Do You Know This Guy?

Does "Judson Laipply" Ring A Bell?
Does 'Judson Laipply' Ring a Bell?

Are you sure?  Because chances are, you’ve spent six minutes or so staring at him sometime during the past three years…  Admittedly, you were kind of furtheraway from him and the lighting was bad but he was right there in the spotlight…

His name is Judson Laipply.  You can follow him @judsonlaipply  Does that help?

Okay, he’s a motivational speaker.  Which is probably more confusing than helpful; how can you willingly spent six minutes with a motivational speaker and not remember it?

He’s got a book, advertised here.  This site describes Judson (or ‘Jud’) as a “charismatic, insightful, and humorous personality…an Inspirational Comedian™”

This is how you know Judson Laipply, Inspirational Comedian™: he created and regularly performs “The Evolution of Dance” at the close of his live appearances.  In April of 2006, he posted a video of one of his performances on a video sharing site that was then barely one year old.  Today, that YouTube clip–in all it’s stationary camera, lo-fi non-glorious production value–stands as the most popular internet video of all time.  It’s been viewed 123,587,836 times on YouTube alone (as of 6:35 this morning) and factoring in postings on other web sharing sites, the total views are estimated to be greater than 150 million.  Further, given the nature of the clip, a high percentage of those views involved groups of people–parents showing their kids or coworkers showing groups of coworkers.

Jud’s been featured on all sorts of television shows and speaks regularly around the country, traveling from his home in Cleveland.  In fact, right now he’s on a cruise ship, plying Alaska’s inland waterway.  This clip’s runaway success has certainly boosted attendance at his speaking engagements and he’s certainly smiling in every last image you find of him.  As he should be–he’s motivational after all.

But what does it say when the highest achievement on YouTube video brings with it largely anonymous fame?

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

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