Trends manager at YouTube, Kevin Allocca, gets paid to watch YouTube videos all day and figure out why everyone else is watching the same silly video.
He shares some deep thoughts about why web videos become cultural phenomena and capture the attention of millions. In this talk from TEDYouth, he shares 3 reasons a silly video goes viral.
These are the ultimate silly video “thought leaders” that introduce us to new and interesting things and bring them to a larger audience. Get the attention of Jimmy Kimmel or Tosh.0 and your work is done. These ‘tastemakers’ can propel a video into the stratosphere of millions of viewers in a Tweet beat. Think your video has the Tosh factor? Check out some of the other videos that get attention and submit your video.
2. Communities of Participation
You’ve probably heard the expression: “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” in situations where you probably didn’t feel so flattered. But people who share your video, then take it to the next step by posting parodies or doing something new with it are the unsung heroes of the viral video world. Your fans don’t just enjoy now; they must participate! Issue a challenge to a group of people who love your video star so much that they’ll go Hello Kitty crazy over it or create your own parody videos to spark more creative genius. Check out the list of parodies the Double Rainbow video has received during its rise to fame.
“In a world where over two days of video get uploaded every minute, only that which is truly unique and unexpected can stand out in the way that [viral videos] have,” says Allocca. Examples range from the crazy NY biker throwing himself into bike lane obstructions to prove a point to Blendtec’s “Will it Blend” series that promotes their product’s outstanding performance while challenging their fans to blend their favorite electronic devices and other random objects for prizes.
No doubt. We are experiencing a new kind of media in a new kind of culture where anyone has access and the audience defines the popularity. How you appeal to a mass audience may be silly, but it can help you establish a brand, make your point or sell products better than any conventional ad.