Agencies Don’t Make Clips Viral; Only The Public Does. And Jimmy Kimmel.

I really didn’t want to write about this. As the father of two daughters, my life would be rich and rewarding if I never had to type the word ‘twerking.’

But things happen, I guess.

Last week, all sorts of TV networks and online aggregators referenced a YouTube clip called “Worst Twerk Fail Ever-Girl Catches Fire!”. In no time, this 36-second clip of a twerking teenager apparently setting herself aflame in her living room went viral. It now has over eleven million views.

It also now has an extended version (posted below), which proves the incident was staged by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, disturbingly attired in a matching pink t-shirt.

On his show, Kimmel presented a montage of TV outlets suckered by his prank, boasting “To the conspiracy theorists who thought the video was fake, you were right, it was fake…Thank you for helping us deceive the world and hopefully put an end to twerking forever.”

If only Jimmy, if only…

Kimmel has used the internet brilliantly ever since he took the reins as a late night host, but this particular episode is remarkably instructional. His team actually produced the clip a full month before Miley Cyrus’ publicity-generating exhibition on the VMA’s.

Interestingly however, they did not leverage any of the social media power of Kimmel’s show itself. They never distributed or promoted the clip on their Facebook page, Twitter feed or YouTube channel. Instead, they simply leveraged that popular, trending search term in their clip’s title. And made sure the accompanying video was short, to be both easily consumed and easily-shared.

Smart guy, that Jimmy. Let’s hope his dreams of eliminating trends from the national dialogue comes true.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson

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