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Watching A Lot of Viral Videos (for Higher Education... I Swear)

Posted by 40deuce on 4:45 AM in ,
How many viral videos have you seen in your life?
Just this year?
How many have you forwarded to other people?
How many of those were made by a big company?
How many did you know were?

One of the best things about the internet is that we have the ability to share anything we think is cool/interesting/funny/though-provoking/sad/etc. with all of our friends with just the click of a button. One of the things we love to share are videos that we find. These are usually what are referred to as "viral videos".

Viral videos are videos that get spread around the internet at a very rapid rate. They spread like a virus, hence the name viral video. Here's a quick definition from Wikipedia:
"A viral video is a video clip that gains widespread popularity through the process of Internet sharing, typically through email or Instant messaging, blogs and other media sharing websites. Viral videos are often humorous in nature and include televised comedy sketches such as Saturday Night Live's Lazy Sunday and Dick in a Box; amateur video clips like Star Wars Kid, the Numa Numavideos, The Dancing Cadet, The Evolution of Dance, the "Benny Lava" video; and web-only productions such as I Got a Crush... on Obama. Some "eyewitness" events have also been caught on video and have "gone viral," including the Battle at Kruger."

As the definition states, there are many sources from which viral videos start, but today I want to look at ones that come from companies.

I got the idea when someone in class was talking about a bunch of roller-skating babies and told me to look it up on youtube. Turns out it's an online ad for Evian Water as part as their "Live Young" campaign. This is it:

Which then reminded me of all the other strange viral videos people have sent me. This is one of the latest ones, it's a clever campaign in the US:

These videos made me think of all the videos I've seen over time, and it's interesting to think of how many have come from a company. While the "Think Before You Speak" campaign clearly has a message in it, not all of them do. For instance, the roller-skating babies could have been anything until the Evian logo came up at the end. There are a ton of different ways that companies use the concept of a viral video, and today I want to look at some of them (with fun examples of course).

Some companies make ads for TV that are longer than the average 30 second commercial, so they show a shortened version on the tube and upload the full version to the internet to be passed around.

Here's a popular one from Cabury Chocolate:

This one is from Sprint (a US phone company):

Some companies make videos specifically as advertisements for the internet which could be due to constraints of mainstream media such as time or subject material.

Here's an example from Agent Provocateur:

This is a clever one from Honda that was too long for TV:

Trojan has a line of ads that were not meant for TV called "The Trojan Games". Here's one of them:

Here's one where Pepsi took an already popular internet phenomenon and built on it. Pepsi took the man behind the "Chocolate Rain" video and used him to make a remix for their new Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper:

Some companies make videos that are made to look like amateur videos that were uploaded to the net, but then stick their name at the end. There are a lot of examples of this.

Check out this one from Quicksilver:

Nike has a whole line of the amateur looking commercials that feature famous athletes putting on Nike apparel before doing something amazing:

There is also a series of videos called "Will It Blend" where it looks like home made videos of a guy throwing stuff in a blender, but really the man is the owner of the company that makes the blender and if you pay attention you see the name of that company all over the video:

Other companies will pay to have their products featured in other peoples online videos. One of the most talked about examples of this was with a vlogger named Lonely Girl 15 who was supposedly keeping a video diary of her life, which turned out to be completely scripted. The episode that wound up revealing this was because of the product placement. Watch for it in this video around the 3:30 time mark:

After she eats the gum, you can even hear her say, "Whoa! That's sour!" which was the slogan of the Ice Breakers Sour Gum.

Of course, companies favorites are the ones they don't even make themselves. The best example of this was done by two video makers who go by the name of Eepy Bird. This duo makes videos of cool and fun science experiments. They started doing some videos of them dropping Mentos into bottles of Diet Coke, which quickly became viral over the net. Copy cats started springing up everywhere. Both Coke and Mentos, whom had nothing to do with Eepy Bird at the time, caught the video and sent the guys a large quantity of their candy hoping they'd use them for more videos, because the more videos Eepy Bird made, the more copycats they'd having using the same product.

Here's the original video they made:

And, here's one they made once they had a little free product to play with:

These are just a few examples of how companies are using viral videos to get their products onto your computer. Surely there will be more to come, since this form of online advertising seems to work a lot better than giant flashy banners.

Leave some comments and tell me:
What do you think of big company made viral videos??
Do you think there should be any ethics behind it?
Or even, what's your favorite company made viral video? (leave a link too if you can)

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