Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Chocolate Rain: Some stay dry and others feel the pain

It never ceases to amaze me how some online videos can take off into the vast reaches of our universe without powerful marketing machines or production budgets behind them. It's one of the beautiful ironies of the online viral world. Those that wish to go big, struggle to find the path; while those that wish nothing more than to record their favorite karaoke song on home video and show it to their friends will inevitably become Internet superstars.

Tay Zonday is the most recent in this notorious line of unsuspecting Internet heroes. A few months ago, Tay was a no-name musician, writing and recording cheesy covers and the occasional original song in the comfort of his home. Today, Tay Zonday is Chocolate Rain! The man behind the myth behind the online video that I've now watched at least 30 times in two weeks.

When I first saw it, Chocolate Rain was at the 500,000 views level - hardly something to scoff at. Now, just a couple weeks later, this video has climbed to over 2 million views. I personally have sent this link to over 20 people and shown it via light projection at our most recent Street Attack office party (to another 30 or 40 people). Some look at me with quizzical stare going, "huh?" While others, like me, laugh hysterically and think, "Oh my God, this is the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life!"

So what makes an online video explode? That is the million dollar question that every company is asking every ad agency in the country. Unfortunately, if you are in the position of creating a video for the purpose of spreading a brand message, answering the million dollar question is only half the battle. The other half is figuring out how to incorporate your brand without creating a commercial. Something our good friend Tay didn't have to concern himself with.

So, while you're pondering these questions for the next month, I highly recommend you check out Tay Zonday, and his unbelievably catchy rendition of Chocolate Rain. You may just find yourself skipping to a whole new beat over the next week.

1 comment:

Mike Hammecker said...

Well said Terry.

When it comes to viral videos, I think our curiousity gets peaked by people that

a. dont let shame or humility deter them from creating their "art/message".

2. have an extraordinary talent when it comes to editing/animation/humor.

For a company to tap into this sort of success, it takes irreverance, humor, humility(or lack there of)and subtle if not subliminal product placement.
Next thing you know, maybe youve just reached 2 million viewers..
(for free)