By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn February 13, 2009 at 4:00AM
I noticed two recent viral video sensations over the past week or so that have doubled as sly advertisement schemes. Both employ what amounts to the same strategy: Find something that has immediate online currency (meaning it's popular today, it might be popular tomorrow, but few will remember it next week), borrow the popularity factor or spin it in a new way, and make sure to plug the product at the very end.
The recording of Christian Bale's ridiculously obscene meltdown on the set of Terminator: Salvation paved the way for RevoLucian's catchy remix (which even McG called "hot" last weekend at New York Comic Con). The remix became an entirely new viral hit, allowing the artist to pump up the upcoming RuPaul album, which he's producing, to a massive audience (see the note at the end):
A totally innocuous home video document of a seven-year-old named David, stoned out of his mind after a trip to the dentist, gained instant popularity on YouTube a few days ago. The witty folks behind the online series Chad Vader followed suit with an amazingly spot-on imitation of David's stunned delivery that actually serves to spread the word about the new season of their show (once again, the promotional ingredient arrives at the very end):
Seems like a smart strategy that pretty much anyone can do if they act fast enough within the limited window of a viral phenomenon.