place at just the right time. Thankfully, with the exponential rise in cell phone cameras and Flip-style HD cameras, it's easier than ever to film it if you find yourself in the middle of a newsworthy event.
Some videos don't need big, overblown marketing sales pitches in order to entice viewers to watch. Some can just say, "kitten in a kleenex box" and watch the views roll in:
I'm going to have to start filming the road every time I travel somewhere by car. Otherwise, how would I ever capture footage like this:
What's the best way to do dishes? Why, rocking out to classic Michael Jackson (with dance moves), of course. Just make sure mom's not filming you from around the corner:
Sometimes the cameraman is actually just a stationary security camera. That doesn't make the action that get's 'caught on film' any less insane (the real action starts at 3:14):
I'm sure the first week of November 2011 will remain in most folks' memories for years and years to come, as we all joined hands and celebrated the time-wasting fun of Google's "Do A Barrel Roll" trick. And at least one YouTube channel benefited as well, simply by recording and uploading a video of the trick in action:
This Jeopardy clip is definitely an oddity, if only for because of the show's prestigious and dignified reputation... and it's also freaking hilarious:
Some animals are cooperative, caring, and nurturing. Other animals, like the bison in our next clip, are simply jerks. And what do you know... jerky animals can go just as viral as the cute ones:
Last week Rockstar Games released a trailer for their long-awaited Grand Theft Auto V. And not too long after, some enterprising YouTuber took the footage and put it right alongside footage from the last Grand Theft game to feature the fictional state of San Andreas. Seems like the graphics have improved a little bit:
We've seen trick basketball shots, trick football throws, and even trick frisbee tosses. But I honestly think trick boomerang shots are more impressive than all the rest:
Trailers are the original viral videos. Long before YouTube and the Internet, trailers did the work today's viral clips do: they got people talking. Turns out, the tactic works pretty darn well even in the Internet age.
This trailer for the more grown-up (and battle-filled) version of Snow White makes the movie look far more interesting than I would have guessed:
Denzel Washington is one of my favorite actors. Even when the movies are bad, his performances are still always great. And judging by the 6 million views of his new film's trailer, I'm guessing there are a lot of other Denzel fans out there:
Of course, film studios are branching out beyond just the traditional trailer. Like most global brands, they're always searching for ways to develop engaging video content that keeps fans buzzing about upcoming projects. Peter Jackson's upcoming Hobbit films, for instance, are taking a cue from his original Lord of the Rings trilogy by releasing a series of 10-minute long production diary videos. For the detail-obsessed fantasy fans the Hobbit is aimed at, these behind the scenes looks at costumes, effects, and other production details does the job of the standard trailer plus some, keeping fans rabid and talking about the project. Here's the latest one:
Vsauce made my viral video round up last week, with their entertaining and educational How Much Does The Internet Weigh video. This week, they're back with another great blend of fun and learning, in What Is Deja Vu?
College Humor has a pretty awesome track record with online video, having produced dozens of beloved viral clips of both the reality and scripted variety. This week, they released Batman Meets The Riddler, which imagines an overweight, slightly stupid version of Batman struggling with the Riddler's riddles:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 had yet another viral hit this week, with a spot that's also running on TV: The Vet and the Noob. Like last year's ad for Call of Duty: Black Ops, which starred Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel in realistic war action, this ad takes Jonah Hill, Sam Worthington, and NBAer Dwight Howard onto the battlefield:
Musicians & Singers
There's a new up-and-coming musical act on YouTube in recent months, called Cimorelli. The band is made up of six sisters, and they're all singers, musicians, and songwriters. Some impressive musical genes in that family tree. Here's their latest viral hit, a cover of Rihanna's "We Found Love":
Here's another YouTube cover artist raking in the views. This time it's the duo on the channel known as Jayesslee, and they're covering Switchfoot's "Dare You To Move." Incidentally, the video got a pretty big shove into viral status when Switchfoot themselves posted the video:
Cee Lo Green is back with another popular video, again showing his fondness for kinetic typography:
If you still have an appetite for more video, you're in luck... I have a few more: