The Week's Best Viral Videos & Marketing Lessons - 12/17/2010

The Weeks Best Viral Videos & Marketing Lessons   12/17/2010

Every Friday I try to round up some of what I consider to be the best viral video successes of the week to share with you.  Some of you will watch for fun--for a nice end-of-the-week entertainment break before diving back into the workload.  Some of you will actually watch for work purposes--hoping to find some nugget of knowledge that you can put to use in your own video marketing efforts. Hopefully, both groups will be satisfied.  Let's dig in:

The Mother Of All Mash-ups

This week saw a few viral clips that got so popular so quickly that it would be an injustice to leave them out of this column.  One such video is  entitled Filmography 2010.  It's basically one gigantic montage of all the movies that came out in 2010.  Actually, that's not accurate.  The montage contains clips from 270 movies that came out in 2010, and there were actually more films released this year than that.   But 270 is still enough to cover all the major studio releases as well as a lot of the indie films.  I'd be willing to bet that if you saw a movie this year... it's included in this montage.

Take a look for yourself:

The video pushed past one million views in just a couple days, and it's easy to see why.  In addition to providing a fair bit of nostalgia for movie fans, the video is also edited together smartly.  I love how lines in one movie are used to play off of lines from other movies, almost forming a conversation, which creates a lot of humor for the viewer.

The people behind this montage also clearly spent a ton of time on it.  In fact, if I'd been in the pitch meeting for this video, I would have instantly praised the concept... and then disappeared immediately so as to not be roped into doing any of the actual work.  It must have taken weeks, if not months, to put this together.  And I applaud that effort.

There are triggers that cause viewers to help spread videos socially, and they're almost all based in emotion:  humor, anger, respect, nostalgia.  This video's sharp rise to the top can be directly attributed to its ability to cause several of those emotional reactions in viewers all at once.

The Lip Dub Will Not Die

One of the more inexplicable phenomena in online video is the lip dub.  It's essentially a group lip-sync, though generally there's quite a lot of choreography involved as well.  I haven't ever personally found much enjoyment in watching  other people lip-sync--even when I was a kid and there was an entire game show built around a contest to see who was the best at lip-syncing.

Nevertheless, these massive lib dub videos put on by office employees, college students, and other groups, are still one of the most popular types of videos online.  Even NBC's The Office paid tribute to the genre with their own lip dub video to start off their season premiere.  And this week we saw another one go viral, this time from the fine students at Emerson College.  Take a look:

It's pretty easy to see why these are popular, and I don't think it has anything to do with the ability to pretend-sing.  It's all about the effort... the huge coordinated team collaboration.  Some of these have to have hundreds of participants.  And getting hundreds of people to work together toward any cause is next to impossible.  So even though there's no actual singing going on, the pleasure is in seeing another group pull off such a herculean effort.

I certainly hope you're not sick of them, because they show no signs of stopping.  Even obscure hockey teams from Belfast are getting in on the act:

OK Go Creates GPS Art

Here at ReelSEO, we're all pretty big fans of OK Go.  Some of us like the music better than the videos, and others feel the opposite.  But we all respect the band's viral track record.  (Check out Christopher's brand new interview with the band's Tim Norwind).  Every time they release a new video, I say to myself, "Well, they've surely got to be out of ideas now."  And yet they just keep proving me wrong.

Their latest viral video--a music video of sorts for the song "Back From Kathmandu"--is a pretty interesting creature.  It's performance art, in that the band wanders through the streets of L.A. playing the song with a large entourage in tow.  But it's also performance art in another way... in the sense that the band checked in during the parade through L.A. using the new Range Rover "Pulse Of The City" app, and their parade through LA also ended up spelling OK Go on the app's map.  Well, you might as well just watch it for yourself:

I think what I really like about OK Go is how they push the envelope.  They are blurring the lines between entertainment video (like classic music videos) and branded video.  I mean... think about it.  This video is basically an advertisement for the Range Rover "Pulse Of The City" app... and yet it's not.  It's a music video.  But it's also a performance piece--in both a digital and a live-and-in-person sense. Soon enough, video will just be called video.  And the advertisers and brands will stand shoulder to shoulder with the studios and production houses, all of them producing great video content.  And I like to think OK Go is part of the reason that day is coming.

Honorable Mention

If I had more time, I would also have mentioned:

  • This jaw-dropping "trailer" for a fake Mario Brothers movie that was created in the style of the Grand Theft Auto video games.
  • This video, which contains more teddy bears thrown on the ice at a hockey game than I've ever seen before.
  • This clip, which proves that the only thing better than a person dancing on the sidewalk is a person dressed as Santa dancing on the sidewalk.
About the Author -
Jeremy Scott is the founder of The Viral Orchard, an Internet marketing firm offering content writing and development services, viral marketing consulting, and SEO services. Jeremy writes constantly, loves online video, and enjoys helping small businesses succeed in any way he can. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Christophor Rick

    Dammit Jeremy, this is why I don't read your article, just lost a half hour watching videos...and you spelled my name WRONG... :)

    • Jeremy Scott

      Oh crap! Sorry man. Won't happen again. (Who spells Christopher with a second 'o'?)

      • Christophor Rick

        My crazy parents...but it separates from the less desirable Christopher Rick of which there are a crowd (some of which I make sure I'm not mistaken for) ;) Parents said they wanted me to be different, let me stand as a warning to parents who name their children "to be different" :D
        Might take to calling you Jermy if it happens again ;)

        • Jeremy Scott

          Nice. Other options for you that I recall from my youth: Jeramy, Jerimy, Jeromy, and Germy.