I've made no secret of my love of cat-related videos, so it should come as no surprise that we're featuring two viral video successes that star felines. And our final example features the return of a viral star we talked about way back in one of the first Round Ups ever.
Let's dig in:
The Cat Computer
First off this week, we have a video that was destined to go viral before it was even uploaded. What happens when you combine the single most buzzed-about gadget of 2010 and combine it with a cute cat? Magic… that's what:
Iggy—that's the cat, not the owner—is a curious cat, who very clearly can tell that he's affecting the sights and sounds this iPad is giving off. He plays a bit with the green worm, moving it and trying to corral it, and then gets to try his hand at a piano app.
Cute cats are viral gold… the closest thing to a viral guarantee as there is. As we discussed in recent Round Ups, anything having to do with the iPad is getting a head start on accruing views due to the gadget's insane amount of buzz and popularity.
I have no idea if the creator of this video was aware of the volatile nature of the viral ingredients he was cooking with, but I dare say he's not disappointed with 2.5 million views in three days. Hopping on the very hottest topics and trends, and pairing that with one of the most tried and true crowd-pleasing video elements is just about the single best recipe I've ever seen for a viral hit.
And I predict a giant wave of similar videos of cats and chickens and raccoons playing with iPads, though most will probably fall short of this example's level of success.
The Evolved Cat
"Standing Cat" appeared on the Internet on April 6, 2010—just a matter of days before last week's Round Up post—and has quickly risen to near infamy. There are multiple versions on YouTube, many of which have insane view counts, and has made the rounds of the Yahoo home page, the blogosphere, and Facebook. If you've managed to avoid seeing it, behold a cat that can stand on two hind legs:
It's already spawned multiple spoofs, including this one that turns him into Puss In Boots, and this one that hypothesizes at what Standing Cat is looking at. When you're spoofed multiple times inside a week, and those spoof videos already have millions of views, you can probably pat yourself on the back as a viral success story. (Seriously, go do a search on YouTube for "Standing Cat" and see how many results you get back that are related to this video).
As with our first example, a huge reason this video succeeds is because it stars a cat. If I were to write a 10 Commandments Of Viral Video (hey, there's an idea for an article), number 1 would probably be, "Thou Shalt Include Felines.”
Commandment #2 might very well be "Thou Shalt Show Us Something Otherwise Unbelievable," and this video has that element as well.
I've seen cats stand on hind legs to reach up for something, but never for 45 seconds at a time. By the end, I was so amazed that I half expected him to start walking too. If you have a cat that can do something other cats cannot, I would recommend filming that cat and posting the video to YouTube… viral success might just come find you with zero promotional effort on your end. Alas, my own two cats are both pathetically normal.
The Awesome Teacher
We featured this guy in the Fall of 2009 in another Round Up—on that occasion he had video-taped himself prior to class… and then interacted with the video of himself during class. You can see that video here.
For April Fools, the coolest teacher in the world decided to take his gimmick one step further. Watch what happens:
I love how the bit keeps getting funnier. At first, I thought, "Well, yeah… the same shtick except it's a shadow this time.” But then the shadow starts removing desktop icons and messing with the teacher's computer, and there's a real elevation of the gag to another level.
I truly hope these students realize what a special teacher this is, one that goes out of his way to be creative and fun and add humor to the classroom. I don't know how many of you took a math class in college, but it can get incredibly dull. A teacher like this that puts forth so much effort to lighten the atmosphere and add levity to the lecture is a godsend for students.
There isn't any major brand behind this effort—though I'm sure Microsoft loves the free publicity, even as they simultaneously wish he'd upgrade from XP). This is just an educator sharing his creative classroom antics with the world via YouTube. He's far from a professional actor, and his timing is off at times, but that only enhances the charm.
A video like this is fun, funny, and heartwarming—three core elements for viral success. I hope he continues posting these inventive lessons and becomes a huge YouTube star—he'd be more deserving than a lot of the YouTube stars we have today.
If I had more time and space, I would have featured some of these viral successes as well: