If you frequent video sharing website YouTube, chances are you may have seen “Chocolate Rain,” a viral music video recorded by University of Minnesota Ph.D. candidate Tay Zonday. Zonday wrote and recorded the hilarious song himself in his Minneapolis apartment, and posted the video on YouTube last April. Since then, over 11.5 million people have viewed the spot, and it was ranked the hottest viral video of the summer by Utalkmarketing.com.
Good news for viewers: Zonday is back with a second installment titled “Cherry Chocolate Rain.” This time though, the video isn’t just for kicks—Pepsi owned-Dr. Pepper hired Zonday to produce the sequel as an ad to accompany the campaign for its new “Diet Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper. The video hit YouTube last week, and boasts over a million views already.
You may recall a similar story earlier this fall, when McDonalds paid college students Fernando Sosa and Matt Malinsky to use their “I’m into nuggets, y’all” YouTube hit in their latest Extra Value Meal campaign geared toward young adults.
As defined on Wikipedia, the goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to identify individuals with high Social Networking Potential (SNP) and create Viral Messages that appeal to this segment of the population and have a high probability of being passed along. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_marketing)
As Chocolate Rain and MacDonalds illustrate, marketers have clearly jumped on the YouTube viral marketing bandwagon and viewers are gobbling up the content, something no doubt we’ll see more of in 2008.
Like it nor not, you had better get used to it.