The laugh heard round the web. When Candace Payne made a “joyful” video wearing a Chewbacca mask, little did she,  Kohl’s, or Facebook for that matter, know that it would start a viewing phenomenon, break records as the most watched Facebook video of all time, and result in sold-out merchandise for Kohls. Not only did Payne steal the hearts of Americans and the world, she solidified the power of video as a marketing tool.

The price of the Chewbacca masks has reached as high as $200 on Amazon and garnered Payne more than 136 million video views. Needless to say, “Happy Chewbacca” has become a viral video sensation.

This phenomenon can also be categorized as the new sweet spot for marketers as video moves to the forefront of digital marketing. Companies such as YouTube and Vimeo have long since seen the appeal of videos and the new savvy consumer, but there has still been some lag by social media savants, as they struggle to truly grasp the power of social media-centered video.

Viral Videos In the Modern Age

Today’s consumers are looking for and practically salivating at the prospect of finding the next new thing on the market in the form of video. What used to be an organic process, has now turned into a multi-million dollar industry, with firms touting that they specialize in viral videos. Some of them have actually been extremely successful.

According to SocialBakers, video posts have 135 percent more organic reach than images. Furthermore, Facebook serves up a staggering 8 million videos per day.

Interestingly enough, marketers have gotten so crafty that there are viral videos out there that ads and the average consumer wouldn’t even know it. Then there are those videos that strike like a bolt of lightning and start a frenzy, thus resulting in increased sells and brand visibility, without a company even lifting a finger. That’s where ” Happy Chewbacca” fits in.

Consumer Created Content and Brands

It isn’t the first time that a consumer has created a video that resulted in sells for a brand. Just a few short months ago, James Wright put singer Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pies on the map in a hilarious rendition of Ms. Labelle’s riffs and one-of-a-kind personality, all while eating some of “Patti’s Pies”. This video resulted in sold-out pies across the United States from retailer Walmart. The video has 4.9 million views on YouTube.

That’s the power of social media video and the consumers that want to share their experiences with their friends and family. Instead of brands creating ads for themselves, consumers are taking over the role with honest reviews, that equate to huge dollar signs for the brands. But, the golden thing about this new surge in user-generated content is that brands and advertisers can get in on the action and make a good viral video phenomenon better.

The Sweet Spot of Social Media Videos

Video is the present and the future of content marketing. Consumers have outpaced the appeal of images and have moved on to GIFs and videos. Everyone is looking for the funniest, craziest, most emotional, and weirdest videos on the web. When a video shows up on your newsfeed or is sent to via a friend, there is a certain rush of excitement in viewing the newest and hottest viral video. That is the sweet spot that marketers can and have tapped into. Whether it is agency created or user-generated, there is a real advantage and spark that videos bring to brands.

Candace Payne, James Wright, and countless other just keep showing us how it’s done.


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