I usually don't like to brag until after the war has officially been won, but some sites have already blown my cover, so I am without the luxury of waiting.
On June 19th, Bandaids launched a YouTube Viewer with the intention of making Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend the Most Watched Video of all time on YouTube. In the time that the Viewer was running, it recorded 1.2 million loads of Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend video page on YouTube.
Entertainment Tonight, Perez Hilton, Wired.com, The Globe and Mail, The Sydney Morning Herald, TMF, and hundreds of other media outlets around the world picked up on the story resulting in quite the frenzy. Some praised the campaign saying, “It's the kind of view-gaming that advertisers would normally consider fraud — that is, if what the fans were doing wasn't better than the best advertising Lavigne and her label RCA could buy.” Others... okay, the majority... just called us dirty old cheaters.
But like a magician revealing the M.O. to a convincing trick, I have to admit that Bandaids' YouTube Campaign was nothing but misdirection. Bandaiders didn't cheat: the YouTube Viewer was a Hoax.
All along, I knew that YouTube capped the number of views added to a video at 200 per IP address per day. As such, the only way to make Girlfriend the most watched video on YouTube the fast way was to increase our reach, not our views per person. And the best way to do that was to use viral marketing to tap into traditional news sources. So our members went about inflating the count on the YouTube Viewer and spreading the link around the net.
In the mean time, the real end game of the campaign was unfolding nicely. As media outlets around the world began accusing Bandaids of cheating Avril's way into the record books, they drove thousands upon thousands of curious folks to watch Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend video on YouTube (yes, even you Perez). This resulted in a much larger boost to Avril's view count than Bandaids could ever have generated on its own.
Don't believe me? When the Viewer launched on June 19th, Girlfriend had amassed 88.0 million views on its own merits. On June 24th when the viewer was retired, Girlfriend had 88.9 million views – an increase largely on pace with what Girlfriend had been steadily gaining in the past few months. At best, Bandaids' YouTube Viewer added under 100,000 (legitimate, as per YouTube's terms of service) views to Girlfriend's total view count. The only thing we cheated was hundreds of reporters into doing our promo for us.
At current count, Girlfriend is 732,892 views away from becoming the most watched video of all time on YouTube. And when it does clinch first place, it won't be because of Bandaids, it will be because Avril Lavigne wrote an irresistible song and recorded a damn good video for it. We're just here to help Avril get the publicity she deserves.
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Avril Lavigne Fansite Owner,