Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Twerking hard to make a living: Jimmy Kimmel’s amazing viral publicity stunt

The Twerking craze started long before Miley Cyrus hopped aboard and infamously performed the ridiculously popular dance move up against Robin Thicke/ Beetlejuice at VMAs 2013 (see below)

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Sorry but that suit is strikingly familiar.

ANYWAY this blog isn’t about that because, believe it or not, it’s trying to be mildly contemporary and commenting on something that already feels like it has been stamped in the history books wouldn’t really give it that feel. 

This blog is about a new beast borne of the Twerk: The fake twerking accident. Jimmy Kimmel is no stranger to using viral content to promote his show but with this one he has outdone himself. He created a fake twerking video with a stunt woman, ‘Daphne Avalon’ and in an epic two parter revealed a ‘Director’s cut’ in which he made an appearance and saved the day. Here’s the original video that has racked up over 9 and a half million views over the week since it was put online.

We at Blottr, as a lot of other people across the world, were suspicious of it’s validity. If you give it another quick watch you’ll see that you can hear the glass shatter before she falls onto it and sets herself on fire. This probably because the table will have been made with sugar glass or an equivalent, so, you know, the stunt women doesn’t accidentally kill herself, and so a sound effect will have been needed to make it appear like real glass.  Anyway here is the ‘Director’s cut’ confirming our suspicions that it may have been a set up.

It’s just so slickly done that I don’t doubt it will inspire countless imitators and it highlights a good point about viral content compared to news content. It’s obvious but when it comes to viral content verification isn’t important to viewers. The video was a fake but it’s not life changing and the fact that it appeared unreal added to it’s appeal: ‘Can you hear the glass shatter before she lands’ Have a look it can’t be real!’ ‘But it’s so embarrassing it must be real’ this kind of conversation and engagement doesn’t happen with your every day viral video. The lack of verification is part of what’s so attractive about them. It’s your chance to play the detective all the while watching what is probably a hilarious video you want to watch over and over again anyway.

A saying I learned when studying journalism was ‘Is it new, is true, is it interesting’ with viral videos that saying evolves into simply ‘is it interesting’. The Twerk is hardly new and old videos have been discovered late and quickly spread like wildfire. What Kimmel shows about truth in viral videos is that it isn’t important but the ‘whether it is truth’ can be captivating.

To be honest, as good as Kimmel’s video was, and it was amazing, it will never beat this genuine video of this dog twerking.

Nice try Jimmy you may have got over 9 million more views than this video but look at that dog,you weren’t even close.