A Case Study In: cgm-fanculture-consumersincontrol-viralvideo blahdy blah..

5 Nov

Ah yes, how many transmedia and marketing-isms can I throw in one post? But to hell with the blab, let’s just see some in action and celebrate the 100th episode of Family guy at the same time(?):

Family Guy Crank Dat Soulja Boy

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  • Beyond being freakin hilarious, I love this example because it’s a great case study in fan culture, a mash up of mediums and genres, and an explosively viral cgm community.

    Things to point out as a case study:

    1) The history of Family Guy and how fans saved the show from extinction.

    2) The link to Soulja-Boys fan community, and Soulja’s myspace-like profile that calls out Family Guy as one of his favorite shows.

    3) The origin(?) of the Soulja-Boy/Family Guy mash-up video on Soulja’s CGM video section. (note: I’m not sure if the video showed on this site OR youtube first)

    4) The show’s constant pop-culture references that, whether you love it or hate it, makes the program work across many age groups and defy traditional media targeting.

    5) The above video’s million + views for one youtube post, and 700,000+ views on the myspace.tv beta site, and subsequent spin off videos with 10’s of thousands of views.

    6) According to Viral Video Chart the video has received, 2,810,945 views, 228 blog posts (+ 1 if you count this post) and 1,968 comments.

    These facts outline a few things to think about regarding viral video:

    • Strong, distinct fan cultures will be those most likely to play, participate and use elements of your brand for cgm. Determine the who this core, influential fan base is and recruit them to let CGM/Viral take root.
    • Pairing seemingly disparate peer-groups or creative elements to work together (ala Dangermouse’s “grey album“) leads to success. This will create most interesting, compelling and creative CGM end product.
    • Find a pre-existing social link between disparate elements wherever possible (ala Soulja’s link to Family Guy within his profile).
    • Use multiple social properties to disseminate or to let your fans watch and distribute content. Don’t put all your egg’s in one social media basket.
    • Let things seed organically.
    • Last, good luck. There is no formula to this stuff, but observing how viral spreads through pop culture, looking at stats on Youtube, myspacetv, and viralvideocharts, checking out dialogue of online postings, and watching off-shoot videos helps you better understand the psychology of what’s happening, and buzz generated from CGM.

    Whether you’re a fan, a media observer, or (as this post seems to prove) obsessed with the show, there is more to get out of this case-study than a laugh. It’s a great example of how new media, and components of viral work and build of one-another.

    As an aside, last night’s 100th episode includes a good bit account-plannerly humor. McFarlane (the series creator) “focus groups” the show and uses his interviews with people for segments of the anniversary program. A move that only helps McFarlane fuel his fanbase, create buzz through (if not simply piss-off) detractors, and make sure the episode has life long after it airs. Clips of the anniversary show are already throughout Youtube.

    A last guilty pleasure? Check out Seth McFarlane’s address to graduating Harvard students last year.