April 19, 2010

NMA viral video chart insight

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The much-anticipated launch of Apple’s iPad earlier this month was one of those online calendar events millions of people look forward to with baited breath.

The unveiling of the product live on stage by Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, has been watched thousands of times across YouTube, yet the most viewed video featuring the iPad actually promotes a blender company called Blendtec, according to our Viral Video Chart.

In the video, the company’s CEO literally crunches the iPad into hundreds of fragmented shards inside a kitchen blender. It’s dumb but well-executed, funny and a bit wacky and they’ve been doing it for years with all manner of objects – it could be in the running for longest running meme ever along with cute, cuddly kittens.

The inclusion of Blendtec’s CEO in the video is a nice touch and straight out of the Victor ‘I liked it so much, I bought the company’ Kiam playbook.

Advertisers and agencies can spend months planning a viral, but sometimes it’s the on-the-hoof, reactive videos like this which take advantage of a tactical opportunity that hit the viral jackpot. No doubt, some of the most watched videos in months to come will be those that respond quickly and with wit to the dramas that are set to unfold at the FIFA World Cup.

On the other side of the coin, you have Nike’s Tiger Woods ad, which feels very contrived. It has left some with a distasteful taste in their mouths, given Woods’ alleged infidelities and the use of his late father’s voice as part of a cynical attempt to get the golfer’s valuable public image back on track.

However, you can’t dispute its quality, which has a haunting resonance. The Facebook shares and Twitter retweets are evidence of this, with the video being shared in great numbers across social networks.

Closer to home, both the Labour Party and Conservatives are achieving different results with different approaches. The Conservatives are spinning videos out of Web Cameron, which are clocking up views on the back of media buys, but failing to gain traction in terms of natural sharing.

Labour has enlisted the shallow, glossy veneer of celebrity power with videos featuring actors Sean Pertwee and Eddie Izzard. They’ve been shared in greater numbers by voters than the Conservative Party efforts. Is it down to the celebrity factor or has Labour done a good job of mobilising activists online a la Barack Obama?

It’s hard to tell. My own take is that Labour’s videos get shared more because they attract a younger vote. Meanwhile, now that the race for number 10 is officially a three horse race – if you believe the papers – it will be interesting to see if Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems can cement their newfound popularity in the coming weeks on YouTube.