A precursor to South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone created a stop action short depicting characters that resemble those on South Park. It was shared through email.
Aka “Baby Cha-Cha,” this clip was created by Ron Lussier to explore new 3D Character animation software at Lucas Arts. The clip was shared through email in house at Lucas Arts. It later became a symbol of the 90s and has appeared in various pop culture outlets such as "I Love the 90's" on VH1.
15 year-old Ghyslain Raza made a video of himself swinging a golf ball retriever around as a weapon. The video was discovered by schoolmates who then posted it online. An edited version with Star Wars music, light sabers, and sound effects was later posted. It is estimated the video has been seen over 900 million times. Raza became a target of cyberbullying. He later filed a lawsuit against the schoolmates who originally released the video.
Gary Brolsma was bored one day and after surfing the web, decided to record a video of him lip singing to “Dragostea Din Tei” by the Romanian band, O-Zone. Brolsma decided to call it “Numa Numa” after the words in the chorus. He uploaded the video to Newgrounds.com. It is estimated the original video has been seen over 700 million times.
Three former PayPal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim created YouTube. The first YouTube video, “Me at the zoo,” was uploaded on April 23, 2005 and shows Karim at the San Diego Zoo.
Judson Laipply first performed “The Evolution of Dance” in 2001. When he uploaded it to YouTube in 2006 it was an instant success receiving 70 million views in less than 8 months. At the time it was the most viewed video and the #1 top rated on YouTube.
Lonelygirl15 was a YouTube user name of a vlogging series, before video blogging was even a thing, about a teenage girl named Bree. It was later discovered that the vlogs were scripted and Bree was portrayed by actress Jessica Rose. The series has over 110 million combined views.
British three-year-old, Harry Davies-Carr, has been seen getting bitten by his younger brother, Charlie, over 725,743,130 times. The boy’s father uploaded the video in May of 2007. It is the only video in the Top 10 most watched videos on YouTube of all time that does not feature a pop star. The HDCYT channel now shows clips of the Davies-Carr children growing up.
June 29th, Thousands of people lined up outside of Apple and AT&T stores across America to receive an iPhone. Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in January of that year as a combination of three devices: a "widescreen iPod with touch controls,” a "revolutionary mobile phone," and a "breakthrough Internet communicator.”
As a pratical joke, a friend would send a link to something relevant, but the link would actually lead to Rick Astley’s 1987 music video "Never Gonna Give You Up.” People led to the music video are said to have been “rickrolled.” Astley rickrolled the 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
Susan Boyle is a singer who came to international attention when she appeared as a contestant on the TV program “Britain's Got Talent” singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables. The clip of her audition has over 150 million views on YouTube.
Chris Brown’s song “Forever” blasted as a wedding processional came into a church to see Jill and Kevin get married. The couple uploaded the video to YouTube with a link to a website where viewers could make donations for violence prevention. The video has over 85 million views and they collected nearly $50 thousand in donations.
Advertisers started to take notice of the “going viral” trend and attempted to re-create the magic. In Februrary of 2010, Old Spice struck gold with it’s “The Man your Man could Smell Like” campaign staring Isaiah Mustafa. While it originally aired during the Super Bowl, it was the accompanying social media strategy that made the clip and campaign go viral. Ad agency Wieden & Kennedy set up a shooting day where, in almost real time, Mustafa was filmed giving shout outs to Twitter followers who gave comments or asked questions. After more than 180 small videos, several celebrity interactions and 48 million views of the original commercial, Old Spice achieved viral gold.
All 16-year-old Rebecca Black wanted was to be famous. Her mother paid $4,000 for the “Friday” single and accompanying music video. The video was on YouTube from February to June and received around 167 million views. Critics hailed it the worst song ever. Black re-uploaded it to her own YouTube channel a few months later where it has over 68 million views.
“Gangnam Style is the first video on YouTube to reach over 1 billion views. The song was released in July as the lead single on Psy’s sixth studio album. The phrase "Gangnam Style" is a Korean phrase that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul. The video has now been viewed over 2 billion times making it the YouTube’s most watched video ever.
The short film produced by Invisible Children, Inc. was released in March 2012 to promote the charity’s “Stop Kony” movement to make African cult and militia leader, indicted war criminal and the International Criminal Court fugitive Joseph Kony globally known in order to have him arrested by the end of 2012. The video has been viewed over 99 million times on YouTube. A poll by Pew Research suggests that over half of young adult Americans had heard about KONY 2012 just days after its release. TIME called it the most viral video ever. The video did effect major change. More troops were sent to the African Union and a resolution in the United States Senate. Unfortunately, interest in the “Stop Kony” movement died down in the wake of controversy regarding the project's legitimacy, as well as publicized accounts of the film's director Jason Russell's psychological instability. In April 2012, Invisible Children released a follow-up video, titled Kony 2012: Part II – Beyond Famous, which failed to repeat the success of the original.
The Norwegian comedy duo, Ylvis, wanted to make an “anti-hit” to promote the new season of their television show “I kveld med YLVIS.” (Tonight with Ylvis). “The Fox” was meant as a teaser and was created to fail. Ironically and accidentally, it went viral. The video has over 422 million views on YouTube and has made its creators huge stars.
American Greetings wanted to express how tough the job of a mother really is. So, they created a fake job posting with a description including "salary = $0" and interviewed real people. The outcome is a surprise to those interviewing and to quite a lot of people
The History of
By: Cowley Associates
“The Spirit of Christmas”
“Star Wars Kid”
“Numa Numa Song”
YouTube was formed
“The Evolution of Dance”
“Charlie Bit My Finger”
“JK Wedding Dance"
“What Does the Fox Say”
"World's Toughest Job"