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On YouTube, Users -- Not Agencies -- Are the Judge of Funny

By Published on .

Monday I praised the the terrific OfficeMax Penny Pranks campaign, but called out the agency because the headline of each video begins "HILARIOUS HIDDEN CAMERA PENNY PRANK" and that's heavy-handed.

Vinny Warren, creative director at The Escape Pod, the agency that created the campaign, wrote in comments, "When you're fighting for clicks on YouTube, you find that subtlety is what closes on Saturday night. You have become a programmer, not an advertiser. So funny becomes HILARIOUS. And interesting becomes FASCINATING." And that used to be true.

You can't dictate what people will find funny by labeling it "hilarious." People have brains and are smart enough to figure out what they like without being hit over the head.
B.L. Ochman B.L. Ochman also writes the popular What's Next Blog.
Labels like "hilarious video" or "viral video" that are not created by viewers are bogus.

You don't tell us what's hilarious or viral. We tell you.

Escape Pod did a great job on the campaign. People are talking: The videos have already had more than 2 million views. But it's not because the word "hilarious" is in the headline. It's the content and the concept that matter. No overkill required.

What do you think?
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