No online video is the same. I'm not talking about clips from movies and TV - this is straight Consumer Video analysis. As has been discussed many times before, there is no method or format for creating a viral video. It's hit or miss. With that said, here are some categories I have seen in the past and am interested in any thoughts on additional categories I may have missed.
1) Brand Obsession - Be it Apple, Coke, or Heinz there are consumers out there who express their love via video. What's important to note here is that it is usually NOT the brand involved that causes the video to go viral.
2) "Check Me Out!" - The video talent show. This one get's me every time! If you can sing, I'll watch your video (like these guys). No matter what your talent, there is always the possibility that your video can go viral. And I use the term "talent" loosely - think Numa Numa... which leads me to....
3) The Kick in the Crotch - Embarrassing videos are bound to get some attention, but it can't be your traditional America's Funniest Home Videos kick in the crotch shot. Shoot yourself in the foot while teaching gun safety and reap the benefits of instant notoriety.
4) "Did You See That?" - Capturing a once in a lifetime experience on video like the Battle of Kruger or a natural disaster is definitely worthy of a view. (Be advised - creating a scenario similar to this for marketing purposes will backfire)
5) Cheap Thrills - Let's face it, sex still sells even in social media. Take a peak at the top videos of the week on YouTube and 60% of them will feature a woman in a bikini.
6) This is My Life - Personalities are still a big part of YouTube. Personal Vlogs (whether real personalities or manufactured personalities) are still compelling.
There are so many more (spoofs, weird, disturbing, etc.) that I can't capture them all here, but the big question is:
Is a viral video with 3 Million views more valuable to a brand or is a dedicated following of a vlog with consistent views of 100,000 return the better ROI?