The evolution of social media has led to ever increasing emphasis on their use to promote products, services, and personalities. Sometimes the personality comes first, and the products follow. For example, there is a cat in Philadelphia whose piano playing has attracted more than ten million page views, and the person who cares for the cat had to scramble to meet the resulting demand for products to celebrate the cat.
Sometimes the celebrity is accidental, as with the cat, and sometimes it results from proactive initiative, such as a promotional video. The following are some examples of successful promotional campaigns that made effective use of this medium:
- Sandy. The panorama of the destruction at Breezy Point, NY, is amazing, as the landscape is reminiscent of bombed out cities of Europe after World War II. It has been reported that some of the worst devastation has come in places like Breezy Point where large numbers of public safety and power company employees who responded to the crisis are dealing with serious damage in their own lives.
- Ducks crossing highway. Watching a mother lead her ducks across a Canadian highway entails a long minute of heart-pounding drama. One who has spent time with ducks has seen them in various harrowing circumstances, but in this video they could have been crushed in an instant by a passing tractor-trailer.
- Nora, the piano-playing cat. More than three million humans have viewed Nora playing the CATcerto, accompanied by a symphony orchestra, and the performance received three thousand comments. Another video of Nora has over 24 million views. Nora’s popularity gave rise to a demand for merchandise to celebrate this remarkable cat. Nora’s human is a piano teacher, and she took up the piano to accompany students who came to the house for lessons.
- Emily Bear, the next Mozart. Another video with over 24 million shows a six-year-old girl from Rockford, IL, playing at the White House. The girl started playing at the age of two. She says she considers herself a counterpart to Mozart and enjoys composing as well as playing.
- Model trains. Another great video, with over nine million views, is the Miniatur Wunderland, in Hamburg, Germany, the largest model railway in the world, which also includes a model airport, and more than a thousand miniature vehicles of all types.
Viral videos can be addictive, and they can also be profitable. It has been observed that an enterprising cat enthusiast can make a six-figure income by posting cat videos, and the viewers never tire of watching them.