Viral Videos More Fraud Than Fad

One of the more endearing paths to celebrity in the Online age has been the viral video. From the Numa Numa dance to Tron guy, we like to see quirky and obscure things rocket to the front of the line for Internet attention. It seems to appeal to our instincts to root for the little guy against the giant.  There seems to be a problem developing  in the process: It's faker than your average prOnstar's boobs.

There are tens of thousands of videos uploaded to YouTube each day (I’ve heard estimates between 10-65,000 videos per day). I don’t care how “viral” you think your video is; no one is going to find it and no one is going to watch it.

The members of my startup are hired guns – our clients give us videos and we make them go viral. Our rule of thumb is that if we don’t get a video 100,000 views, we don’t charge.

So far, we’ve worked on 80-90 videos and we’ve seen overwhelming success. In the past 3 months, we’ve achieved over 20 million views for our clients, with videos ranging from 100,000 views to upwards of 1.5 million views each. In other words, not all videos go viral organically – there is a method to the madness.

I can’t reveal our clients’ names and I can’t link to the videos we’ve worked on, because YouTube surely doesn’t like what we’re doing and our clients hate to admit that they need professional help with their “viral” videos. But I can give you a general idea of who we’ve worked with: two top Hollywood movie studios, a major record label, a variety of very well known consumer brands, and a number of different startups, both domestic and international.

That's from a sort of how-to article written by Dan Ackerman Greenberg, founder of a viral video marketing company. He goes on to outline all sorts of methods, all of them underhanded, that he uses to sell his service to clients and get the unsuspecting public to look at videos they think are an overnight sensation on their own, but are part of a carefully crafted, sneaky approach to advertising. I imagine the article itself is a form of viral marketing for his business.  There's quite a lot of argument in the comments after it. I wonder how many commenters are the same person. I hope Dante opens up a new circle in hell for this, where you sit for eternity and eat the product you produced your whole life: Spam. 
Tags:  video, EOS, viral, Videos, OS, fraud, IDEOS, id