When FDR told us to buy war bonds, we listened and took out our wallets.
When Ashton and Ted Turner/CNN fought for one million followers on Twitter, we joined.
When Oprah gave us a book title, we read.
When Barney told us it was “Legend” wait for it “ary”, we waited.
When Michael Jordan ate Wheaties, we ate every spoonful right along with him.
What lesson has Marketing 101 taught each of us? Fame and popularity are very effective tools for persuasion and have tremendous selling power. This would not be an educational blog without a twist, a few theories and a drawn conclusion to take away with you for further thought.
How did the “Charlie Bit My Finger” video starring two young British lads to date draw 129,365,073 individual views, 245,955 comments, and 329,588 ratings since its release on May 22, 2007. Spurring off a number of imitation videos, national press coverage and unprecedented advertising banners, this 56 second phenomenon has created a global awareness of grass roots advertising. Not to take credit away from “David after Dentist” who has an amazing 33,071,519 views to his credit, but Charlie and his giggle and appetite for fingers has taken the world by storm.
Kids are cute. Bill Cosby capitalized on that many years ago and Little Miss Sunshine reminded us of the advantages of child exploitation but is that enough to make it the greatest YouTube Video ever? To be the greatest video on the fourth largest website on the planet is quite an achievement. One Simon Cowell would even be humbled by. Is it the British accent? Even I am a sucker for a British accent. Maybe it’s the playful giggle of a newborn. Maybe it is the closeness we all feel for family. Theory, speculation, rumor and many many minutes of analysis are needed as we continue to ponder these questions. The truth is, someone liked it. That is how it all starts. It begins with one and continues until it either fades away or an epidemic ensues. This video has and continues to be a mass global epidemic.
For all the marketing executives out there trying to capitalize on the popularity of this video, isn’t the correct approach to understand this video and how it became the King of Youtube?
The key to successful marketing and advertising is to understand who your customers are, how they think, the supply and demand of the economy, the marketability of the product and/or service and how to maximize the profit margins. You will have to enroll at Phoenix University to get the full course load (We know there is one being built in your neighborhood very soon) but I think we get the gist.
This is a monumental time for the marketing community. Money is tight, unemployment is high, discretionary spending as at historical lows and families are finding ways to make more with less. In our lifetimes, this may be the biggest global recession we ever experience.
Talk about a challenge. The answer is simple, ask Charlie. I guess we have to wait a few years.