It's almost time for the weekend, and since we're heading into that back-to-school time of year, many of you probably have big plans. But before your power through the work day to get to those plans, you might need a little fuel to get you though. Like the kind you get from enjoying several great online videos. Luckily for you, I've prepared exactly that by assembling some of the week's best viral videos and video marketing lessons.
Let's not waste time… the weekend's calling.
The medium of video has really spurred a whole new world of artistic expression. There are a number of ways that video can be used to capture and convey a work of art–or even be a work of art itself. And when the work is truly beautiful, moving, or haunting… viewers are much more likely to share the experience with others, driving viral activity.
Mutiny Bikes in Austin decided to mount a very, very nice camera on a remote controlled helicopter, take that contraption to a local skate park, and see what happened. What happened is some of the coolest and smoothest imagery you've ever seen, from a completely new perspective. It's art in my book:
Whenever a good tilt-shift comes along, with a carefully chosen subject and clever camera angles, I'm always interested. It's just a completely new way to look at things, and the effect never gets old for me. Here's one called The Village from Vimeo user Pedro Sousa:
Some might suggest that the very best art… the most moving work… is created out of something personal. For one Vimeo user, that's definitely the case. After a breakup with his girlfriend, he stitched together footage from their time together in an online-video-based attempt to win her back. It's beautiful and heartbreakingly sad all at the same time:
Wide World Of Sports
Sports are a huge source of viral video hits. When the best and brightest athletes in the world compete with each other on a daily basis, great things are going to be captured on video.
Of course, if you follow sports in the least, you know that great plays aren't the only kind that can have mass viral appeal. The opposite end of the spectrum is quite popular as well, with viewers having a great appetite for seeing star athletes screw up.
Like this poor fellow, who chooses an odd moment to try a goofy trick shot, only to see it fail spectacularly:
Sometimes a sports clip goes viral while having little to do with sports at all. Like this next clip of a very unique and fired-up opening prayer at a recent NASCAR event:
Branded Social Video Success
Microsoft decided to tweak Google a bit this week, with an email ad that pokes fun at Google's "Big Brother" nature. It closes with the tagline, "Email is your business. Google makes it theirs." Cute.
Funny or Die scored another comedy hit with Jason Alexander's Netflix Relief Fund:
A fairly popular recent trend is to take video of animals and either overdub human voices onto their actions, or add in subtitles. The latest viral hit of this variety shows us what two whining dogs are really saying to one another:
I really enjoyed this supercut video from Film Drunk, which puts together a huge montage of movie clips where characters give themselves a pep talk in front of a mirror:
Another huge hit this week is the Drifting Man video. A filmmaker set up a camera for a time-lapse shot of a city street. When he played the footage back, sped up, there was one man on the sidewalk who appears to be very slowly floating through the frame. It's also possible that it's all fake and staged, of course. But once the video's got nearly 500,000 views, it's viral status is not in question:
If you still want more video, here are a few other viral hits from this week:
- If this is real, and I think it is, it's one of the neatest cafeteria tricks I've ever seen.
- What happens when you cross Jedi with street gangs? This happens.
- This kid knows the whole Lady Gaga dance routine, and I'm just not sure how I feel about that.
- Another dancing dog? Sure, why not.