As of right now, the video above has been played 1,311,131 times. (Check it.)
Needless to say, when Armen and I popped out to buy a couple of cans of Kozel for this film, we were not expecting this to happen.
It’s been fun to watch the statistics over the last few days. It’s also been interesting to ruminate on why content ‘goes viral’ — internet shorthand for a shedload of people seeing something online in a short space of time.
What it boils down to, I think, is simple, resonant ideas put into easily shareable form, plus a dice-roll. The dice roll is whether anyone with the reach of Lifehacker, TrueActivist or RealFarmacy will pick up on it. But in the words of someone cleverer than me, “you miss 100% of the shots you never take”.
We’ve all handled drinks cans in our lives, used scissors, and come across surgical spirit. The delight comes from the combination and reinvention of these every day things to serve a basic human need.
This genuine utility value was demonstrated by a comment from Noel Carual of the Philippines.
“I wish to express my heartfelt thanks for sharing this very informative video especially during these times that my country is recently ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan [ Yolanda ].”
Who’d have thought this would end up cooking food and sterilizing water after a natural disaster?
Another thing worth mentioning is that there’s no particular credit due or fame bestowed upon any individual. All I did was splice together some video of what I thought was a genuinely awesome idea. All Armen did was practice hard and spend time demonstrating a revolutionary concept he’d come across. What’s spread like wildfire over the last few days is the idea, which doesn’t belong to anyone.
It may not be as amusing as the Ultimate Dog Tease. But it’s a damn sight more useful.
Got an idea you think the world needs to know about? If two blokes in Armenia with a camera and a beer-can can put it in front of 1,313,232 people (and counting), who can’t?