How the Right Mix of Awkwardness and Hilarity Can Jump-Start a Channel

How the Right Mix of Awkwardness and Hilarity Can Jump Start a Channel

What makes videos shoot into the stratosphere?  Well, talking to certain experts, it's usually something that is amazing, embarrassing, sexy, random, surprising, illuminating, spectacular, or relevant.  I think most of your Tosh.0, Ridiculousness, Ray William Johnson videos fall under the embarrassing category.  Now how can you possibly center a channel around embarrassment?  Today, I'll be looking at a channel called Tommy Can Picture It, which has a grand total of 2 videos, but has started his channel out in a way that could be YouTube gold by taking embarrassment and running with it.

AKWARD Success: Guy Walks Up to Girls and Uses Song Lyrics as Pick-Up Lines

Tommy Wooldridge scored a pretty nice hit back in June with "Blink-182 Pick-Up Lines," which currently has over 800,000 views:

Tommy finally came out with a new video this week using Taylor Swift lyrics (and it's already over 40,000 views):

What's great is how awkward these lyrics sound when he's going up to random, strange girls and seeing their facial expressions.  They don't know if he's just a weird dude, a threat, or really what to make of him.  Even better is when he forgets some of the lyrics, or doesn't know what to say afterward, and there's this uncomfortable silence.

This is a model that has been going great for a channel called Simple Pickup (a channel with over 400,000 subscribers and has amassed over 45 million total views), which gives out advice on how to get girls, but also has a bunch of funny videos where they play games with pick-up lines.  One of them involves trying to insert a video game title into the conversation.  This one is close to a million (and it has some bad language):

The ironic thing about these pick-up videos is that these guys are actually getting into conversations with women, which is the whole point.  At the very least, it shows that rejection is part of the deal, and even in the most epic crash-and-burns, it's not all that bad.  But in the end, it's entertainment for us.  What I really like is how these guys are basically expecting to get rejected, and shrug it off, because hey, it's good for the video.  These people own what they're doing.  There is an, "I know, it's weird" spirit to it.

But the other thing that is smart is that they leverage popular entertainment to translate into bigger views.  Tommy Wooldridge has a vast amount of music he could choose from in making these videos.  Taylor Swift is an excellent star to leverage, as would be any of those hugely popular VEVO channels like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, or this would be really interesting...Eminem.

So you see, embarrassment is not something that just happens in a happy accident that just happens to be captured by a camera at the right moment.  It can actually be something that is created and harnessed for great videos.


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Posted in YouTube Marketing
About the Author -
Chris Atkinson joined ReelSEO in 2011. He is a longtime film and television reviewer, and has almost two decades of experience in the theater industry. He also writes on his personal blog - http://nymoviereviews.com. View All Posts By -

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