What happens after 27 million people watch your ridiculous wedding entrance set to a catchy Chris Brown tune? And what are the implications of this viral social media on our culture and even our economy?
Enter Jill and Kevin.
Jill & Kevin attracted so much attention from their YouTube hits that they started supporting a violence prevention charity and created their own website. Oh, and they appeared on the Today Show to re-create the event. Down a runway in the middle of Times Square. With the entire wedding party.
It spawned an endless amount of responses. Most notably and recently, the Office paid homage to the JK Wedding Dance. This further revived interest in the video. A flurry of comments appeared, ranging from “I wish I saw your version before I watched the Office!” to “this just isn’t right to do in a church…”
So when a national television show puts on a version of your wedding dance, one would assume that more people would see the tv show’s version, right? We’re talking about the Office here – a hugely successful, NATIONAL television show. Prepare to drop jaw: 9.1 million people watched the wedding episode of The Office. That is a huge number of people, but it’s got a lot of catching up to do to attain JK Wedding Intro status. It needs 16 million MORE views, to be exact. Good luck with that, Jim and Pam.
Someone’s Gotta Be Making Bank
Ah, Chris Brown. You are one lucky, lucky man. Let us not forget about his indirect, yet crucial role in the video. For your amusement, I crafted a time line of Chris Brown’s stupidity/dumb luck:
Releases “Forever”, which successfully tops the charts.
Abuses Rihanna. The idiot receives bad press, bad sales, a bad reputation… oh, and he loses all of his endorsements. Radio stations begin pulling his music.
He receives salvation in the form of the JK Wedding Dance, despite his best attempts to apologize via YouTube. Watching people happily dance down a wedding aisle to his song makes viewers forget that he sent Rihanna to the hospital. It’s just SO catchy. So he’s back on top of the charts. An entire year after the song debuted.
Releases “I Can Transform Ya”, which turns out to be pretty successful.
More publicity for the undeserving Mr. Brown, this time from the Office. After the wedding episode aired last Thursday, “Forever” and “I Can Transform Ya” shot to the top of the R&B charts.
…So What Does This Say About Our Culture?
Social media and viral videos obviously have more of an impact on our culture today and reach more people than traditional media like television and radio. The impact of a single YouTube video is astounding. A viral video can make or break you. In Chris Brown’s case, it was the indirect, positive press coverage via the wedding video that gave his career a comeback even after he abused Rihanna. And in Jill and Kevin’s case, it was an unexpected opportunity to support charities they believed in and gain life experiences and publicity through venues like The Today Show and The Office. It’s an entirely different Horatio Alger story. Your thoughts?