Saturday, May 26, 2007

Star Wars - the beginning of Viral

November 2002 marked the beginning of the viral video outbreak.

A fanatical Star Wars fan (like my son) videotaping himself fighting as a Jedi warrior with nothing but a golf ball retriever, was discovered in the archives of a high school camera room. As a practical joke, the video was uploaded to the net, and from there… a phenomenon.

From its first upload on Kazaa, the funny, quirky video spread like wildfire through file-sharing sites, youtube and eventually several TV shows like Arrested Development and The Colbert Report. The outbreak of the video continued to snowball as people began editing the video with their own special effects, sending it to friends, and making movie trailers from the footage.

The various pieces and versions of the boy's original video have now been viewed over 900 Million times!

And all of this was absolutely self-propelled. No agency or corporate promotion was needed to make it work.

So what made this video so viral? The possibilities for promoting artists/bands using viral footage are endless. What makes one more powerfuly viral than another? I wrote a post about the viral nature of video a few months ago... which has a recipe for "viral", but it's obviously not as simple as that because I see a TON of very un-funny video floating around everywhere nowadays.

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