It was the explosion seen around the world.
That’s right, over 800,000 people watched BuzzFeed live stream a watermelon explosion. For 44 minutes, two BuzzFeed reporters placed 686 rubber bands around the melon until it popped. The livecast ultimately netted over 17,000 shares, 320,000 comments and 2.9M total views.
A few days after BuzzFeed‘s stunt, I discovered that Finnish factory owner Lauri Vuohensilta has one of the most popular YouTube channels in his country. Apparently he uses a hydraulic press to trash everything from bowling balls to Barbie dolls. Amazingly, his channel has over 550,000 subscribers and the video I’ve embedded has been viewed over 4M times. 4. Million. Times.
All of this, of course, reminds me of the granddaddy of destruction videos — BlendTec’s long-running Will It Blend? series. Now in its ninth year, Will It Blend? was one of the first content marketing programs to go viral (I still remember them blending the very first iPhone way back in 2007). With over 899,000 subscribers and 274M views, Will It Blend? is certainly the standard bearer for this sort of thing. Not surprisingly, Vuohensilta cited it as the inspiration for his videos.
Even Doritos Canada got in on the act last October to promote its Collisions line of snacks. For 12 straight hours the chipmaker used cannons to fire objects at each other. This epic stunt was broadcasted live on Periscope and later archived on YouTube.
Not willing (or able) to join the fray? I do think the inherent anticipation in each of these instances is what’s made them successful, so exploit that. After all, there are many ways to elicit that “what happens next?” feeling in viewers. Of course, if you have a product you can smash/use to smash, that certainly wouldn’t hurt your view count.
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