Viral campaigns more frequently relying on pre-existing buzz

Legend has it that in 1936, Lana Turner was playing hooky from Hollywood High School when she was discovered by a film studio executive. She was sipping soda in a local drugstore. Almost immediately, Turner became a star. Social media sites such as YouTube are becoming today’s soda fountain. For example, take the lastest “discovery” (last month there was Nick Haley).

Musician and University of Minnesota grad student Adam Bahner became a minor internet sensation. Bahner, who records under the name Tay Zonday, wrote and posted a music video that had novelty and a simple but catchy melody going for it. Here is his video on YouTube.

Next, he is contacted by video production company True Entertainment. Their assignment was to promote a new soda flavor from Dr. Pepper. The director’s vision was to take “Zonday’s” song, add a boatload of production values, and come up with an online video that would get attention and go viral. Very viral. As of this writing, the video has been up on YouTube for exactly one week, and has been viewed there 1,234,763 times. Here it is.

One of the first lines of the song is “This is the web, and it’s going to murder your TV.” True enough. And it has already made modern Lana Turner stories more sudden, more fleeting, and decidedly digital.