The Week's Best Viral Videos & Marketing Lessons - Musical Multitasking

The Weeks Best Viral Videos & Marketing Lessons   Musical Multitasking

What makes a video go viral? What triggers the act of sharing a clip on Facebook or Twitter? Generally, it's emotion: laughter, tears, surprise, shock, etc. It's not enough to create pretty images or great special effects if the audience doesn't feel anything when your video is over. In the current video age, nothing goes viral without social media coming into play, and most viewers need to be moved or motivated beyond the norm in order for them to put something in front of their friends and followers.

This week saw another great batch of clips go viral, ranging from Star Wars clips to Patriotic scenes. But the one thing they all had in common was that they elicited an emotional response from their viewers. And you can cause emotional reactions through a variety of methods, but without it your video is dead on arrival.

Let's take a look at some of clips this week that moved their audience emotionally in a way that spurred sharing behavior:

Musical Multitasking

Sometimes the universe just creates a coincidence out of thin air. Like when two videos by separate multitasking violinists go viral in the same week.

First we had YouTube user lara6683, who somehow managed to discover a unique talent: she can play the violin AND Dance, Dance Revolution at the same time... and she's pretty good at both. Take a look:

If you're amazed at her ability to perform three tasks at once, you will likely also be impressed by another violinist named layla19781101, who also plays a harp and a piano in the same video:

The third video in this group is, admittedly, a bit of a stretch, considering there's not really any "multitasking" going on. But that doesn't make it any less awesome. The clip features the Trinity College Orchestra performing a song by Daft Punk:

Videos showcasing unique or amazing musical performances will always have a home in the viral community. We are a society that craves music--just browse YouTube some time and count how many of the most-viewed videos of all time are music videos. But the successful video will stand out from the others through some clever wrinkle or twist.

Art

Some videos are just art... and there's no way around it. And art can definitely provoke emotional responses for viewers, as it has been doing for centuries.

Here's a breathtaking time-lapse video of Chicago, New York City, Toronto, Quebec City, and Montreal... it's amazing:

Short films can go viral just like a 30-second commercial can, but the requirements are still the same: they have to make the audience feel something... something strong enough to get them talking about it afterwards. Like Blood On My Name, a short film from Whitestone Motion Pictures:

Sometimes video is the medium for the art. But sometimes it's just a video that showcases a physical work of art. Like the clip of this incredible toothpick model of San Francisco, which is also a ball run:

How much time must have been spent on that model? Seems like it must have been a lifetime. It's an impressive piece, and you can easily see why people would forward that clip to their friends.

Patriotism

Plenty of examples of patriotic videos this week, as the country reacts to the announcement that Osama bin Laden has been defeated. We already talked about the spontaneous chants of "USA" that erupted at a baseball game as the news spread through the stadium. Over at the NBA, at least one team decided to mark the occasion by skipping the tradition of having a celebrity sing the national anthem. Instead, they asked the crowd--and the players--to handle the honors:

Not everyone likes chanting "USA," and the context seems to have a lot to do with it. Take this young man, who tries to start the chant on a New York subway (the day following the bin Laden announcement) only to be met by cold stares, silence, and at least one vulgar gesture:

In a more... rural celebration of Osama's defeat, this gentleman filmed himself riding a four-wheeler while carrying an American flag and shooting his gun. It's not a celebration everyone would appreciate, but over half a million people have watched it:

Good, Old-Fashioned Fun

Some videos defy my categorization system... so I just come up with a broader category name like "Good, Old-Fashioned Fun." It allows me to show you a wide range of viral successes without the pesky burden of an actual central theme. :)

Like the Slow-Mo Guys, who are one of the fastest-rising YouTube creators around---they even won the On The Rise competition last month. Their concept is straightforward: film things with super high-speed cameras, and let the world enjoy the slow-motion results. This week their big hit involved a 6 foot water balloon:

Another great YouTube channel that's getting all kinds of buzz lately is Talking Animals. The premise is deceivingly simple: overdub voices on video clips of animals. But the attention to detail shows these guys are very talented--the animals only "talk" when their mouths move, and when they turn their heads the audio changes to match a more distant-sounding voice.

The first Talking Animals video I saw this week was actually an old clip of a cat that is a terrible mystic. But they also released a new clip this week of a man teasing his dog, and it quickly went viral as well. It's easily one of my favorite clips of the week:

Not everyone involved with the royal wedding treated the event as a somber, proper affair. One man even did cartwheels inside the church:

People love to laugh and smile. If you can make them smile enough, the first thing they'll do when your video is over is share that smile with a friend.

Honorable Mention

I never have room for all the great videos I see in a given week... so consider this the best of the rest:

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? ▼
  • djc287

    Jeremy,

    These are great viral videos. Video brings enormous benefits in the terms of SEO. You're right, the most important tactic in making sure that your video goes viral is to elicitt an emotional response. Here's an additional resource for you - an article on the 5 ways that videos/talking charachters help you reach online goals: http://www.beema.com/5ways_talking_characters_help.aspx

  • Dave G

    A little "what sells" research as of 5-9-11

    Cute piano girl with bare skin: 2.3 million views (multitasking? Oh yeah, I guess she was...)

    Girl in living room, no skin: 214K views

    Guys with the stunt: 2.3 million

    Dog 10.6 million

    The others: decent views but puny compared to....

    Animals, young women displaying skin, stunts (humor). The poster frame (thumbnail) makes a huge difference in whether we click or skip.

  • http://twitter.com/mousonmusiq Wenzhe Wu

    The violinist is not called layla19781101. layla19781101 is the one who uploaded the video. The name of the violinst is called Lin Yixin, a 26 year old girl who is an entertainment and web personality from Taiwan. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1075801228 E W Aldridge Sr

    Wow! The talking dog was great. I sometimes wonder if maybe we have way too much time on our hands. What do you think?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=572195705 Nick Gregan

    awesome videos Jeremy, I love these weekly updates. I'd probably never see most of these if it wasn't for ReelSEO. Thanks and keep up the good work. Nick