Becoming a YouTube Star

Becoming a YouTube Star

We all receive them.  You know, those chain emails with jokes, something attached or a video to download.  Most I don’t open because of personal e-mail overload.  But every once in awhile there’s one that stands out.  Jeff Dunham, a ventriloquist, has reinvented himself to a new audience through a viral campaign with, what I’m guessing, were unexpected results.

Dunham’s “Achmed the Dead Terrorist” has been viewed by more than 72 million ranking it among the top five YouTube videos and making it a great social networking (and public relations) success story.

Here are some other stats.  One of the largest DVD comedy special videos ever sold, “Spark of Insanity.”  In fact, sales did so well that Jeff and his star “Achmed the Dead Terrorist” made an exclusive video for thanking viewers for purchasing the DVD.  And last month I attended his show in Reno to a sold out crowd of 7,200+.  In talking with the attendees most hadn’t heard of Dunham until seeing him on YouTube, where like me, they wanted nothing more to see him and his puppets in person. He even eluded this fact to the crowd thanking them for the views and support on YouTube.

From a communications standpoint, this is one comedian that understands the influence of his YouTube stature and more importantly how to continue to use it to market and attract new audiences through viral communications.  If you haven’t see any of his bits, just go to YouTube and type “Jeff Dunham” and get ready to laugh.  You know he is.

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