Top 11 Viral Videos of 2009: The Zooppa Choice Awards

The approach of the new year is a time for reflection, for looking back on the successes and failures of the year past as we move forward into the exciting unknown that is ‘future.’ It is in this spirit that Zooppa would like to take a look at some of the greatest viral video moments of 2009. Being the enthusiast of online video that I am, it was really difficult to narrow down my list…but here are some serious favorites in the order that I decided to include them in this post.

1. Piano Stairs. Uploaded: October 7, 2009. Youtube Views: 9,581,163.

This video speaks to the power of creativity and fun. It was one in a series featured on Thefuntheory.com. ‘The Fun Theory,’ produced by Volkswagen and Stockholm ad agency DDB, was an initiative to influence the public’s behavior toward good by making it fun. Who wouldn’t prefer to take the stairway turned giant piano over the boring plain old escalator?

2. Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift at MTV’s Video Music Awards. Uploaded: September 13, 2009. Youtube Views: 11,830,666

Watch the video on Youtube.

Most widespread internet in-joke of the year? Maybe. People love to watch famous people freak out. This moment in history has inspired an incredible number of remixes, riffs, and several entire websites devoted to the now infamous phrase: ‘Yo. Imma let you finish but…’

3. Beyonce “Single Ladies” Music Video. Uploaded: October 2, 2009. Youtube Views: 79,893,258.

This video is a viral sensation in its own right, but it is also entangled in the complex web of what has become one of my personal favorite internet memes of the year. In addition to myriad remixes, mashups, and videos of dancing babies (see below), it was this very video that inspired Kanye West to make the most notorious and public interruption I can remember (see above).

4. Baby Dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” Music Video. Uploaded: January 26, 2009. Youtube Views: 6,672,310.

Its cute. Its babies. And it is a great example of the way that people can take advantage of the hype already surrounding a current viral phenomenon – not to mention turn a profit.

5. David After the Dentist. Uploaded: January 30, 2009. Youtube Views: 42,350,685.

For a video that accidentally became a viral hit, David’s dad instantly understood the implications of his son’s status as an internet celebrity, raising a pretty healthy sum for his family and various charitable organizations. This is one viral video that has sustained a consistently high level of engagement over the course of this entire year, which is pretty interesting as well. Testament to the universal nature of little David’s drugged out post dentist experience? I think so.

6. Improv Everywhere ‘No Pants Subway Ride.’ Uploaded: January 13, 2009. Youtube Views: 12,209,777.

The group Improv Everywhere spearheaded an international flash mob movement. Performance art has been around for a long time, but with the accessibility of video online, it can now be enjoyed by millions. This particular stunt is one of their most famous.

7. LED Sheep Herding. Uploaded: March 16, 2009. Youtube Views: 10,873,831.

Subtle branding paired with engaging content is one key element to successful viral advertising. This video advertisement for Samsung LED TVs accomplishes this brilliantly…and makes you think…‘How did they do that?’

8. JK Wedding Dance Entrance. Uploaded: July 19, 2009. Youtube Views: 36,799,903.

This video set a major precedent for the way copyright protected content is handled on Youtube. Before the JK Wedding Dance Entrance, all copyright protected material was removed from the site. Youtube and Sony realized that they could take advantage of the viral nature of this video by including links to buy the featured Chris Brown single from iTunes and Amazon. Sales, naturally, went up.

9. Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent. Uploaded: April 11, 2009. Youtube Views: 83,454,479.

Watch the video on Youtube.

Not unlike the Zooppa model, this most watched Youtube video of the year is proof positive that, given the opportunity, average people with amazing talent can do extraordinary things. And, to be perfectly honest, it makes me cry a little bit every time.

10. The ‘WTF Blanket’ Snuggie Infomercial Parody. Uploaded: January 22, 2009. Youtube Views: 9,704,266.

User-generated sort of advertising at its scathingly satirical best.

11. Auto Tune the News. Uploaded: April 20, 2009. Youtube Views: 3,582,029.

These geniuses started with things people are already talking about – news and politics – and combined them with the sweeping cultural phenomenon that is Auto Tune. The second episode, embedded here, has the most individual views. The entire franchise garnered tens of millions of total views on Youtube.

So, there you have it. I hope you guys enjoyed reliving the year in online video and look forward, as much as I do, to more viral awesomeness to come in 2010. Happy New Year from the Zooppa Team!

Thanks for reading the Zooppa Blog. Your top destination for all things crowd-sourced creativity. Check out our active video, design, and interactive competitions for top brands. Sign up for Zooppa to submit your ads and vote for your favorites from other creatives.

Meme E

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