It was “revenge of the jocks” in the world of viral videos during August 2011 as five of the 10 most-shared viral videos tracked by Unruly Media were centered on athletic feats. These included the most-shared video, an installment of the long-running “Gymkhana” series of stunt-driving videos promoting French footwear brand DC Shoes.
Bikes, Cars and Baseballs
Another Gymkhana video also found its way to number nine on the list. In addition, videos from extreme BMX rider Danny MacAskill were ranked at number three and 10, with number 10 being “The Long Road Home,” a video that has been periodically popping up on top viral video lists compiled by both Unruly Media and goviral.com for the past year or so.
Other athletic-themed videos on the August list include number five “Ultimate Batting Practice,” showing a young man displaying remarkable ability to hit baseballs thrown by an automatic pitching machine at an extremely high rate of speed.
Everyone Loves Animals
Four of the remaining five top 10 viral videos dealt with animals in some way, mostly involving animation and/or humor. The number two video, a Brazilian promotion for the Nissan Frontier pickup truck in Portuguese, features a hapless driver who gets stuck in the mud. He discovers a world of animated magical ponies in his trunk, although the sweet ponies soon show they are not always so nice.
The number six and eight videos both make repeat appearances from the July 2011 list. Number six, “Ape With An AK-47,” is a very realistic clip of what appears to be African militia members giving an AK-47 rifle to a chimp for amusement. However, the chimp quickly displays tremendous aptitude with firearms, forcing the soldiers to flee, and proudly holds the gun over his head in a display of victory over the humans who had attempted to make sport of him.
A small imprint at the bottom left of the screen indicating the video is from the “20th Century Fox Research Library” and a small logo of the film in the upper left hand side of the screen are the only indications this is a promotion and not actual footage.
The number eight video, “Angry Birds Live,” which was number one in June and number five in July, shows footage of actual video of a promotional event held in Barcelona, Spain in May. Angry Birds players are shown at a kiosk in a public square which broadcasts their gameplay on a giant screen, followed by the eruption of large plastic bird heads into the square (this video is better watched than explained).
In addition, the number seven video, a clip from the recent MTV Video Music Awards, has the dancing hip-hop hamsters used as mascots in Kia commercials invading the environment of what appears to be a violent video game.
Life is a Battlefield
Video game violence is the theme of the number three video, which shows actual gameplay from the first-person shooter video game “Battlefield 3: Caspian Border.” In recent months there has usually been at least one video displaying realistic video game violence in the top 10 list, and August was no exception.
Top 10 Most-shared Online Videos August 2011
1. DC Shoes – Ken Block’s Gymkhana Four; The Hollywood Megamerical
2. Nissan – Poneis Malditos
3. Danny MacAskill – Industrial Revolutions
4. Battlefield 3 – Caspian Border Gameplay
5. Ultimate Batting Practice
6. 20th Century Fox – Ape With AK-47
7. Kia – Party Rock Anthem
8. T-Mobile – Angry Birds Live
9. DC Shoes – Ken Block’s Gymkhana Three, Part 2
10. Danny MacAskill – Way Back Home
comScore: Online Video Viewership Keeps Growing
A total of 180.3 million Americans viewed online video content in July 2011, representing growth of about 1% from 178.4 million in June 2011, according to comScore Video Metrix data. This marks the second straight month of 1% growth in unique online video viewership.
Americans logged about 6.9 billion online video viewing sessions in July, an all-time record and an increase of about 10% from 6.2 billion in June. On a year-over-year basis, unique online video viewership also grew about 1%, from 178 million, while sessions grew about 32% from 5.23 billion. In June 2011, unique online video viewership grew about 0.5% year-over-year.