“Viral Video is Dead” Echos in Canada & Beyond

Nalts speaking in Toronto

If there’s one thing more fun than speaking to hundreds of marketers before a giant video of yourself like a “Rolling Stones” concert, it’s to read Twitter “tweets” after you speak.

By searching #mweek and @nalts after my talk on Wednesday, I learned what “stuck” with the Toronto “Canadian Marketing Association” audience. Canadians are nice, and apparently quite addicted to Twitter. They surprised me by almost making me sound intelligent in the quotes they shared.

Here are two of the things people most RT’d (aka retweeted, which here means posting on Twitter or sharing someone else’s Twitter post).

  • Viral is dead.
  • An impression isn’t an impression unless it makes one (see TechVibes coverage).

Marketing Magazine led with this article titled “Marketing Week Begins with ‘Viral is Dead’ Declaration.” IT Business was struck that a “viral is dead” statement woud come from “a person who owes his fame and fortune to tons of viewers on YouTube.” Then there’s the Canadian Star, which captured one of the most important points I hoped to make:

But advertisers don’t have to spend millions making YouTube videos, like the Evian Roller Babies, in hopes they go viral, Nalty said. The ad features digitally animated babies rollerskating to rock music. Instead, they can use existing YouTube stars, like Fred Figglehorn, the teenager with the annoying high-pitched voice and the online following bigger than Oprah’s TV audience, Nalty said. Fred makes a six-figure income from advertisers on his YouTube posts, Nalty said.

Certainly there’s a robust future of incredible clips that will gain “viral” fame. But my point was that marketers should not waste time and money investing in clips with hope that they go “viral.” It’s rare for a commercial clip to be shared wildly, although Evian’s babies is a recent exception.

Instead, I encourage marketers to chose the more efficient and guaranteed approach of partnering with online-video weblebrities. These individuals have large, recurring audiences and fans. So their sponsored videos are far more likely to travel the web and be seen by millions. I showed the Hitviews case study on Fox Broadcasting as proof. Two of my Fox videos alone have surpassed 1 million views each, which was half the targeted views of the campaign (for “Fringe” and “Lie to Me”).

I was encouraged to speak with a number of creative directors (or former creator directors) that seemed excited about the prospects. I had feared that they’d feel threatened by an online-video “weblebrity” creating videos that aren’t as easy to control. But they seemed to appreciate the idea of giving a popular creator a creative brief, and some room to tailor the message to his/her audience and style.

Here’s the deck, though most won’t make sense without context. Steal away. Spread the word.

But remember two things above all. US/Canada border guards require passports, and don’t care to be videotaped even if it’s on a Hello Kitty Flipcam. Trust me on those.

23 Replies to ““Viral Video is Dead” Echos in Canada & Beyond”

  1. Aww some LEO’s have no sense of humor. Hey maybe if you tried the fart thing. Oh I know! You could try the dollar on a string trick on the border guards! That’d be a hoot!

    (BTW I’m not all that good at that nagging thing you mentioned)

  2. Nice presentation. Are you getting paid to speak yet?
    Speaking at all these conferences should be good for Nalts Consulting anyway, even if they’re not paying you.

    You’ll let me know if you ever plan on attending a conference or something here in Texas, right?

  3. I miss the good old days when you just needed a birth certificate to get into Canada. It’s not like I was going to go into Canada and steal hockey from them… and even if I did, I’d give it back, eventually.

  4. Last night somebody broke into my apartment and replaced everything with exact duplicates… When I pointed it out to my roommate, he said, “Do I know you?

  5. agree with mdj, would have been nice to hear – but you might want to save the audio for the paying customers.

    Is Viral Video Dead?
    well, it’s rolled over and showing its back side.

    Is the thrill gone?
    not completely, but I think it’s merged, been absorbed and has been digested. New is now the old which is the new black. think about that for a moment….

    What’s next?
    People are going to start reading books again.

    We are going to loop for a while then branch off in different directions. is that vague enough?

  6. Back when there were only 3 of us blogging on the BBSes, it was easy to get someone’s attention. Then, when EVERYONE was blogging, there was no point in blogging because everyone was too busy writing their own blogs to read anyone elses’ and now that we can track each other by satellite, there’s really no point in calling someone up to ask how they’re doing because they just twittered their last sneeze and, well, you know what I mean.

  7. I’ve been away for awhile. Like the new design of the site, but where’d the cheese go and why was it replaced by a sandwich?

  8. You HAVE been away a while, Mar. A study group thought that the cheese might offend Armenians and that the hamm sammich was more wholesome and most importantly, American!

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