Viral Videos (The Story of “Pimp My Sleigh”)
A few years ago I decided to take a shot at creating a viral video, to get extra traffic to Bored.com (and maybe get mentioned on TV, put in a movie, given a record deal, or any of the other fun things that viral video tend to lead to). I had written songs before (see my free music site at MCEricB.com), but hadn’t tried to do anything commercial with them, and had never made any videos.
Since I am a bad singer and don’t have a lot of musical talent, I figured writing a funny Christmas song would be the way for me to go, as people tend to pass that kind of thing around during the holidays. And, unlike normal songs which usually die a quick death, holiday songs are played over and over again year after year. Since Pimp My Ride (the MTV show where they made boring cars look spectacular) was popular and all sorts of other things were suddenly getting “pimped”, I decide to write a song about Santa Claus called “Pimp My Sleigh”. After several days of writing (whenever I was not working – in the car, lying in bed, eating, etc.), I completed my masterpiece, and was eager for people to hear it.
For most of my songs, I create the music myself, but for this one I needed it to sound more professional, and also “Christmasy”, and I had no idea how to make a Christmas sounding beat. So, I searched in Google and found a bunch of musicians who advertised that they created custom beats and I emailed them about my project. I ended up paying one of them $100 to do it for me. I made a recording of me singing the song without music, and they used that to make the music for it. I then re-recorded the vocals over their music.
My next step was to search the web for animators who had experience creating musical animations. I emailed the song to a few of them and ended up giving the project to an animator who was just launching his business, and created the Flash video for me for only $250. He did it cheap because it was good exposure for his company, since he knew the video would get a lot of viewers.
You can watch my Christmas music video by clicking on the following link: Pimp My Sleigh .
By time everything was done, it was already the beginning of December, so after emailing the video to my friends and family, I immediately added it to the top of Bored.com. I also uploaded it to Youtube and a few other video sites. The response was great, and Youtube viewers gave it high ratings. I was ready to hire an agent and prepare for my world tour, but nothing ever happened. Sadly, my video did not go viral. Yes, over 500,000 people saw the video on Bored.com, another 20,000 watched it on Youtube, and a few sites and blogs linked to it, but it never really caught on. It did not take the leap from being popular to something that people passed around.
Now, every year as Christmas time comes around, a little bit of hope awakens in me, knowing that my video has yet another chance at success. This at least gives me some solace. But, my story does not end there. I figured the more holiday videos I make, the more entries I would get into the viral video lottery. I will tell you about what happened in an upcoming blog posting, but as a preview, watch my Hip Hop Hanukkah music video.