Viral Video Marketing Round Up – Lessons From This Week’s Viral Successes -12/07/2009

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It’s time for another Viral Round Up, where we examine recent viral video successes and break them apart so we can learn what made them tick.  Let’s dive in:

The Flash Mob Dance Party

If you follow these weekly round-up posts, you already know that I’m a big fan of Flash Mobs.  And even though the “spontaneous dance” flash mob is maybe a bit overplayed… I still enjoy those too.  It’s easy, after all, to forget that the general public is not as well-exposed to these viral trends as an Internet Marketer like myself might be.  There are millions who haven’t even seen one flash mob video, let alone all the ones I’ve seen.  Very little about viral marketing is seriously “played out” for the general public.

The most recent example of a successful viral attempt using a flash mob involves the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.  It’s called Phamous Planet Hollywood Flash Mob!, and was executed to near perfection.  A horde of dancers storm the Planet Hollywood floor and perform a pretty intricate piece of choreography, wowing the unsuspecting patrons.

What this video also does extremely well is make good use of the annotations system on YouTube, referencing a free download of the featured song, asking for people to “Phavorite” the video, and more.

Fantastic evidence that even the old “standards” of viral marketing can work when executed well—and it’s a major brand putting this out there.  Good marketing execution can trump originality when it comes to viral success… a very important reminder.

Check it out:

The Public Wedding

By now I’m sure most of you have heard or read about the guy that paused his wedding ceremony to Tweet and update his Facebook status on the new marriage.  He’s gotten an outrageous amount of publicity for being the first to do this, and it’s a pretty charming story to be sure.  I love how the preacher takes it all in stride (which might be a function of his youth—youngest wedding preacher ever).

Now you can watch the video of the historic Facebook update, just as over a million others have.

Now, it’s doubtful there was a major brand behind this, though I’m sure Facebook and Twitter are quite pleased with the free publicity, thank you very much.

But there’s something about it that suggests this groom knew exactly what kind of viral storm he was setting off when he planned this—and it was definitely planned… he even hands a phone to his new bride so she can update her status as well.

The lesson?  The right idea needs no viral marketing push nor any major brand funding.  Someone Tweeting live from the middle of their own wedding was bound to happen eventually.  It was an idea that was just perfectly ripe for the picking.  Congrats to this guy for doing it before anyone else did.

Watch the action yourself:

The Muppets

Now, I’m a child of the 70s and 80s, so for me… if you say “Muppets,” you can bet I’m there.  However, the Muppets haven’t faired so well in the last twenty years.  The movies have failed to rake in the box office, and the briefly revived television show went nowhere.  Eventually the property was sold to Disney, and they appear to have a real interest in ramping the franchise back up.  There’s a new movie in development, and now we have this fantastic viral video of the Muppets performing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody—you might remember it as the song from Wayne’s World.

If you love the Muppets, even a little bit, you should have no trouble enjoying this video—heck, it’ll probably be your favorite viral video of all time.  Just try not to laugh when Animal goes on his “Momma?” tangent, I dare you.

The lesson?  Even stale properties can be revived by a well-conceived viral push.  The Muppets are cool again, for multiple generations, and it’s all because of a little web video.  Powerful stuff.

The Kitten

If I had a nickel for every kitten-related viral video I’ve seen… well, I’d certainly have a lot of nickels.  Cats, and other animals, are one of the most tried and true viral formulas in existence.

I saw this video last week, and later that same day it was on the home page of Yahoo.  It’s undeniably cute—unless you have no soul—and you can see why a video like this would shoot through the viral atmosphere.  Check it out if you somehow haven’t seen it yet:

Not sure there’s a great takeaway for business… unless you have an animal that does outrageously cute things on cue.  If so… I don’t know why you wouldn’t film it and upload it to YouTube.  Most Internet marketers I know would kill to have their pet be this adorable.  To be honest, I just wanted to squeeze this one into the roundup because it’s one of my favorite web videos ever.  If cute cats aren’t your thing… well, at least we had three cat-free viral examples above.

So, the moral of the story this week is this:  even the oldest and most overdone viral themes are still not played out, a good idea is worth as much to your viral efforts as the brand behind it, and even a stale brand can see instant rejuvenation with the help of a popular viral effort.

Hope these lessons are helpful to you as you plan and execute your own viral videos.  Be sure to let us know if you have any success so we can feature you in one of our next Round Up articles.  Happy hunting!

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