The Marketing Ability of Viral Video Superstars

Adorable babies and cute children are the peanut butter and jelly of the today’s online viral marketplace. These superstars are taking over YouTube and often leaving their indelible mark on the internet. While some are a flash in the pan, others go on to stardom and become spokespeople for products. Remember the little Darth Vader who that he used the power of The Force to start the family’s Volkswagen?

Although that was an actual, professional commercial production for the Super Bowl in 2011, other pint-sized portrayals have accidentally rocketed themselves to stardom and later went on to pitch for products because of their overwhelming popularity. Here are a couple of examples of little stars who successfully made it into the marketing big leagues.

The Apparently Kid

A talkative little boy stole the show, and the reporter’s microphone, when he exited a thrill ride at the Wayne County Fair in Pennsylvania. This freckle-faced, chubby-cheeked little cherub didn’t create his nickname, it was his outgoing personality and the overuse of his favorite word, apparently, that swept the nation and exploded on YouTube with over 15 million views.

This little guy by the name of Noah Ritter, went on to appear multiple times on the popular, daytime talk show, Ellen, held a live interview on Good Morning America and a host of other television spots. Noah teamed up with Freshpet, makers of nutritional pet foods, for a cute and cuddly television commercial, where he continuously chats his way through the spot.

Marketing manager of Freshpet, Katie Tyson, called him, “An old man in a kid’s body,” and says they are using Noah to “Elevate everything we’re doing and really build brand awareness.” It seems to be working since the commercial has almost 4 million views on YouTube.

Ellen’s Little Princesses

Apparently (intended overuse), America’s daytime sweetheart Ellen Degeneres has a pretty good track record when it comes to locating and sharing viral talent. Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, two bodacious little Brits from across the pond, published a number of saucy pop covers on YouTube that gained millions of views and the attention of Ms. Degeneres who invited them on her show for many appearances and performances.

During these spots, Ellen showered the little girls with extravagant gifts and is determined to make them into starlets. Although Sophia Grace was casted but later replaced in Disney’s film Into The Woods, she and Rosie have still done many promos for the Happiest Place on Earth and even have their own movie, playing themselves in “Sophia Grace and Rosie’s Royal Adventure” with domestic sales reaching almost $4 million.

Ragu Gambles on Biting Boys

Back in 2007, Charlie bit his big brother’s finger, again, and the short video has been seen over 800 million times. Even if you have one of the most watched viral videos of all time, as was the case for these two little boys from Britain, that doesn’t necessarily mean that this type of viral marketing strategy will be a success.

Spaghetti sauce makers Ragu, reunited little Charlie Davies-Carr and his big brother Harry on screen, for a commercial in 2012 and gambled on the popularity of the duo after a five year hiatus. Ironically enough, some videos that simply highlight the event itself, have many more online views (over 200,000 in this case) compared to the commercial itself (with just over 26,000), which would hardly be considered “viral” by today’s standards.

So as you can see, attaching a brand to a viral sensation is not without it’s risks, but when executed properly and given the right set of circumstances, it can be very rewarding. Often these videos are shared over and over again on social media to further monetize on their success, and the company’s focus can then be turned to finding the right invoice generator to use.

__________________________________________________________________Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas, or you can reach him at NickAndrewRojas@gmail.com.

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