Every week we assemble some of the best and most popular videos from the previous week. One of the best ways to keep your finger on the pulse of the online video marketing world is to check out the videos that go viral every week and see what people are enjoying. Of course, watching a bunch of great videos is also just a good way to start off a Friday.
Let's not waste any time in getting to the videos.
Parodies were out in force again this week–as a genre, they never go away for very long. Taking a piece of video that the public is familiar with already–a movie, TV show, or even another commercial–and then adding a humorous spin on it is a fantastic way to increase the chances your video gets seen.
And this week we saw several parodies getting viral action. Like the WikiLeaks spoof of the long-running MasterCard commercials:
We also saw Greenpeace, take the same approach–parodying another brand's commercial–when they took on Volkswagen for perceived pollution issues. They decided to spoof VW's amazing Super Bowl spot (where the mini-Darth Vader tries to use The Force on his dad's car). Unfortunately, they apparently didn't get George Lucas' permission, because the Greenpeace videos were quickly pulled after generating a ton of buzz.
But… this is the Internet, isn't it? I bet we can find another version of the ad so you can see it, right? Sure we can.
As I said in the article I wrote earlier in the week–even if you hate Greenpeace's message… that's a darn good parody effort right there. Too bad the copyright problems stalled it's chances.
Sometimes parody isn't taking aim at a specific ad, but more of a genre or trend. We saw several great parodies of this variety this week as well.
Like the rap video First World Problems, which has a little fun with the rap genre, and with America's tendency to selfishly whine:
Another rap parody that got a lot of attention this week was from a group that knows a thing or two about rap parodies: Lonely Island (Warning: there's some language in this video, but not as much as a usual Lonely Island song would have):
If you want your video to grab attention, consider playing on the audience's association with another video or ad using parody. If you can make people laugh, while also paying homage to the original, you just might have a shot at viral glory.
I laughed really hard this week… several times. And I have some professionals in the world of comedy and entertainment to thank for that.
First, I want to thank Funny or Die and former Seinfeld star Patrick Warburton for creating this deliciously wacky roller coaster safety video:
Branded comedy videos runs smack into our first category, Parodies, with this next example, as College Humor brings us "Every Michael Bay Movie In Under A Minute":
Conan O'Brien also scored laughs in my book with an off-the-wall sketch this week. The gimmick was that the show had supposedly booked two stand up comedians on the same night, so rather than send one home they decided to let both perform at the same exact time. The result is… brilliant:
Short Films & New Directors
A number of short films racked up the viewers this week, and the genre continues to grow in popularity.
First, there's Zero, an animated story set in a world of numbers:
Another Vimeo short film–why do all the best short films seem to show up on Vimeo?–has nearly a million views after only 9 days. And it easily deserves that attention and more. It's called Split-Screen, and it's fantastic:
Finally, in a Vimeo sweep of this short-film category, we have one animator's loving homage to the film The Rocketeer, which is turning 20 this year:
I pretty much have to include a Home Movies section every week. Even as brands rush into online video creation and distribution, there are still millions and millions of amateur clips, and many go viral.
Like The kitten that plays dead:
Not a cat fan? More of a dog person? Maybe you'll appreciate a pug that loves being tickled:
Or the Daft Punk fan who dances as well as anyone I've ever seen–seriously, this guy's good:
And who doesn't love a good head-banging baby?
Rising YouTube Stars
I often feature videos from Epic Meal Time or Freddie Wong in this column–and with good reason, since their videos are awesome. But this week there are a few new rising YouTube stars that I wanted to mention.
First, we have Matt Mullholland, who has been featured in this column once or twice for his outstanding acapella videos. This week, instead of recreating a song with acapella, he's recreated a famous movie scene. Specifically, the lobby scene from The Matrix. He removes the film's original audio, and then created a multi-track replacement using only his voice–for the music and the sound effects. The result is odd and very fun:
We've also highlighted FPS Russia before–the channel that takes a Russian approach to firearm enthusiasm. This week, they're back with some more impressive (and frightening) weapons:
Finally, a video you might not want to watch. It's Furious Pete, who basically does extreme eating challenges (among other things). This week, he eats an entire jar of Nutella in one sitting. It's not an easy video to watch, as he nearly gags several times. But nearly 200,000 people have seen it, and that's nothing to sneeze at. While extreme eating or competitive eating has never appealed to me as a viewer, there's clearly an audience out there for it.
At your own risk, check it out:
You might also enjoy these:
- This video tour of the world's longest bridge, which just opened in China.
- The Mission Impossible 4 trailer got people talking.
- So did the trailer for Pixar's 2012 film, Brave.
- What happens when you put your camera on the ground to film a seagull? The bird steals the camera and brings you viral video success.
- This guy loves Terminator 2… and loves drawing… so he combined the two in an artistic little online video.
- Augmented reality app plays movie scenes that correspond to your current location.
- You might enjoy Vibrations, which is another great slow-motion video.