An Unviral “Viral Video” for a Cause

Thousands of apples roll out of an NYC subway car. Drives message home with authentic/amateur feel. Big stunt, simple concept. Visually unforgettable.

The only thing it ‘aint (as of this writing) is viral. Under 20K views. Posted in 2006 this would be at a million views by now. Show me someone who claims to understand what goes viral and I’ll show you a liar. I did try to send the folks some tips (click more if you want to read them).

Want to know the bad-ass part of this? You’re watching f’ing CGI. No kidding. This entire thing was simulated. I watched it 4 times and had absolutely no clue. I was SURE it was real. See the “making of.”

For what it’s worth, (CityHarvest YouTube channel) I totally dig it. Maybe next time see if a popular web star like Happyslip (a former New Yorker) will be in it… and post it on her channel. Then it would be at 2 million and counting by now.

P.S. Found this on, where I also found this unviral video “Facebook Status Update During Ceremony.” I like curators now. Even old musty ones.

My YouTube private message to the account:

Brilliant video. Should be viral… hopefully it will. I blogged about it at

First- get some trade press.

Second- optimize keywords/tags… hard to find if you hear about it… apples, falling, nyc, train, subway, girl, iphone, triangulation, special, effects, cgi.

Third- post as “video reply” to “making of” video. Have them do same to yours.

Fourth- use “annotations” to direct viewers to “behind scenes” when they’re done. Then use annotations on “behind scenes” to “call to action” (visit website to help, etc.).

Fifth- “seed” to curators… I think you’re doing that.

Sixth- reenact with popular YouTube star like Happyslip. May be cost prohibitive now.

Seventh- Consider narration on “making of” that talks about the cause. The pictures tell the behind-the-scenes, so you don’t need narration to explain it. Might as well use the narration of the “making of” to get the cause’s message across.

Free advice and worth it. 🙂 -Nalts

PS Avoid multiple versions. I found a couple online.

10 Replies to “An Unviral “Viral Video” for a Cause”

  1. There are so many factors to what goes viral in my opinion. You can’t say just isolate it to one thing that will cause it to happen. Content does matter, but beyond that it is more about dumb luck than anything.

  2. They did a pretty good job, but it’s pretty obvious it’s fake.
    The coefficient of friction is too low and collisions are too elastic for apples.

  3. It’s interesting your postscript about avoiding multiple instances of the video… Whenever I see view statistics of “viral” (sic?) videos, there’s usually some note about how the viewcount was made up of multiple instances and although, obviously, it would limit the viewcount on that single video, I always wondered if this didn’t speak to the oddball ways we “find” stuff online, and on YouTube.

    I think back to the “Chocolate Rain” experience. That video got views because it was featured, though it became part of the pop culture because it appeared in many different forms and was featured – whether by accident or design (nobody seemed forthcoming with that confession).

  4. The Link you Embedded is a mirrored copy? But you probably already knew that? Bad form to do that to a non-profit group though.

  5. this was almost the perfect commercial
    and they should definitely take your advice

    bookmark and keep this one in your back pocket when driving the point home

  6. Wow! That girl was a really good actress.

    …except, when I say “really good actress”, I mean a really horrible unbelieavable actress who they shouldn’t have used.

    Good video, though. Very nice CGI.

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