YouTube is by far the biggest video sharing site on the Internet, but until now, no single video has managed to reach 100 million views. How did it end up being Avril Lavigne that managed it?
The story of the Avril Lavigne video for her single Girlfriend has been going on 18 months now, as that is when RCA Records uploaded the video to YouTube with the ubiquitous ‘embedding disabled’.
Avril Lavigne Vs Evolution
It didn’t really get interesting until earlier this year when Girlfriend and The Evolution Of Dance started gaining massive amounts of views and became the number one and number two most watched videos on the site.
The Evolution Of Dance is a simple enough 6 minute clip showing comedian Judson Laipply demonstrating how dance styles have changed over the years.
First 100 Million Viewed YouTube Video
The main competitor for the title was the music video for Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne. It’s a music video, nothing more, nothing less, but through a mixture of fan campaigns and viral marketing, the video managed to leapfrog The Evolution Of Dance.
And now it has surpassed this achievement by also becoming the first video to ever break the 100 million views on YouTube. At the time of writing, it is sitting at 100,520,816.
Viral Marketing Campaign
The main culprits behind how an Avril Lavigne video made it to this point are the BandAids forum members who made it their mission to see Lavigne finally do well at something.
Back in June, they conjured up a site designed to automatically reload Avril’s Girlfriend video every 15 seconds. Emails were also sent out to members urging them to watch the video regularly.
Cheating The System?
YouTube has a system in place to stop tricks such as this artificially inflating video view numbers, and so the IP address of the automated viewer was blocked after just 200 times.
Avril Bandaids later said the auto-refresh ploy was a hoax. However, the story garnered so much attention from the Web-based and mainstream press, including a link on celebrity gossip blog Perez Hilton, that this hardly mattered. The viral marketing campaign had begun, and Lavigne’s video views went through the roof.
Lavigne’s Big Pay Day
Why is this important in any way, shape, or form? Because not only does it prove the power of viral marketing campaigns, it could also mean Lavigne is soon going to be the recipient of a very large cheque, some estimates run at about $2 million, for the revenue share YouTube offers for officially licensed material.
Google may be struggling to make any money from YouTube, but thanks to her fans, and a collection of gullible bloggers such as myself, Avril Lavigne could soon be adding another pile to her already burgeoning bank balance.
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