Another week, another fresh batch of the most popular videos. Some are from brands--and this week, we have an excellent selection of great branded videos for you--and others are from individuals. But they all have a secret to share... a lesson to impart about what viral audiences are motivated by and the kinds of content that encourage them to share.
Music & Dancing
I don't watch American Idol, but in my daily pursuit of video marketing insights, I definitely come across several performance videos for the various contestants. This week, I saw one that is so good, I think the guy won the whole competition already with this one song:
If this next video is any indication of what's to come, there's a bright future in "collage music"--several musicians doing a live cover/mash-up/medley of 38 different songs. The video has over 5,000 views and is only a few days old. It's already getting attention on reddit and from Facebook users.
I'm a pretty big hockey fan, and I try to go to several games a year. And even though I tire of the trend of showing audience members dancing during intermissions, every once in a while one comes along that makes me smile... like the Canucks Dancing Kid:
Videos Of Terror!
People like to be scared. It's a fact. Not all people, mind you. But the segment of the public that enjoys a good fright is large, and online video creators can draw them in with a good scare without having to resort to horror or gore.
Like the simple-sounding notion of taking a bike down a mountain. There's nothing simple about it, and the resulting video is maybe the most frightening thing I've seen in months:
Sometimes it's not the audience that needs to be scared... why bother when they can merely enjoy watching others ge scared? This bobsledder is terrified during his run, as I would be. But since I'm not actually in a bobsled, his reactions are comedy gold:
The Ellen Show is one of the most high-profile brands that routinely gets viral mileage out of people being scared. Most of Ellen's pranks are fairly harmless, but still fun... like this clip of a giant banana scaring Megan Fox that scored over 2 million views:
Branded Social Video Success
Several brands got people talking this week, in a wide variety of ways. There's no easier way to quickly take the pulse of the online video audience than by sampling the best of the branded video successes.
Old Navy's The Best Tee Ever Infomercial, starring Mr. T, has definitely gotten people talking this week. By making a parody of infomercials, and taking it some weird extremes, the brand was able to tap into that same audience Old Spice and Skittles have been enjoying (though it's not as good as those ads):
Old Navy's ad may have more views, but for my money, Kayak's brain surgeon ad has more laughs:
Both those brands above were overshadowed all week by a brand that came as close to nailing that "Old Spice" type of humor as anyone has, the Dollar Shave Club:
Way to go NASA... good to see them taking advantage of YouTube to spread some great science knowledge about the evolution of the moon (and getting rewarded for it with a pretty darn good view count):
Chow.com found a nice bit of attention when Gizmodo picked up their video on pouring a perfect glass of Guinness from a can:
After scoring some free publicity from the Chow video above, Guinness scored some of their own this week with a clever video about herding people:
Humor is the name of the game for "Robert Roberto Roberto" - a video ad for video game soccer:
A race down a snowy mountain between a car and a skiier seems like a very dangerous idea. It also seems like an amazing viral video concept. Top Gear thought so too, so they made it, showing again the power of taking ideas to extremes (don't worry, the car and the skiier don't go down the mountain at the same time). Sadly, they've disabled comments for some reason:
Jimmy Kimmel isn't slowing down. He just keeps pumping out video after video. And he's got a great staff helping pick and choose the portions of the show that end up online. This week he interviewed Will Ferrell. Because the actor has an upcoming all-Spanish-language film, Casa de mi Padre (it's a comedy), the entire segment and interview were done in Spanish. That's commitment to a bit:
I like this trend of insanely long videos like the 5 Hours Of Adrianna Lima from Kia. Sure, the joke is basically in the title, but there's obviously some built in viral potential with a concept so bizarre. Here's 10 hours of Darth Vader breathing.
Some videos need no more description than a simple phrase: penguins on a plane:
Time-lapse camera work gives the viewer an entirely new perspective on even the most common of events or sights. Like pregnancy:
We've seen trick shots of almost all kinds, but this is the first video of "baseball trick shots" to hit the big time. And not throwing a baseball... this guy is swinging the bat to hit the ball at precise targets.