Dick in a Box Pops up Everywhere
For “How to catch the Bug“, I wondered: what was a seminal example, in my experience, of the viral phenomenon? The video “Dick in a Box” truly stood up (yeah, yeah – don’t think I can’t hear you groan…). It was a perfect illustration – for although I don’t have a television, and didn’t then, I “caught the bug” the very day after this Saturday Night Live episode aired.
How? Well, I was at a brunch one Sunday with a bunch of friends. One of the gals asked us if we had all seen the “Dick in a Box” sketch.
“Uh, no… What… the heck is that?”
“Oh you have to see it! Youtube it when you get home!”
I did just that. And it was a good thing too, because the next day in dance class, my instructor said: “I almost killed myself laughing this weekend over that `Dick in a Box` sketch!!!”
And so it went… In fact, I ended up hearing about it everywhere. (Well, OK, not exactly everywhere… at the time I worked at a law firm and I’m sure the term “Dick in a Box” would have been actionable… This ain’t Montreal, after all…)
Anyhow, here we have the power of viral: it`s so good, so funny, so catchy, so poignant, so important, so controversial, so [fill-in-the-blank] that the video or message has no choice but to spread.
See, this is the key problem (as I see it) with the ridiculous attempt of 20th Century Fox (see below). With viral (and other forms of “new marketing”) the people/the masses truly have the power. The wisdom is in the crowds. You cannot simply `build it and they will come“. If they like it – they will spread it.
But if there’s one thing you absolutely can’t do, it’s force viral.