Hey Chris Brown, You Owe Them A Thank You Note
Written by Mekanism at 2:14 pm • syndication

So a funny phenomenon hit last week. Unless you were living in Narnia (where I’m just presupposing the wifi reception is poor), you probably watched this video. Maybe you even watched it fourteen times in a row.

Oh those crazy kids and their CRAZY antics these days! What will they think of next?

Now here’s an interesting thought that crossed my mind while watching this video.

“Wait. Isn’t that song by Chris Brown? He of the ‘Holy $&*%, I ruined my career by way of being a misogynistic abuser’ fame?”

Yes. Yes it sure is. And for your information, that Chris Brown song debuted about a year ago to this day. It was incredibly popular until a certain incident occurred involving Rihanna. One that entirely derailed his career and caused his sales and radio play to plummet. Keep in mind I realize saying “radio play” is a hilarious statement this day and age presupposing this means anything anymore with the advent of Pandora, Last.fm and the like. But if there is one genre that still places high value on radio play and airtime, it’s R&B. Chris Brown saw his fame disappear entirely, and you may have heard about it on a blog or nineteen.

So fast forward to the JK Wedding video phenomenon. In this last week, the video has spawned over 10 million views on the original posting. That posting alone has about 12 YouTube honors, some of them being “#1 Most Viewed This Month (Entertainment)”, “#2 Most Viewed This Month”, “#1 Most Favorited”…all monumental achievements in the YouTube age. Videos with this “real” virality we marketers all dream about lead to derivative postings once they garner this much attention. You can factor in another 3 million views alone in that category. Oh, and a small show called The Today Show happened to feature the stars of the viral on their morning show. So if you’re wondering why your parents in Florida retirement homes have heard of the sensation, that might just have something to do with it.

And hey, what do you know! Chris Brown’s song that is so prominently featured in the video, “Forever”, is climbing digital download charts like crazy. It got as high as #6 on the iTunes most popular song chart, as well as #3 on a similar chart on AmazonMp3. Basically, by way of freak fortune, the man is profitable (and possibly marketable) again. And you know why? Because he’s one lucky bastard.

Here’s what I find so fascinating about this. This man was done. Trashed. Completely dead to the pop culture world. You just don’t hit a woman, and the public was not about to forget about it (hey Ike Turner, how’d that work out for you?). In the midst of this downward spiral, Chris and his PR people even put together an “I’m Sorry” video.

That video? It has 8 million less views then the video of the kids dancing their way down an aisle to Chris joyfully singing about love (which is in no way ironic). However, by a simple twist of fate, his video appears to have been posted on July 20th, one day after the fateful day YouTube user TheKheinz posted the wedding dance video. Chris Brown may have accidentally caught the perfect storm of accidental positive publicity…even if it’s subliminally thumping away in the back of a viral video.

So how ironic. Chris Brown’s PR “specialist” threw out their big gun gameplan, and wound up getting shown up by a bunch of 20-somethings in the middle of Minnesota. Accidentally, they may very well have revived the career of a much maligned fallen star. All for the price of zero dollars. So Chris, you might want to send a thank you card. Because of social media and viral videos (try and tell me you don’t know someone who hasn’t posted this on twitter or their facebook wall, I dare you), you might be okay after all.

Viral video is a funny thing. Just when you think you understand it, it goes all Jason Bourne on you. At least it’s always interesting trying to keep up with it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to post this and then distribute it, accidentally keeping the viral dance train going. You’re welcome, Chris.

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3 Responses to “Hey Chris Brown, You Owe Them A Thank You Note”

  1. Chris Says:

    What if Chris Brown’s PR peeps were the ones behind this “organic” viral video? They have enough cash to stage a wedding scene like that, easy. Cue music, and let viral video culture lift him right back into the ranks of the bankable. It may be the best sneaky-corporate social engineering viral yet. They’re just toying with us, like the pitch knob on an auto-tuner.

  2. JJ Says:

    I totally, totally agree. And I think the classiest (and frankly, easiest and cheapest) thank you would be for Chris Brown to pay their wedding tab. How bad could it be? Even if it cost him $30-$50K, he probably made that in the first few days of that video airing. And he’s gonna be riding this freak tidal wave for a long time to come.

  3. Drew Says:

    I couldn’t agree more about him picking up the wedding tab. Hell, he probably made that as they were dancing down the friggin aisle. And in terms of him engineering this? I can’t give that much credit to any guy who is smart enough to hit a woman. (funny point though. you never know these days if it’s real or not, huh)

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