I can scarcely go a day anymore without at least looking at my favorite curated video sites to see what new videos are popular. That says a lot about what a video junkie I am, but it also says a lot about how much great video content there is being created and uploaded on a daily basis—there's always something new and entertaining to watch, no matter how frequently I go looking.
This weekend, a viral video trend stuck out to me in the videos I saw being shared the most: world records. In fact, no less than three of the weekend's viral success stories belong to videos depicting a particular record being broken.
The Largest Lip Dub Ever
When Newsweek recently listed some of America's "dying cities," at least one location on the list took it personally. The city? Grand Rapids, Michigan. How offended were they? Well, they did what any town with a bit of civic pride would do: they set out to create the world's largest lip dub video to show Newsweek exactly how alive their city is.
Take a look:
The city-wide lip dub is a new record for "largest" lip dub—meaning the size and scope of the event as opposed to its length. There were 5,000 participants and the city shut down roads and intersections to accommodate the project—all paid for by some generous local corporate sponsors.
Lip Dubs are usually viral video candidates because of the sheer coordination involved with getting all the shots. There's no real singing talent on display, after all, because we're lip syncing. But when more participants are added, along with more elaborate set pieces and background scenes, the viewing audience ends up being wowed by the raw enormity of the event—all the moving parts one has to pull together and orchestrate.
It's only a matter of time before some group comes along with an even bigger lip dub video. But for now, the crown belongs to the city with more pride than Newsweek probably anticipated, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The World's First BMX Triple Jump
If you don't follow the world of competitive bicycle jumping, you probably missed a pretty impressive new record over the weekend: the first-ever BMX triple jump. Check out the video, which shows both a standard view, and the view from rider, Jed Mildon's helmet-cam:
Now, I would never be crazy enough to try just one rotation, let alone three. Heck, I probably wouldn't even perform a simple non-flipping jump of the ramp at medium speed. But this guy… did something daring… something difficult… and something that had never been done before.
Notice also that the video is on the YouTube channel of Unit Riders—one of the many sponsors of Jed Mildon's career. Nice bit of free publicity for them, eh?
New Rubik's Cube World Record Holder
There's a new Rubik's Cube sheriff in town, and he's a teenager—16 to be exact. That's right, he was born in 1995, and he now holds many of the major "speed-solving" records in the world. At this year's 2011 Kubaroo Open, he broke the Rubik's Cube record with a solve speed of 6.24 seconds. Here it is… don't blink or you'll miss it:
Of the three record-setting viral video examples, this Rubik's Cube one probably had the best share-ability, mostly due to the connection people have with the puzzle game. I mean… who hasn't picked one up and played with it at some point in their lives? Because everyone has a personal association with the cube—typically one where solutions did not come quickly—we can relate to the video clip while also being instantly impressed with it.
Why are world-record videos enjoying such great viral success? Is it a trend? Or simply common sense---that viewers enjoy seeing things that have never been done before?
When you show viral audiences something they've never seen before, they're far more likely to share that video with others—even more so when the feat you show them has literally never been seen before by anyone.