Be stupid, Stupid.

 

Last May, I bought
the domain name
 BestMusical.com and put together a website that I hoped would spread like my favorite “Laughing Baby” video on YouTube.

At the height of
the campaign, Best Musical got a whopping 182 unique visitors in one day, and
now it struggles to break double digits, averaging about 6 visitors a
day.  2 of those are me, checking to make sure the site still works.

BestMusical.com is
arguably the biggest failure of my publicity-stunting life.

So, of course, I
had to obsess about its failure so that I didn’t repeat it in the future (see
Mr. Trocchio’s lesson from yesterday). 

At first I didn’t
understand why it wasn’t working.  I thought it was so clever and so
cool.  It cracked up everyone in my office. 

And then,
“The Laughing Baby” gave me the answer.

Let’s look at all
of the
 ‘Top Favorites’ of all time on YouTube:  the aforementioned “Laughing
Baby”, a one man “Evolution of Dance”, four guys doing Talking
Heads-style choreography on treadmills,  and something called “The
Potter Puppet Pals”.

All of these
videos have something in common. They are just plain stupid. 

And yet the
“Evolution of Dance” has been seen almost 62 MILLION times. 

All of a sudden,
they are not so stupid.  62 million is more than 20% of the
entire population of the US.  They are appealing to the majority, and what’s wrong
with that?

Simple and stupid
funny is what people want.  People
 falling down, anchorwomen making mistakes, etc.  If you’re too hip and too clever, you
alienate most everyone, which is the antithesis of the viral campaign. 

Virals are about
as many impressions as possible, so you better be a lot more like the Laughing
Baby than BestMusical.com.

Think for a moment
about the types of emails you send to your friends.

Anyone want to buy a domain
name? 

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Ken Davenport
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