While the concept of a sequel is well-established in traditional media, from books and music to TV and film, the Evolution of Dance sequel has now crossed-over into the realm of viral video. Is this evidence of an emerging trend, or a flash-in-the-pan that's destined to be a footnote in the history of our industry? To find out, we dipped into our Viral Reach Database to measure Evolution of Dance 2's early trends and compare them to the original.
Just in case you're new to this whole inter-Web thing, the original Evolution of Dance clip is a 6 minute video of comedian and motivational speaker Judson Laipply performing an unexpectedly entertaining dance routine that tightly packs 40 years of impeccably executed dance moves. Since being posted in April of 2006, the original Evolution of Dance is generally regarded as one of the most widely viewed viral videos of all time, having accumulated a mind-numbing 130+ million views and well over 300,000 comments across almost 700 unique video placements. If you haven't seen it before, or even in a while (it's worth re-watching!), here it is again:
Evolution of Dance
Based on the broad online appeal of the original, two start-ups – compare-and-save hotspot Saveology and self-help site PeopleJam – decided to sponsor a sequel, featuring Mr. Laipply and following an almost identical format but with different music and dance bits. Being careful not to stray too far from shore, the sequel (included below) is aptly titled Evolution of Dance 2.
Evolution of Dance 2
Released on January 9, Evolution of Dance 2’s viewership growth has been strong and steady thus far, weighing in at more than 135 unique placements generating 3.4+ million views and 13,000 comments. Exceeding 3 million views in less than three weeks is an impressive feat, lending preliminary support for the basic premise that major viral video hits have a built-in audience that is likely to respond to a clearly-marketed sequel. Good news for the marketing folks at Saveology and PeopleJam who green-lighted this project.
With that said, the sequel's True Reach currently stands at just 2.3% of the original. Will it ever catch up? Well, looking at the sequel's daily incremental view growth, Evolution of Dance 2 has been gaining audience at an average rate of over 190,000 views per day. If this view growth holds steady (a very big if!), Evolution of Dance 2 will pass 130 million views in about 18 months, or twice as fast as the original. Interesting.
However, in the world of viral video measurement, the goal posts are always moving. Before the launch of the sequel, the original Evolution of Dance clip had settled in to an average daily viewership of 130,000 views per day. Since the sequel was released, this daily viewership has surged over 75% to more than 240,000 new views everyday.
This is yet another measurable example of what we call viral activation, where interest in a new clip drives a corresponding increase in viewership to related, but older clips. Some simple math on the numbers above suggest that the almost 60% of viewers of Evolution of Dance 2 also re-watch the original, further expanding the brand value of this viral video 'franchise.' Given these figures, we wouldn't be surprised if Evolution of Dance 3: Return of the Judson is already in production!
What do you think? Can we expect to see forward-looking sponsors start to capitalize on the viral video magic that is Charlie bit my finger - again! or Battle at Kruger?
The data used in this post was collected from our Viral Reach Database, a constantly growing video repository of analytic data on 100+ million Internet videos from 150+ video-sharing destinations.
Special thanks to James O'Connor for his contributions to this post. James is a campaign analyst at Visible Measure who, after researching this topic, can do the entire Evolution of Dance routine in his sleep.