Traffic has slowed to a crawl. Everyone’s peaking their heads over to the other side of the highway, where two cars are entangled in a mass of metal. You shake your head at all the drivers slowing down and rubbernecking, but you can’t help taking a quick peak as you drive by.
It’s that “it’s so bad I just can’t help looking” phenomenon. You’ve probably engaged in it once or twice along the way, as we all have. Well, Rebecca Black’s song, “Friday,” can probably be compared to that. It’s so bad (in some people’s opinion) it’s already been named the worst song ever, but people can’t stop talking about it – or singing its simplistic lyrics (“it’s Friday”) for that matter.
But, what makes Rebecca Black, previously a 13-year-old unknown, such an internet phenomenon that “Friday” has more than 100 million views on YouTube (and surpassed that mark in only 63 days while Justin Bieber’s latest single, “Baby,” took 67 days to hit 100 million views) since its February 12 debut, has garnered more than two million dislikes, has comedic giants like Stephen Colbert parodying her, and has people threatening her with harm and death via email and phone calls?
It’s only a song, after all, right? The lyrics are simple – following everything Black has to do to get ready for school (wake up, eat cereal, go to the bus stop, get on the bus then she goes through the days of the week) and how she’s going to decide whether to sit in the front seat or the back seat of her friend’s car with the lyrics “Fri-day, it’s Fri-day” interspersed throughout.
“Friday” has all the components to make it a hit: Repetitive (albeit inane) lyrics (she sings “Friday” over and over again, which can get stuck in your head) and a catchy tune. But, people still hate it. Hundreds of parodies of the song have flooded the web, and news media outlets around the country are grabbing on to the story.
While it might be the worst song ever, until the next on comes along at least, Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” the video of which was actually produced by Ark Music Factory, offers a valuable lesson in viral marketing. It can be really powerful – even if people hate the product or, in this case, the song.
“Friday” hit YouTube on February 12 and the reaction – both good and bad – has been out-of-control ever since. Remember Susan Boyle, the “Britain’s Got Talent” singing sensation who took the internet by storm a few years ago? Same thing.
No one can say what’s going to be a viral hit – you can predict, but you never really know for sure – but if you have all the right components (catchy tune, repetitive lyrics), you can strike a chord in the public. Regardless of whether the majority of the people like “Friday,” it has garnered some positive reaction (Rolling Stone, for example, called it a good song), and it has generated invaluable publicity for Ark Music Factory.
Whether Black, who is raking in money with her worst song ever, will be back with a sophomore song and video or whether she’s a one-hit wonder is yet to be seen. But, her experience with “Friday” is evidence that viral marketing works. Two months ago, you had no idea Rebecca Black existed, and today you’re unwittingly singing “Friday” in your head. And, she’s making a lot of money off of it. Ark Music Factory probably is, too. Mission accomplished with any product and viral marketing, right?
Frank Eybsen is a social media and internet marketing blogger. He is currently working with HitPath and their affiliate tracking software.
Posted in Social Networking. Tags: youtube
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