This week saw the re-release of a series commercials reach 1.5 million views on youtube (and counting) since an upload five days ago. The incredible reach of this video reveals an important insight about the nature of internet users: we like bizarre.
While the jury is still out on how well the series did for Panda cheese when it was released over the air in Egypt, it is absolutely certain that the brand has gained considerable exposure in a limited amount of time. The rate at which views are being accumulated for this video indicate that users are sharing this in a way that promotes future sharing.
But what is the root of this? The commercials themselves are unexpected, for an actual commercial to portray a Goodfellas-esque Panda threatening shoppers into buying cheese is a concept that many users find shocking. The humor is in the expectations of a conventional commercial which are broken by the actual content.
For brands that are trying to reach an online audience, this means that a different skill set is needed than conventional marketing needs. What we have seen time and time again is novelty appealing to the internet population. There are no formulas which can be applied to what captures the increasingly diminished attention span of internet users. But when something is created that does, the results are enormous.