We've had quite a crazy week in the world of viral video. We saw rioting, lots of swearing, strange animal behavior, and even some clever video marketing from well-known brands. In case you missed any of the week's most buzzed-about clips--or in case you're merely looking for a way to stall the start of your work day--we've compiled this round up to help you catch up on the week that was in viral video.
Odd Animal Behavior
People love animals. Most people do, at least. And when an animal is caught on film doing something extra cute, that video has a good chance of getting some viral action. But when the animal is doing something strange, odd, or downright goofy, the chances of success skyrocket.
Exhibit A: have you ever seen a pack of surfing geese?
Yeah. Me neither.
A few weeks back, we featured a clip of a dog trying to get a statue to play fetch. This week, we have another confused canine seeking a fetch partner in the wrong place:
Sometimes an animal is doing something perfectly natural, but does so in an odd way that makes the event more entertaining. This kitten is "kneading" with his front paws, which is totally normal. But he's on his side, and it ends up making him look like he's playing the harp:
Animals don't always go viral for cute or exceptional behavior... sometimes it's for scaring the living daylights out of us:
Sometimes audiences want to be creeped out... to get the willies... to see something that makes them shiver. The frights can come in all shapes and sizes, too. Like a machine that can basically destroy anything:
Going viral is all about triggering an emotional response--in particular, an emotional response that lends itself well to social activity. Making people uncomfortable with a shocking or tense clip creates an experience that many viewers want their friends to share.
There are a number of "talents" in this world: the ability to sing, the gift of comedy, juggling, magic, etc. But this week I saw a talent that I'd never seen before... or even heard of... or even knew existed. And it's pretty amazing to watch:
Sometimes the opposite of talent can go viral... the lack of talent. It helps if the person lacking talent is as cute as this little guy:
As usual, I wanted to include a few of the best branded viral video successes this week. Advertisers are often able to push the creative envelope in exciting ways, and every day more companies are experimenting with online video.
Even nonprofits, like The Awesome Project. They decided to do some good around Los Angeles (and shoot some great video in the process). It's called "Swings in LA":
Nearly two decades ago, actor Robin Williams named his daughter Zelda. Now, all these years later, Nintendo is finally capitalizing on that fact with a new branded video:
Often times, when a brand tries to play off of a recent viral video trend, like Auto-tune, the effort falls flat. Other times, such as the latest Wheaties commercial, the outcome is fantastic:
Profanity Is Popular
Back when the original version of Cee Lo's hit song was launched, I wrote about the viral power of profanity. And this week we saw two videos teach us that lesson all over again. WARNING - Skip straight to the Honorable Mention section if you're bothered by swearing, both these upcoming clips contain lots and lots of it.
And there's another connection between these two clips as well: Samuel L. Jackson. In one, he's reading a vulgar childrens' story called Go The F*** To Sleep. It's pretty wrong, but it's also pretty funny:
There are several versions of this video out there, and many have gone viral. Some have also been taken down, so there's no guarantee on how long that embed will last.
Another Samuel Jackson video from this week with a lot of cussing in it is probably the most vulgar thing you've ever heard. Because it's only swearing. Nearly four minutes of it. It's a super-cut of Pulp Fiction, with everything cut out except for the swearing. Again... sensitive ears should continue on to the next section, this video is literally hundreds of swear words in a row:
What is it about swearing that attracts such a strong segment of the video-viewing public? Is it the taboo nature of it? Of course, we have to thank the humor in the first clip, and the built-in popularity of Pulp Fiction in the second clip, as catalysts for their respective viral success as well. We already knew YouTube users liked to leave swear words in the comments... now we know they like to watch them in the videos as well.
For those of you who just can't get enough video, here are a few bonus clips:
- There's a new Star Wars video game on the horizon, and the first trailer looks amazing.
- Conan O'Brien gave the commencement speech at Dartmouth College.
- This toddler loves telling the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, and he really gets into it.
- Cats will climb inside of anything.
- Don't look now, but Burger King is doing an Internet promotion that is... weird.
- Sometimes the most random videos are the best. I have no idea what this video is, why it exists, or how my friend found it. But I do know that I found it oddly mesmerizing.
- Want to see a fan-made, real-life Iron Man suit? Of course you do.