Industry of Cool

Finding, analyzing and occasionally making cool things.

Is it viral? The new role of skepticism.


When I wrote this post yesterday, the video had around 350 views. Well, in the last 24 hours that’s changed – we’re at almost 90,000 as I write – and a link has magically appeared in the “more info” box.. for what looks like a get rich quick internet scheme.


I don’t want to dignify them with a link in this blog, but you can check the YouTube page by clicking through the video above if you’re that curious.


As I watched this video, (thanks, Laughing Squid) I kept waiting for the punchline. The big reveal that exposed it as a promotion by some ad agency or printing company.

And nothing came.

Just because there wasn’t a big title card or URL at the end doesn’t make me completely drop my guard. It seems too ridiculous not to be fake, right? But how deep are you willing to dig to uncover the truth?

Here’s how far my sleuthing went:

1. Click “more info” in the video box


Nothing here.

Usually, a marketer will add a more on-message description here. It’s also a great place to put campaign/business URLs – though that’s changed with the addition of on-screen annotations (which is a rad feature some people have used to great effect)

2. Scan the comments.


Nothing here.

Surprising though it may be, YouTube comments aren’t a great place for substantive discussions. But no obvious call outs indicating the video is more than it appears to be. Still, as someone who monitors comments on a few viral videos, you’d be surprised how easy it is to dupe the masses. Guess they’re not doing their fact checking.

3. Check the user’s other videos


Hmm… interesting.

Only 4 videos and obviously not from the guy we see ranting about his perfect business card. That’s a marketer tip off – I haven’t uploaded many videos myself. Right now, a robust history on YouTube isn’t as important as the quality of the content – but more and more, it will be important to prove you participate in the communitiy to get noticed.

Even so, the user could also be one of the millions of people who rip and re-post other vids. How could I check that?

4. Title Search


This is where I dropped off. I copy/pasted the title into the Search field and came up with no additional results. My curiosity is burned out.

In real time, those four steps took me less than a minute – and I guarantee that’s more than 99% of viewers will ever spend trying to figure out a message.


So it’s just another hilarious video courtesy of the Internet.

Honestly, that bums me out.

My experience with this video generated so much interest and energy, and it just goes to waste.

It’s certainly not going to the guy in the video – he’s the joke.

It’s not going to the user who uploaded the video – he has no channel or direction for me to subscribe/follow in the hope that I’ll get more amusement down the line.

It’s not going to a brand because they didn’t think of this piece of genius.

The only person who gets any benefit from my experience is Laughing Squid for pointing me to the video.

I think this post is going to lead to some future musings on branded content – a topic I continue to be fascinated by.

But in the meantime, if you hear anything more about my new favorite Business Card Guru, let me know.


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