I’m sure all of you have seen plenty of viral videos that include animals doing strange/cute/crazy things. From the sneezing panda to the keyboard cat, it seems that people can’t help but love watching these “talented” animals. And that creates a great marketing opportunity for companies and individuals if they are lucky enough to catch one of these unusual acts with a video camera.

Here’s one that I found a couple weeks ago that some of you may have seen already. Apparently, some scientists were experimenting with shrimp, making them run on a small underwater treadmill and testing something to do with heart rate or blood pressure or – well, it’s not important. But the simple yet entertaining video of the shrimp sprinting on this underwater contraption got out, and the internet video community (no pun intended) ran with it.

Everyone suddenly wanted to make a new version of this video, adding in their own music, visual effects, words, etc. to make each one unique. On YouTube alone, the collection of these shrimp videos has a total of well over 2 million views. The video has shown up in various news stories across the web and on television, including making an appearance on The Colbert Report. Why does everyone find these video clips so entertaining? Watch one yourself and tell me you aren’t fascinated by it – here’s one of my favorites:

Tell me that wasn’t the best couple minutes of your day. Now does it make sense? This is just another example of how social media marketing services are much different than traditional marketing techniques. The key is to be creative, interesting, and different, and then finding a way to include marketing in there and get value out of it. Even if that means turning the fishbowl into the local gym.

Jamie Bates