The line between viral marketing and viral train wreck continues to get more blurry. Over the weekend, one of the hottest Twitter topics was Rebecca Black. Who? Well, it’s now Tuesday and if you haven’t encountered the teen singer and her it’s-so-bad-it’s-hilarious song “Friday” , you probably haven’t turned on your phone or computer. Twitter users waxed poetic about how horrible the song is, while amateur comedians and video auteurs rushed to release their own spoofs of the musical masterpiece. And yet, while the song and video are unquestionably horrendous, Black and her handlers will most likely be the ones laughing… all the way to the bank.
With the dime store production values and silly lyrics, “Friday” became the watch-this-and-laugh video of the moment. And, boy, did we. Nearly 3 million people have tuned into to see the young Miss Black musically explain the days of the week. As of the writing of this article, Ark Music Factory, which is positioning itself to become a low-budget record company turning out teen stars like Black, has moved up the single’s release while Entertainment Weekly called the song “warped accidental genius” referring to mountain of predictable publicity and success undoubtedly coming her way. Call it the Antoine Dobson formula.
Some have wondered if the makers of the video are in on the joke; is Friday some satirical statement about manufactured tween pop music? Not a chance. This kind of camp is lighting in a bottle. That isn’t to say the formula of viral videos isn’t becoming transparent. Last week, Jennifer Aniston and SmartWater threw their hats into the viral video ring. The result was the funniest thing Aniston has done on screen in quite some time. By incorporating every viral cliché from animals to dancing babies, Aniston’s spot for the bottled water has gathered almost 7 million viewers – roughly three times the amount of people who actually sat through The Bounty Hunter.
Whether intentional or accidental, viral videos in hopes becoming hits aren’t going anywhere. But let’s turn it over to you, dear readers. Is “Friday” an example of viral video gone bad or a pitch-perfect parody of the music business? And which company will be the next video sensation? Sound off in the comments section below.