“Viral Videos”

Someone posted a funny video on another forum called “The Dog House“. It’s a clever piece about a guy who gives his wife a vacuum cleaner as a gift. You don’t find out who actually produced the video until the very end.

This led to a discussion on manufacturers producing videos to be posted on the web with the hope that they go “viral”. I posted the following response which I thought you might find interesting.  I’ve omitted the name of the sponsor of the video so as not to spoil it for you if you decide to check it out.

High-priced production and “viral” normally don’t go together. While the “Dog House” video is clever, well-made, and likely to make the rounds of the vac industry, it will probably have a short shelf life. It’s been posted by several different users on YouTube but the combined views are just over 100,000. That’s not great for a six-figure expenditure in production costs.

The best, most viral videos are usually done at very little cost. The classic example is “Will It Blend“, a series of videos by BlendTec, a manufacturer of high end blenders. In case you’ve missed it, BlendTec has put together a series of videos, done in house, showing its blenders grinding up lumber, golf clubs, garden tools, iPods and even a hockey puck. Each video has been downloaded millions of times. Sales of the very high-priced machines have gone sky high.

It’s almost impossible to create something “viral” on purpose. That wasn’t the intent of the original “Will It Blend” video. It’s a grass roots thing and the bloggers and others who push something to viral status are notorious for seeing through attempts at intentional “viralness”. (Viralness-I just made that up. Maybe the term will go viral?)

Anyway, a video made with a $150.00 Flip camera of a 5 year old sucking up the family hamster with a Riccar vaccum (bad example, but you get my point) is much more likely to go viral than a high-priced professional video produced by a manufacturer. Huge companies have tried it and failed.

Bloggers hate the idea that they’re being used to promote a product. They want to discover interesting, funny, cool stuff to pass along to their readers. If a product happens to be included, they really don’t care. But send them something that’s obviously self-serving, like the Dog House video, and they’ll ignore it. Worse, they may go on a campaign dissing you for trying to put one over on them.

So, get out your video camera and start looking for funny or interesting stuff that you can post on YouTube, preferably including a Riccar or Simplicity vac. Who knows, you might be the next BlendTec.

Now this is funny!

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