Unless you’ve been stuffing marshmellows in your eye sockets, you’ve probably seen 13-year-old Rebecca Black’s “abysmally catchy” music video “Friday.” The video has been impaling the ears of the universe for the past couple weeks, with inane lyrics like “fun fun fun fun.” But with over 48 million views – nearly twice Lady Gaga’s latest single – somebody is doing something right. So what is it – and what can marketers learn?
Branding is key
Ark Music Factory, who produced the video, has its name all over the video – on the first screen and in a small pop-up in the video’s bottom left. And as Jeremy Scott of ReelSEO points out in a great piece, the video isn’t on Rebecca Black’s YouTube channel – it’s on Ark Music Factory’s. If you create something awesome – whether it’s a video, mobile site, or Tag – make sure your fingerprints are all over it. (And by fingerprints I mean your brand.) Make an infographic? Make sure your URL or company name is stamped on there – as well as in the alt text. Creating a Tag? Include your logo or branding in the design.
Scott says the video popped up on Reddit and Buzzfeed within hours of each other. “Rebecca Black” has been a trending topic on Twitter for days. What does this mean for you? If scanning your Tag takes users to your mobile site, make sure you’ve integrated sharing tools like Facebook, Twitter, and social bookmarking (while keeping it clean and providing the best user experience). If scanning your Tag plays a video, it should be easy to share.
The explosion of cell phones and internet (as well as mobile video sites like Ashton Kutcher favorite Qik, which helps users shoot video and stream to friends in real time) means anyone with a camera phone and internet can become the next Rebecca Black. (OK, while her video wasn’t shot on a phone, its cheesy backdrops and mediocre production values give it a decidedly DIY feel.) From consuming web content to creating it, the phone will overtake the desktop computer by 2014. Plan accordingly.
What do you think? Is the success of “Friday” a fluke or the result of brilliant marketing? Are there other advertising ideas that could have made this even MORE viral? Let us know in the comments below or on Tag’s Facebook or Twitter pages.