Which are the most viral videos on Youtube

Five of the best: Viral YouTube videos that (almost) everyone knows

They are every marketer's dream, stepping stone for cats to become famous, and the most clicked content on YouTube, the world's most popular video portal. We're talking about viral videos that are spreading like wildfire online. We reveal what viral actually means and what is important, and show five of the best viral YouTube videos.

In 1998 the “first” viral video went online

One of the first viral videos that spread millions of times was "Bad Day". In 1997 it showed a man in an open-plan office who, furious, first hammered on his keyboard and then on a monitor with it.

At that time, the clip was recorded for advertising purposes by the Loronix company and distributed on promo CDs. When the web developer Benoit Rigaut uploaded the video to the servers of his former employer CERN in 1998, nothing stood in the way of mass distribution. The first viral video was born!

Countless cat videos later, viral videos have become an indispensable part of everyday digital life. But what does a video actually have to bring with it in order to be distributed explosively via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp and to go viral?

Success factors: what defines viral videos?

In order for the “Word of Mouth” principle to also work online, viral videos usually have certain characteristics: They are humorous or unconventional. Means they make you laugh and stand out from the gray crowd with a surprise effect. They are emotional and build up an arc of tension that makes you cheer or pity you. In some cases they are also interactive by asking you to imitate something or to take action yourself - Gangnam Style, the Harlem Shake or many TikTok Challenges are good examples of this. And often enough they also take advantage of the malicious glee effect, because it is well known that we ourselves prefer to laugh at others.

But enough gray theory: Here are five viral videos in any order that have caused a sensation on the Internet.

At the end of 2013, the 75-second long commercial from Volvo Trucks was published, which shows what is probably the most epic balancing act of all time with over 95 million YouTube views. Celebrated by Jean Claude van Damme - a martial arts icon who became famous in the 1980s with action films. Not only Chuck Norris could sit idly by, so that the viral clip was imitated and parodied several times.

Star Wars Kid

On November 2, 2002, Ghyslain Raza recorded himself in a high school studio swinging a golf ball collector in the manner of Darth Maul's lightsaber. He accidentally left the tape, which is why other students found it and distributed it on the Internet. The rest is history: the original video itself as well as countless remix versions with additional music and special effects have achieved an estimated billions of views. Unfortunately, this also led to psychological problems for Star Wars Kids, which is why the viral video is also an early example of bullying in the age of the Internet.

Surprised kitty

When it comes to viral YouTube videos, cat content is of course a must: Surprised Kitty features a young gray and white kitten that throws its hands back as soon as the tickling stops. On October 13th, 2009, the short video with the cute cat was uploaded, who was called Attila Fluff. With success: within two weeks it had already generated over 7 million views.

Evolution of Dance

This viral video hit is one of the absolute classics: It shows Judson Laipply, who delivers a 6-minute dance medley so skillfully that one can only be amazed. Since it was uploaded to YouTube on April 6, 2006, it has garnered over 300 million views. The 32 celebrated songs come from a variety of genres and eras - from Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" from 1956 to "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" by Jay-Z from 2004.

David after Dentist

When David DeVore Jr.'s father posted a video of his son's reaction to anesthesia at the dentist in May 2008, the next viral video hit was born: David after Dentist was viewed over 138 million times on YouTube. And what cost David a tooth and a little lightheadedness earned the family more than $ 100,000 in commercials and merchandise.

You see: viral videos have been around for a long time, even if they weren't even called “viral videos” back then. They have really seen a boom with the increasing popularity of video platforms such as YouTube. This then also led to companies trying to use the clips with their enormous reach as an advertising weapon. By the way: On knowyourmeme.com you can trace the origins of many viral YouTube videos. Have lots of fun with it!