Thursday, 15 January 2009

Evolution of Dance 2 - Judson Laipply is back, but this time he's sponsored!

Since being uploaded in April 2006, 'Evolution of Dance' by Judson Laipply has become one of the most watched videos on YouTube. The Evolution of Dance view count currently stands at 110,372,689 and 282,126 comments have been left.

Evolution of Dance

Judson Laipply has now created a follow up - Evolution of Dance 2. This has just been uploaded to YouTube and is also featured through an Evolution of Dance 2 website at

Evolution of Dance 2

Whilst Evolution of Dance 2 uses the same formula as the first Evolution of Dance video, the big difference is that this time it is sponsored (and with $80,000 needed to cover the song rights, this was the only way a sequel could be made!)

Evolution of Dance 2 has been uploaded through a PeopleJam YouTube channel and is featured on the (self-help site) with the other headline sponsor:

Evolution of Dance 2 on the PeopleJam website

There are also a number of other properties that have been built around the new Evolution Of Dance video, including an ElfYourself type opportunity for users to upload a photo and 'dance with Judson':

Evolution of Dance 2 'Dance with Judson'

Through there is also a UGC video competition where users can participate in an 'Evolution of Dance Off' and have the chance of winning $5000:

Evolution of Dance 2 - Dance Off competition

This is not the first time that a viral internet celebrity has been engaged by advertisers though:

- Dr.Pepper used Tay Zonday to remake his 'Chocolate Rain' hit as 'Cherry Chocolate Rain' to launch a limited edition Dr.Pepper product (gaining over 7 million views):

Tay Zonday in 'Cherry Chocolate Rain'

- In 2007 Canon recruited a large number of well known internet stars (including the Numa Numa Guy, LonelyGirl15 and Chad Vader) for their 'Battle of the viral internet superstars.'

- And Chad Vader and Will It Blend were brought together as part of the recent YouTube Live events:

Chad Vader and WillItBlend at YouTube Live

As advertisers try and find ways of bringing their messages to the ever larger audiences on YouTube, it is no surprise to see companies trying to engage YouTube celebrities. If successful this sort of messaging can be very powerful, but anything created needs to be authentic and fully in touch with the audience. The right processes also need to be in place to ensure that content can be effectively seeded / optimised and audience engagement can be measured.

However, whilst Evolution of Dance 2 is one of the most ambitious projects to date, there is little subtlety about the advertising tie-ins. Will be interesting to see how consumers respond to this and marketers will be watching to see the extent to which the creation of Evolution of Dance 2 benefits the brands involved.

Related posts
Canon reach out to internet celebrities for 'battle of the viral video superstars'
Elf Yourself returns for Christmas 2008
Top 10 most watched videos on YouTube
Heidi Klum in underwear is top performing Guitar Hero YouTube film
Blendtec, FrenchMaidTV and LonelyGirl15 - different marketing models on YouTube
P Diddy and Lisa Nova - Burger King YouTube launch doesn't go as planned


Simon Kendrick said...

"If successful this sort of messaging can be very powerful, but anything created needs to be authentic and fully in touch with the audience."

And authenticity seems a very difficult thing to achieve when co-opting existing UGC personalities that establish themselves on essentially non-commercial properties. Particularly when viral waves are so difficult to create, yet along replicate. I don't think I've seen a youtube star that has yet escaped from the "novelty" category - are you aware of any?

PS Another relevant person in this field is

Nick Burcher said...

The Where The Hell is Matt stuff is great - but I think the 'difficult second album syndrome' is particularly relevant for internet celebrities.

The only person I can think of who has been more than a 'one hit wonder' is LisaNova - but then I think she falls into a different category to people like the NumaNuma guy or Chad Vader.