Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Be Careful What You Market For

When two Domino workers filmed a prank video at work, nobody was laughing. Less so themselves, when they ended up unemployed and facing felony charges for distribution of prohibited foods.

In the video (broadcast on the Today Show back in 2009), the two employees are in the kitchen of a Domino's restaurant, preparing food. One of them puts cheese up his nose and sneezes on a meal. Their antics go on as they get more creative with illegal kitchen practices and scatological humor.

The pair then posted the video on YouTube. Soon after, the blogosphere caught on and posts of the video cropped up like garden weeds on a rage. Two blog readers even sleuthed out the location of the Domino's restaurant of honor (North Carolina). 

Like rapidfire, the video attracted thousands of viewers, and Domino rushed to palliate the publicity disaster that inevitably ensued. News of the video spread to Twitter, and though the culprits tried to take down the video from YouTube, the video-sharing community persevered valorously: the video was reposted by other users.

This, and Rebecca Black (more than 84 million viewers and escalating), are one of many examples of viral going very big and very bad.