A Double Rainbow Year for Influencers

December 30, 2010 | Comments Off

2010 was the year of double rainbows and if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, just watch this simple YouTube video of someone appreciating nature’s beauty. This video caught the attention of online viewers who quickly made it a viral success with nearly 23 million views.

The phrase “double rainbow” took on new meaning as people used it to describe anything they found to be wonderful or amazing – whether genuine or sarcastically (double yellow lines!, double cheeseburger!).

Let’s take a quick journey and see exactly what happened. Prior to July, mentions of double rainbows were very few.  Sure, people were filming and uploading their own double rainbow videos, but none of them had the certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that would elevate them to viral status. Until July that is.

The video was uploaded to YouTube in January 2010, but it was only after being mentioned in a tweet by Jimmy Kimmel in July 2010 that the video generated a massive spike in hits. People delighted in the seemingly over-appreciation of one of nature’s beauties. And though views have declined over time, referencing the ‘double rainbow’ is still quite popular.

The online community was quick to take up the meme and apply its meaning to anything they possibly could. This word cloud shows the brand names that people most often used in association with the phrase “double rainbow” – bigger words more often, smaller words less often. Skittles candy (“Taste the rainbow!”) and Lucky Charms cereal (“pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”) were the obvious lucky recipients of this meme. Other brands were also praised with this type of new gold star, including Ducati, HTC, and Chanel.

Most obvious in the list of brands, though, is Microsoft which capitalized fully on the viral phenomenon by casting the original videographer in a commercial for Windows Live. Apparently, there is a way to film an entire rainbow in a single shot as long as you use their software.
2010 was definitely a year to remember. We agonized through many debates over whether there is such a thing as social media influencers and do they really matter at all. It’s hard to argue with a pre-post design like this one. Without Jimmy’s online influence, this video was destined for the virtual garbage can. Long live influencers! Long live the double rainbow!
Related links
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The Conversition Hierarchy of Social Media Insight
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Battle of the Brands: Homer Simpson vs Dunkin Donuts

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