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The Secret to Viral Success is …Nonentity?

Humor, sports and celebrities have always been the overarching themes in top viral videos. But video makers might want to rethink the latter characteristic, according to data from Visible Measures (via the New York Times).

The most-viewed campaign online starred nonentity Tom Tom Dickson, an unknown chief executive of Blendtec, Dickson is famous now - his spots in which he would grind a variety of objects in the Blendtec blender has brought him fame. That was not a fluke either, the data shows. Only two of the most-watched ads in 2010 starred celebrities - specifically sports figures. Other campaigns averaged 6.5 million views a year, compared with 3.5 million in which celebrities starred.

Matt Cutler, the chief marketing officer at Visible Measures explains it this way to the Times: "Viral breakout hits capture users’ imagination, and it seems to be more likely in the absence of a major celebrity, perhaps because celebrities are already so understood and well known."

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