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Trey Parker and Matt Stone Have Given Us Many Things…Including ‘Viral Videos’

In 2008 I wrote about “what makes a video go viral.”  The examples in that post are pretty dated now, but today while listening to NPR I heard about ‘”Viral Video’s Patient Zero,” and it was created by none other than the guys who went on to create “South Park,” Book of Mormon” and the incredible “Idiocracy.”

“The Spirit of Christmas”

Listen to the story from “On the Media”and you’ll be reminded that what makes a video “go viral,” is that it does something special.



FunnyOrDie reminds us what a good viral video looks like

I’ve written twice before about the attributes of what makes a video “go viral,” online and get passed along and shared.  The list of attributes for a successful video included:

  • it has to be compelling (this might be oddly funny i.e. NUMA NUMA, timely i.e Paris Hilton’s response to John McCain (OK this was in 2008), heart-warming like the late Randy Pausch’s last lecture, or just oddly compelling like the Daft Punk girl)
  • a story arc – albeit short – not all videos have them but it can help
  • something people can identify with
  • safe for work – most people view online video at work, don’t make them feel like they’re going to be fired for watching
  • a core audience – who is going to start the video moving? There has to be some core group that cares about the content, then it can move beyond them
FunnyOrDie just nailed all of them with their take on the NFL Lockout with “Field of Dreams 2.”

Get Your Swagger On The Water – Two Totally Different Examples of Online Videos That Work

I’ve written many times about creating video that people choose to watch and share with others online. Some of my favorites are the Johnnie Walker video with Robert Carlyle, Batting Stance Guy, Dude Perfect and yes, Tiger Woods with EA.

I have two more great examples to share. Both very different.

In a class a few months ago I dinged Toyota for including a URL for their YouTube channel in their TV spots for the Sienna minivan when they didn’t have any good content related to the van on the channel.  In the class, one of the students said that she was prompted to go to the site after watching the ad and actually was angry when there wasn’t anything worthwhile to see. It seems that maybe their advertising was just a little out of sync with their new video because “Swagger Wagon,” has definitely taken off:

The second spot seems less like a commercial and doesn’t even really mention the product (which may provide some issues as to non-disclosure etc.) but uses a mockumentary style to highlight the “new sport,” of “Liquid Mountaineering.” Read more about the campaign from Hi-Tec Sports on Social Times.

Creating Great Content Redux – DudePerfect and the World’s Longest Basketball Shot

In the same vein as “The Batting Stance Guy,” today I give you DudePerfect.

DudePerfect has a simple premise, they make and film seemingly impossible basketball shots. Think of the classic Michael Jordan/Larry Bird “Showdown,” commercials, but done by a few guys from Texas A&M that shot videos around campus and on a ranch in Morgan, Texas (nope, never been there).

Why does it work?

  • It’s fun
  • Believable (but a stretch)
  • People can identify with it (You know you’ve thrown a ball in from 50 feet and said “Dude! Perfect!)

Their videos have gotten them on ESPN, Good Morning America and in Sports Illustrated.  The premise of their site is having fun and raising money for Compassion.com. I’m sure somewhere along the way they’ll end up with a TV show or get licensed to make commercials for someone (my money is on a Coke or Pepsi ad in the Super Bowl), but right now, it looks like they are the latest folks to create great content and find a market for them.

Below is their most well known video billed as the World’s Longest Basketball Shot that goes from the 3rd level at Kyle Field at Texas A&M into a basket at field level.

How to draw viewers to your site?

Often asked question:  “How do I get people to come to my site?”

Simple answer:  “Create something that someone wants to watch.”

A great example of this is “The Batting Stance Guy.”  I found about this from Dan Francisco and it’s amazing.  It’s almost stupid in it’s simplicity, and brilliant in its execution.

Batting Stance Guy, or BSG as he refers to himself, makes videos highlighting in a funny way the batting stances of players from every major league team.  I’ve written about what makes videos “go viral” a few times before.  This series hits almost all of the criteria.  Outstanding example of figuring out a specific audience and creating content just for them.

Because I’m a Giants fan, below is the video of batting stances of the Giants.  Watch until the end for a great one of Rich Aurilia.


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