This week was a big one in terms of national news events in the U.S., most notably with the debt-deal in Congress. There were a lot of big stories in online video as well, like the new YouTube Reactions system, Vimeo Pro accounts announced, and the updates to Apple TV. And even in the midst of a news-heavy week, there were still a huge amount of viral video success stories. People will always find time to entertain themselves with videos; why don't you do the same right now?
Without further ado, I bring you the week's best viral videos:
This week saw a fair amount of animal-related videos go viral, which is par for the course. But the animals in this week's biggest hits have some incredibly strange habits.
First, there's this snake on the windshield of a car... the windshield of a car going 65mph:
Then we have Static Dog, which... is thoroughly entertaining despite being exactly what you probably think it is:
Finally, we have another 'wild' animal, in the form of a domesticated--but hyperactive--kitten. The YouTube creator behind the clip has also written a song as a soundtrack... a song about how stupid his cat is. (WARNING: Lots of foul language in the song, so don't watch if that sort of thing bothers you):
Is the video popular because cute cats are always popular? Or is it because of the sarcastic song? I'm sure it's a bit of both, but what's not in question is the clip's popularity. It's one of the most watched YouTube clips of the week, with nearly 2 million views in three days.
You know who could sing really well? Frank Sinatra. Oh, and also this construction worker in New York City, who sounds an awful lot like Frank Sinatra:
Even if you don't dig impressions, you have to admit the guy has talent. Another person you have to admit has talent is the young man who stars in our next clip. It's from a baseball game broadcast where an 11-year-old kid had won an opportunity to be the broadcaster for one at-bat. During the at-bat... the player hit a home run. And the kid calls it perfectly, as though he's been a broadcast announcer his whole life. I particularly enjoy the reactions of the real baseball announcers as the kid makes the call. It's absolutely priceless:
You're probably already aware that Taylor Swift has some talent, seeing as how she's a multi-million-dollar recording artist. But did you know she was an Eminem fan? Apparently she is, as she gave fans at a recent concert a brief cover of the rapper's "Lose Yourself" this week:
Another celebrity who we already knew to be talented is Oklahoma Thunder star Kevin Durant. But sometimes even our most amazing professional athletes have a performance for the ages, as Durant did the other day in a game in Harlem, where he drilled 4 ridiculous three-pointers in a row on his way to 60 total points:
One of the coolest outcomes with branded social video marketing is when consumers become such big fans that they continue to market for the company all on their own.
This is true of a lot of Go Pro fans. The tiny-but-powerful action-sports HD camera is flexible and really can almost go anywhere. Now, some conspiracy theorists might suggest that a lot of these user-submitted Go Pro-shot videos that go viral are just plants by the company. And maybe some of them are... but they can't all be, can they?
Here's one user's trip through NYC on a skateboard, with the Go Pro hanging underneath the board, providing a very unique view of the journey:
If I'm right, and that video is truly from a happy customer who loves his Go Pro, then the camera-maker didn't have to lift a finger on this one, and yet they're reaping tons of free exposure from it.
When people on reality television competition shows do embarrassing or amazing things, those clips often end up on YouTube. In many cases, the production company and network don't issue a takedown notice. Why? Because it's free publicity for the show. This happens all the time with American Idol performances and America's Got Talent routines.
Like Illuminate, an America's Got Talent contestant in this year's run:
You can't tell me that the America's Got Talent people don't absolutely love the fact that all these online viewers are watching and talking about their show... for free.
The web has been overflowing with video and image leaks from the Pittsburgh set of The Dark Knight Rises. At this point, if Christopher Nolan wants to get rid of this sort of thing entirely, he'd have to film completely indoors. Of course, I don't think Warner Brothers is all that upset at videos like this one of the bat tumblers, which only serve to drive interest in the film:
Game of Thrones has just wrapped its first season run on HBO, and this week saw the visual effects studio behind the show release a great behind-the-scenes clip on how they add those special effects to the show's scenery:
Sometimes a video just needs to be confusing in order to get some viral attention. Like this next group of clips, all of which left me scratching my head a little bit.
The mayor of the Lithuanian city of Vilnius is serious about cracking down on illegally-parked cars. How serious? Serious enough to crush illegally-parked cars with a tank:
If watching the iPad Head Girl video is a strange experience for me... imagine how odd it must have been to see her in real life:
Jell-O has a creepy new "pudding face" billboard that is just plain odd:
And as a bonus, here's video of the "pudding face" model finding out his face was on a pudding billboard (apparently he didn't know what he was modeling for):
Here are a few more, just in case you still haven't had enough video:
- As a rule, Russia doesn't have a lot of tornadoes, which makes video like this all the more amazing.
- The world's largest stop motion (in terms of set size) was released this week by Aardman (the studio behind Wallace & Gromit)
- Ark Music Factory (the outfit behind Rebecca Black) is back with a new singer who is 10 years old. (Hello... parents?!)
- If you're going to get a sneaky head start in a race, make it less obvious than this guy did.
- LA Light is a great time-lapse film showing off how beautiful a city it can be.