Skip to content

New York Video 2.0/NewTeeVee Meetup – Viral Videos

September 25, 2008

Tuesday night was the New York Video 2.0 Meetup featuring NewTeeVee. The theme of the evening was viral videos. Hosted by Liz Gannes (NewTeeVee), the evening consisted of watching the top 10 videos on the verge of “breaking out” and analyzing the reasons for their success. The primary criteria for the evening was that these videos had to be made for commercial purposes (e.g., by agencies). So UGC was excluded from the list.

The judges providing analysis of each video were:

Ben, Kate, and Ian provided their insights into each video, and Matt was the quant/analytics guy who provided the hard numbers.

A few highlights:

  • Nike’s “Touch of Gold” is considered the most viral video of all time. The spot has over 27MM views. I think what makes this video compelling is that the camera never cuts, and the style is reality/documentary, which makes the actions in the video seem more amazing and life-like.
  • The metrics discussion by Matt was fairly fascinating. Like any business metric, the measurement needs to be aligned with the goal of the business. What are you trying to optimize? Frequency, reach, interaction, etc? Below are the metrics that we examined and as you can see, most of the top performing videos differed by metric (parenthesis below indicates top performing viral videos in that category):

–  Placement (Tide-to-Go, Cheetoes)
–  Views (Tide-to-Go, Quicksliver)
–  Comments (BBC Olympics)
–  Viral Views (Miller High Life, Ruby Tuesdays)
–  Views per comment (Fashion Show, EP Motion)
–  Ratings per comment (Chemical Party, Starburst)

At the end, we voted via text. This exercise reminded me of rating superbowl ads back when I was in business school. The winner (and my fave) was Chemical Party.

The one aspect we didn’t discuss too much was whether these ads were “on brand” or not, a major criteria when we rated superbowl ads in school. Fortunately, the majority of the videos we watched Tuesday night were on-brand, which is important if a marketer expects a viewer to be able to recall the product/brand. Otherwise, viewers will mistakenly recall the product/brand of the market leader, which is a common phenomenon.

The other aspect that wasn’t talked about too much was qualitative metrics. E.g., are what people commenting about positive or negative? What’s the audience sentiment? One audience member asked this question and Matt showed a very cool and easy trick to quickly gauge viewer sentiment in a matter of seconds, documented below:
–    Go to YouTube and Select all within the YouTube comments. Copy.
–    Paste and drop into Tag Crowd (awesome tool)
–    Click Visualize
–    In a couple of seconds, you’ll have a cloud that shows the most popular terms/phrases within the comment section. If you see things like “SUCK” or “POOR”, you know right away that crowd sentiment is negative.

Most viral video of all time “Touch of Gold”:

The top ten videos below had over 44MM views in aggregate, 35,000+ comments, and 61,000+ ratings.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2008 8:15 am

    Hey there:

    Thanks for attending the event and I’m really glad you enjoyed the session. Nice post too -> it’s great to have a single source for all of these videos. We might issue a post on the results on our blog ( in the next day or two.


  2. November 24, 2009 3:44 pm

    nice post!


  1. THP Viral Video Campaign and Learnings « tailslating

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: