The Shelf Life of Viral Videos Explained

Sep 21, 2012 10:30 PM  By

I was all set to tweet a “Gangnam Style” reference today. Then I found out it would only show how unpopularly I think, when I was trying to show how hip and in-touch with pop culture I was.

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Thank you, E! Entertainment Television, for letting me know “Gangnam Style” is yesterday’s news. Guess I should have tweeted on Sept. 15, when I learned all about the viral video while watching a sketch on the SNL season premiere (in which host Seth MacFarlane, playing a Lids employee, explains to Keenan Thompson’s character – and the audience – who Korean rapper PSY is and why he’s the flavor of the month).

“Gangnam Style” has officially Jumped the Shark, E! reports. Other people are spoofing it. PSY is making walk-on appearances. It happens. And it’s why you need to keep being fresh and innovative if you want to stay top of mind with consumers.

Let’s take a quick look back to late February, early March. Dollar Shave Club put out this video, and it was a viral sensation. Now, these guys used the video built a cult following among its loyal customers (that’s very evident with one look at its blog), but it’s no longer the fresh new video that has everyone talking.

If you want to stay top of mind (and go viral), be bold. Look at GEICO (and its YouTube channel) as an example. That’s a company that seems to spawn hit after hit, character after character. Just when you though the Gecko was the trademark character, there’s Maxwell the Pig, the “Happier than” duo, and a slew of others that keep consumers talking (and posting).

Check out E!’s article. You’ll learn the five ways to tell your hip video has reached its shelf life.