Funny cat videos, flash mobs, remixes… they’re getting a tad old. Of course, there will still be popular online videos. They’re just gonna be different.
This is part of Brazen Life’s Crystal Ball series where young professional rock stars make predictions about industry trends. Got a thought that’s gonna disrupt your field and get people talking? Get in touch with the editor now and contribute.
Viral videos have jumped the shark.
I had a feeling it happened when corporations started to film advertisements with “viral video” elements, like T-Mobile’s Flash Mob. In fact, T-Mobile has tried to bank on viral videos for much of their current campaigns with videos featuring YouTube celebrities and parodies of popular YouTube hits.
The phenomenon of viral videos has made people like Paul “Bear” Vasquez into a corporate spokesperson and brought the phrase “let’s make a viral video” into boardrooms across the country.
I hate that phrase.
It is impossible to ensure with 100% certainty that something will go viral. Now that YouTube has become a mainstream media channel, the bar is even higher for something to truly go viral.
Rap videos, flash mobs, remixes, and parody vids have become the old standby of viral content. When done right they are still entertaining but, like Eiffel 65, Baha Men, and Terror Squad, the viral video is becoming the flavor of the month; a one-hit wonder doomed to be pushed aside by the next funny cat video.
So what will the next wave of viral videos look like? I think humor and comedy will continue to be a big part of the online video landscape. However, I think there’s an opportunity to create content that will make an impact by thinking outside the newly established viral video box.
New point of views
Webcams, Flipcams, and iPhones turned the average person into an amateur filmmaker. Video has never been easier to create and upload. Now GoPro, Contour, and other wearable/mountable cameras will give viewers a new point of view. Whether it is viewing what it’s like to fly like a bird or zoom up and explode like fireworks, we’ll be captivated by seeing the world in a different light.
While many try and find new, creative videos to make — few are thinking of new ways to stretch the platform. One of my favorite creative executions for YouTube is Tippex’s Hunter Shoots a Bear video, which truly puts the entertainment experience into the viewer hands. Another example is the rise of “Choose Your Own Adventure” format videos like those done by Totally Sketch. I think more and more videos will not just focus on the content, but the implementation within the platform.
Insight & criticism
YouTube is already flooded with the talking heads of vloggers, offering their take on anything and everything. Those who know not only know how to create, but how to tell a more compelling story, will get noticed by the masses. It could be a clip that examines a blockbuster’s secret music cue, or a mash-up that drives home a comparison between two movies, YouTube will not only be an entertainment platform, but a channel for driving home your message.
Patrick Pho is a self-professed videophile and quarter life crisis enthusiast. He has been experimenting on the Web for more than 10 years and works in social media in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit his blog.