The Week’s Best Viral Videos & Marketing Lessons: Amateur Effects & Tributes

The Week’s Best Viral Videos & Marketing Lessons: Amateur Effects & Tributes

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Happy Friday everyone. It’s been a long week for me, and I’m looking forward to the weekend. Your weekend comes a little early, in the form of the weekly viral video round up. I’ve got another great collection of clips that went viral this week—each with a unique and valuable lesson to teach us. I hope you get some nugget of useful knowledge out of it, but mostly I just hope you sit back and enjoy a few awesome videos before jumping back into your work day.

Let’s not waste any time.

Amateur Effects Gurus

I’m a big fan of amateur directors with special effects chops, like Freddiew–who, honestly, should have already been offered several Hollywood jobs by now. Another effects guru on YouTube who should already be working in the film industry is Patrick Boivin. We’ve featured his work a bunch of times in the past, and his stuff is always nearly note perfect. In fact, it’s probably not technically accurate to call him an amateur anymore.

Regardless, he’s put out a new video this week, featuring Black Widow (from Iron Man 2) beating up everyone from Rocky Balboa to Michael Jackson. As usual, it’s just fantastic:

Short, sweet, entertaining. Boivin shows off a ton of talent in just a handful of seconds, but if he didn’t have his charming sense of humor, I’m not sure his videos would be as popular.

Another impressive effects guru is RivenX3i, whom I’d never heard of prior to this week. But that appears to be my own fault, because there are several viral successes on his channel. Riven X3i focuses on fight choreography and cinematography… and he appears to be a bit of a wizard at it.

For his latest video, he’s decided to use female fighters to create a sort of real-life Street Fighter vibe. Check out the talent:

These are the kinds of YouTube artists I’m worried about when I hear about YouTube trying to lure celebrities to the community. I would hate to see viewers flock to a more famous person’s channel and have the extremely talented amateurs on the site lose their audience. Hopefully that won’t happen. It shouldn’t. These guys are artists.

At worst, I guess the Vimeo community would welcome them with open arms, as they seem to be a very open and inviting group for talented indie filmmakers… like this guy, Cedric Vella, who decided to “YouTube My Facebook,” with impressive results:

Family Moments

Every family has those cute moments… or those hilarious moments… where the stars align and something so adorable and lovable happens that inevitably someone in the room says, “Man, I wish we’d gotten that on video.” A couple families did just that this week, and have earned viral success whether they expected it or not.

First up, we have a cake-building dad (and Angry Birds fan) who just outdoes himself in the most ridiculous way for a child’s birthday:

Five days, 3 million views. Does that mean the world is still obsessed with Angry Birds or that they just love parents who go the extra mile? Yeah, you’re right… it’s gotta be both.

The Internet loves hard working people, and this cake clearly took a ton of hard work. They also love good parents–perhaps because they seem in such short supply lately. And they also love Angry Birds. Throw all three together, and this video seems almost predestined for the viral hall of fame.

Another family moment that went viral this week concerns a little girl, lecturing the camera about her priorities in life. I didn’t catch all of it, but I know one thing: she doesn’t want a husband until she has a job—she’s really quite adamant about it:

Cute kids will never go out of style on YouTube… never. Nor will cats, dogs, and pratfall videos. But it’s rare to find a cute kid that is also this articulate and mature in their thinking. How does a five-year-old have such a strong work ethic?

Paying Tribute

An excellent way to stand out in the sea of viral video contenders is to call out another piece of pop culture. Sometimes in comes in the form of a tribute, a way to pay homage to a beloved piece of entertainment that’s come before.

Sometimes instead of a tribute, it’s more of a response or a challenge. Remember two weeks ago, when a video of UConn quarterback Johnny McEntee performing trick throws went viral?

Well, now a QB at Monmoth College of all places has decided to answer with his own trick-throw video, and his is just as impressive as McEntee’s:

There’s something very important about this video that I want you to pay attention to: He’s called out Johnny McEntee (“Johnny Mac”) in the actual title of his video. That’s an excellent way to get some initial views because it helps the new video show up for searches on “Johnny Mac,” and it also helps the video show up on the right-hand list of “related videos” when viewers are watching the original Jonhny Mac clip. Simple promotional trick that’s executed perfectly.

Honorable Mention

Here are some of the best videos from this week that didn’t fit into the column above:


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