By Chris Alvarez
Here’s something me and millions of other people have in common—we can’t stop watching viral videos. They can be sidesplittingly funny, informative, and most of the time, can snap me out of any sour mood. There was once a time when these videos were merely used for entertainment (search Numa Numa or see Star Wars Kid below). However marketers, advertisers, and multinational corporations now use them as an inexpensive and more entertaining alternative to television ads. This has led even further to the advent of Youtube channels. These videos, predominantly posted on YouTube (the second largest internet search engine) aid in increasing brand awareness, and help sell and promote a wide variety of products.
Justin Bieber is arguably the most popular musician on the planet right now. But what made him such a global phenomenon? YouTube. He was discovered through it, and his team of handlers have built a global brand through it. Bieber’s YouTube page has over 1 million subscribers and well over 2 billion views and, as embarrassed as I am to say this, some of the views are from me.
There are two companies that come to mind when talking about viral videos as a selling tool. Evian and Old Spice.
Evian’s viral video campaign is delightfully cute and cheerful. Their tagline “Evian Live Young” is paraded in their roller-skating baby videos. These videos have over 58 million views.
Old Spice too uses viral videos to its advantage. While Evian’s videos are cute, Old Spice’s videos are hilariously in your face and obnoxious. These videos have over 290 million views and have even convinced me to buy some of their products.
“I would like you to Meet Doug Pitt.” He is the second most famous Pitt. The idea of using Brad Pitt’s brother as a spokes person is the brainchild of Virgin Mobile Australia. The person that came up with this idea is a genius. I cannot stop watching the video “Meet Doug Pitt”. Every time I watch it my eyes start tearing it’s so funny. Honestly I knew about Virgin Mobile before this but the video just reminded me why Virgin brands are so likeable.
Viral Videos have changed the way we watch things on the internet. The number one question people ask me, as a marketer, is how to get a video to go viral. Sadly, there is no guaranteed formula for this. Most of these videos happen organically and that is what people respond to. Was there anyway to predict that the Gangnam Style music video would explode the way it has? Viral Videos have been used for many purposes but I’m happy to say as a marketer that they are now being used to push products and promote brands.
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What’s your favorite viral video?