There’s no doubt that video has become a more important and valuable element of content marketing strategies over the last year – and this trend is set to continue into 2013 and beyond.
Consumers are demanding video content – 84 per cent of internet users watch videos online at least once a month. So of course, every marketer wants a slice of the action. Besides, it’s easy to make a viral video, right? (Wrong!)
This year’s best viral videos are a smorgasbord of weird and wonderful – just like they were last year. So here goes – in no particular order – my favourite viral videos of 2012. Because nothing
fuels creativity ruins productivity quite so much as losing hours to those pesky related videos down the right-hand side on YouTube…
Record-breaking viral style
Let’s get the elephant out of the room early doors. Who knows what was it about this video that made it the most liked in YouTube history (Guinness World Records has officially named it as such in September)? I mean, we’ve seen plenty of videos featuring awesome dance moves in the past (like this baby dancing to Beyonce) and even this year (just check out this two-year-old jiving to Elvis!). But there’s only one video that’s been viewed nearly a billion times on YouTube (941 million and counting as I write this), and that’s of course our friend Psy with his South Korean Gangnam Style antics.
From £1 fish to recording contract
It started off with one guy filming market trader Muhammad Shahid Nazir singing to attract buyers for the fish he was selling for a quid. It got uploaded to YouTube and went viral, and said market trader now has a Warner Brothers record deal and is even making a bid for Christmas number one.
Beware, this is a first-class earworm.
Unfortunately the whole Kony affair lost a lot of its shine after the brains behind the campaign suffered a very public meltdown shortly after this video went viral, but it’s still a piece of online video/campaign magic.
Unfortunately, Joseph Kony remains at large as the end of 2012 draws closer.
Cats: funny jerks
Let’s move on to a lighter topic, shall we? Like the reason for the internet’s existence: funny cats. I’m not a cat person myself. First of all I’m allergic. Secondly, as a child I had a pet cat called Tammy which went feral and started trying to attack me. It also turns out cats are horrible friends. Think that’s cute? Watch out. Cats are jerks – just look at Teddy here.
So when it comes to choosing between a dog or a cat, for me it’s a no-brainer.
Kids do the darndest things
Obviously I think my kid is the coolest and funniest little person out there, but I’ll admit, there are some tykes on YouTube who give him some stiff competition (just scroll back to watch that jiving two-year-old if you haven’t seen him yet). But the funniest kids on the internet this year should actually thank/blame their parents for their viral stardom.
First up there’s KillBill Baby, whose clever dad made this brilliant video of his kid taking on a stuffed dragon – and winning. Nothing says “viral” quite as well as a violent baby ripping out the cottony heart of a soft toy, plus the recipe’s a proven success: KillBill Baby’s older brother is that other viral superhero, Iron Baby.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are the parents who instead of making their kids look badass, make them look just bad. But that’s just my opinion. All I know is I’m not sure the kids in the next video will be too thrilled in a few years’ time that their reactions to this prank became viral video fodder. See what happens when these parents tell their offspring they ate all their Halloween treats. Be sure to watch to the end of the clip if you want your faith in kids and parents restored!
Cruel to be funny
On the topic of pranks, this one from Brazil is hilarious and terrifying at the same time. I think we can all agree that if laughter while watching this video tends to be a nervous giggle of relief that you weren’t on the receiving end of this prank.
YouTube users upload more than 72 hours worth of video content to the site every minute. EVERY MINUTE. So it’s no surprise there’s some really random stuff on there. These are some of the cool videos I’ve come across this year.
Everything’s bigger in Africa, even hail stones…
Eight minutes of the year’s biggest pop songs (apparently, as I only recognise a few) really cleverly mashed up (that’s what the cool kids call it).
In a similar vein, although not as well done, is Baby Got Back, sung by the movies.
Personally, I prefer Sir Ian McKellan’s version of this particular tune.
What is it about falling down/general injury-through-stupidity videos that we all find so funny? This is my favourite OUCH video of the year, especially seeing how they all crack up afterwards. Achtung!
And to conclude, one of the biggest “it’s good to be part of mankind” moments I’ve seen on video this year (plus I’m South African, so extra proud…).
ChadDad – the “unbelievable!” star of the Olympics
Tell me which videos were your favourites this year – did I miss any? Comment below or tweet us at @newsreach.
I’ll be back next week bringing you my favourite viral brand marketing videos of 2012. Want to nominate one? Tweet me or comment below.