This is a great example of how brand’s re-package viral memes for their own purposes. This video stars the man from one of the most viral video of all time, the numa numa video. The orginial video was viral for several reasons. First off it’s just hilairous and ridiculous. Second, everyone can identify with this guy getting down to an awesome song. Let’s admit it, the numa numa song is really catchy and makes everyone want to dance. This person had the courage to tape it and put it on the internet. So as much as people enjoy laughing at this man, there’s a part of them that respects his courage too.
As for the Geico re-packaged commercial. It’s shot in the same fashion as the original video and the payoff isn’t immediate at first. You really have to look for the dancing Gecko and then you say to yourself “is this real?”. And then you realize it’s the Geico gecko. This is a great example of how a non-obvious payoff can enhance virality.
Surprisingly I can’t find one person who’s blogged the numa numa video on Tumblr. This is shocking considering the original video has over 36 million views on YouTube alone!
This once again highlights the different types of viral content. This piece of content is viral-exclusive, not viral sticky. It burns through the brush and is never seen again.
This is a viral video produced by Samsung back in 2009. I find it fascinating that only one person has blogged this on Tumblr, considering there are over 10 million views for this video on YouTube alone. It seems that Tumblr is picking up two types of viral content. First, is freshly created viral content. That is, content that has been produced within the past 6 months. This likely has to do with the critical mass necessary for a system to enable positive feedback for a viral meme. When this video was released, in March 2009 Tumblr hadn’t yet seen the exponential growth they’ve experienced over the past there were less than 1 million Tumblr users. This provides insight into the types of systems that pick up viral content versus those that don’t.
The “historical” viral content that has been picked up on the Tumblr network, such as photos of the whole earth or Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement speech (both on this blog) is what I refer to as “sticky” content. This content is exactly as the name implies. This content has the power to stick around in the system for a long time. Sticky content often has a message that transcends time and culture. The Steve Jobs speech delivers timeless wisdom, while the picture of the whole earth transcends culture. These types of memes will always be sticky as long as human beings search for meaning in their lives.
In summary there are two types of viral content:
Viral-Exclusive content burns through the system like a brush fire and disappears forever. Viral-Sticky content transcends time and culture, appealing to all human beings.