I am an avid student of internet communication and have a deep fascination for youtube and the way videos spread around the world at an incredible speed. Marketers of all ages are trying to understand how to this phenomenon can be harnessed to connect with their customers.
But when you dive deep into youtube and start seeing some of the leading videos there you sometimes have to wonder…
In the pursuit of this study and with the support of my 9 year old son and 5 year old daughter I was looking at some videos of dancing animals, and I have to admit that I struggle to understand why the simple combination of fast paced music and a dancing animal seems to attract such fascination (and record breaking views) from youtubers.
But what really makes you wonder is the leading video of the dancing hamster, called ‘Hamster Dance’ and uploaded on youtube on the 4th of Feb 2007 by liverpool1243.
This video has attraced 12 761 495 views.
I am both humbled and awed by this mysterious occurence. And look at the content. Surely this isn’t a work of art… But somehow, over 12 million people thought it was worth spending one minute of their time on it.
The video has 13 000 ratings averaging ‘awesome’ as well as over 6000 comments. Now search for the combination ‘dancing hamster’ and you will get over 8000 videos so our hamster is not alone.
This reminds us all that we are only at the beginning of a long journey to understand what drives the interest of our the eyeballs in our internet age . Clearly it cannot be explained by slick production, a strong storyboard and a compelling message. But hey it also doesn’t include anything shocking or concerning sex. Ok I admit that it’s funny… But not as funny (in my view) as the dancing hippo who I feel is more deserving of his almost 800 000 views.
So what is the secret behind the ‘Hamster Dance’ ?
Next time you are discussing how to create a viral campaign with your client, think about the Hamster and stay humble.