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Deconstructing 36 Million Views On YouTube

( During the writing of this post, the view count went from 35 million to 36 million. Will we be seeing 100 million+ views soon?! Read on… )

Well, well. We’re back in familiar territory, aren’t we? πŸ˜‰

Remember the previous ‘how to create hypnotic videos’ in our series? If not, check them out here and here.

So, we’re almost two weeks into the incredible phenomenon known as Rebecca Black. If you haven’t heard of her insidiously catchy song (for good or bad, you decide) initially released on the YouTubes(now available on iTunes, probably earning her teen-ness a pretty penny)

…then surely you’ve been busy having a 10 day colonic at an Indian retreat or something (which, incidentally, would be a much better way to spend your time in my humble opinion πŸ˜‰ )

So anyway. Let’s cut into this now.

What makes the song AND the video so sticky it almost forces you to view AND comment?

Here we go.

  • It’s VERY polarizing. If you’re a teenager, you probably love the vibe. If you’re not, that same vibe will probably make you cringe. Either way, you WILL have an emotional reaction strong enough to not be able to just forget it. Which brings us to…
  • It’s sincere. Some will obviously not agree with me on this, but I do think a song like this could not have been done out of complete calculation. I think it is exactly what it looks like, and that’s what comes through and grabs people. Even unwillingly. πŸ™‚
  • It lends itself to parody, almost too well. There’s probably hundreds of parodies, mockeries, cover versions and whatnot.. during the first two weeks! Some even say the video and song is a parody all to itself, but personally I don’t buy it.
  • The core idea is very clear. It’s all about the fun, uncomplicated expectance of weekend. How many times did you hear FUN, again? There you have it. Who could resist a little fun?
  • It latches on to a very powerful existing meme. TGIF, anyone? (Thank God It’s Friday), Photoshop Friday… and so on. Everyone’s looking forward to the onset of weekend and this song gives it an anthem it’s lacked, apparently.
  • It has repeat relevance. Friday comes once a week, right? So guess what happens? Every Friday from now on will have millions of people playing this, and sending out to their friends. I’m guessing hundreds of millions of views by summer of 2011.
  • It has staying power. Some will use this to deconstruct the psychology of it (like myself), others will use it to, well, Rick Roll their friends, and, I have to believe, even some to admire the song and actually liking it.

Okay, so it’s set up just right. Accidentally or on purpose, we may never really find out.

But this time, the setup is almost more than the video itself. The video and the song are actually quite well produced for what they are, but the plan behind it is even more powerful (conscious or not).

Right now, the video is so popular, has so much attention around it, it almost perpetuates itself. The coming weeks and months will show what comes of Rebecca Black, and it will be a thing to behold for sure. πŸ™‚

When you can put together so many attention demanding elements, you have a platform to launch something big. Then it’s up to you to stand up and use that attention in the best possible ways. Go for it!

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