Published December 08, 2009 by Gregg Schieve
Tweedee Productions is currently riding one of those YouTube viral video phenomenons that you hear about. By the time this blog entry is posted, we will probably crack the 1,000,000-view mark of a story about people eating a most unusual part of the traditional Thanksgiving bird. It all started innocently enough back in the fall of 2008.
We assigned Sandy Kowal and our good friend Carrie Cokins to do a simple little story about the annual Turkey Testicle Festival (see video below) in the great city of Huntley, Illinois. That's right, a festival celebrating the eating of turkey testicles! Deep fried. Dippin' sauce. Tastes like chicken. After much fun and frivolity, the story was put together and posted on Tweedee's YouTube channel where it has lived in relative obscurity (by YouTube standards), generating only about 1,500 views throughout the year. This fall, things changed.
It started with the organizers of the event asking for permission to post our testicle eating story on their web site. At the time we thought any exposure was good exposure, right? Besides, it would be nice if a few more people saw one of our videos, right? Within a few days we started to notice a slight increase in the trickle of views. A couple of mouse clicks later and that trickle turned into a flood. As Thanksgiving 2009 approached and viewership continued to grow, we were amazed at the numbers we where getting. In a matter of a few days we went from 3,000 to more than 150,000 views! Over the long Thanksgiving weekend we surpassed 700,000 views. It kept growing - 880,000 on December 4th - and growing - 950,000 on December 7th - AND GROWING! Just when we thought that viewership would trail off, wham, another 20,000 views! Up until now, in the vast video wilderness known as YouTube, we had never received more than a few thousand views for any of our videos . So, naturally getting 1,000,000 views for any video let alone one about a testicle eating festival made us happy. In YouTube numbers, however, it's a drop in the digital bucket.
There are millions of videos on YouTube and millions of video producers trying to be the next big thing. So why have viewers flocked to our video? What has attracted viewers and, more importantly, kept them watching, prompting them to spread the video virally? Apart from the rather unusual subject matter, it tells a story pure and simple. It pulls you in, explains an event and leaves you with a good taste in your mouth (pardon the pun). Simple is better. Watch our video and share it with a friend - it's the viral thing to do.