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The Viral Impact of YouTube on Culture & Business


By Zack Larmand, Online Staff Writer

It has only been six years, but in that time span YouTube has made a significant impact on our world. By providing a way for people to share videos, YouTube has introduced viral videos and made them a part of our global culture. These videos can touch us, make us laugh, inform us and even market to us. This ability to go viral extends from culture, directly into the business world as companies take advantage of YouTube for this very quality.

The qualities that make a video viral are far from an exact science. Humor is a very big part of many of the famous viral videos of the past. Most YouTube humor however is usually at the expense of the person in the video. In this YouTube clip, a DNA test result shows that Adolph Hitler was actually Jewish and partially black … here’s his reaction:

The type of fame found in that video is unlikely to be the same kind a business is searching for. Businesses have traditionally been more cautious with the extremity of humor used in their advertisements. Nevertheless, YouTube has provided businesses with an avenue to press the boundaries of humor a little further then they may have previously on television. This video for Axe Shower gel has received over 30 million views for this funny ad:

Vodafone uses an even creepier style of humor in this very funny French ad, which has over 19 million views:

These culturally popular ads manage to take full advantage of a very new and very racy style of humor that is the truest form of pure nonsense; a style which has managed to make YouTube very popular. For example, the “Bed Intruder Guy” started out as a simple interview on the news, and a few video edits later, Antoine Dodson has become a YouTube auto-tune singing legend with almost 70 million views:

The Gregory Brothers (composers of the Bed Intruder song) were kind enough to split the proceeds of the song with Antoine, making him enough money to move out of the projects–all from one iTunes song. This instant fame snowballed into television appearances like this on in BET:

Antoine now even has his own iPhone add!

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