November 2nd, 2011

A Word on “Viral” Videos

A couple of weeks ago Fashionista posted their Fashion Video Awards of the Season.  They gave some interesting superlatives like “Most Pornagraphic" and "Best Visual Effects”, etc.- but they gave the Video of the Season award to Lanvin, which I could not agree more with. 

When working with video content brands are always looking for their investment to “go viral”, which is something that drives me nuts.  So I decided to take a moment and look at what “viral” really means and what kind of engagement these “best” fashion videos actually translated to for the brands that commissioned them.

My research has defined “viral” as one of three things: celebrity endorsed, funny or pornagraphic (as far as Youtube will let that go).  I am using Youtube as my baseline for this because while I love Vimeo, etc.- Youtube is still the second largest website in the world with 800 million uniques per month- second only to Facebook according to Google.  The photos above are a rank of the top 12 most viewed YouTube videos of all time- here is the breakdown:

1. Justin Bieber - Baby ft. Ludacris: 650 million views

2. Lady Gaga- Bad Romance: 424 million views

3. Jennifer Lopez- On The Floor ft. Pitbull: 418 million views

4. Shakira- Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) (The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Song): 414 million views

5. Eminem- Love the Way You Lie ft. Rihanna: 389 million views

6. Charlie bit my finger- again!: 384 million views

This video is hilarious- and adorable.

7. Eminem- Not Afraid: 289 million views

8. Parto in un letto: 282 million views

This video is the WEIRDEST- from what I can tell this is 3 italian guys simulating childbirth- badly- and it sort of looks like porn. Either way, I won’t get that 1:12 minute back.

9. Justin Bieber - Never Say Never ft. Jaden Smith: 273 million views

10. Justin Bieber- One Time: 272 million views

11. LMFAO- Party Rock Anthem ft. Lauren Bennet, GoonRock : 264 million views

12. thigh massage video: 255 million views

This is an instructional video on how to give a thigh massage- aka “soft porn”

Anyway, I tried to take these learnings from YouTube and apply them to these fashion videos- and there is actually a real correlation to the celebrity endorsement & funny quotient.  The top five most viewed videos had celebrities in them and/or were kind of funny to hilarious.  I would have loved to look into the porn hypothesis because Nicola Formichetti’s video for Mugler was also listed as the aforementioned & appropriately deemed ”Most Pornagraphic” video, however the video is hosted on (do not click on that unless you want to see a bunch of wangs - and not the alexander kind) and there is no view stats shared on their vanity URL.

What’s most interesting is that the MOST viewed video was Lanvin with over 500K views- that is a tiny, tiny, tiny drop in the bucket in terms of the actual reach on YouTube, but is significantly higher than the rest.  It should also be mentioned that they had the most “comments” (448) and the most “likes” (2,993) out of any other video listed here.  This video is hilarious and if you haven’t seen it yet- def give it a watch. 

I think the key learning here is that either brands pony up for influential casting or stop taking themselves so seriously and lighten up.  (Personally, I don’t recommend the porn angle- that Mugler video legit gave me nightmares last night) 

  1. abconsults reblogged this from digitalista
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  4. joncrowley reblogged this from digitalista and added:
    Well played.
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momma of 3 boys, digital marketer, owner of RJK Project & adventure collector.

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