Miss Teen USA, Miss South Carolina, & The Power of the Web
Good chance you’ve been emailed the clip of Miss South
Carolina from last weekend’s Miss Teen USA Pageant answering Aimee Teegarden’s question, “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the
US on a world map.
Why do you think this is?”
The 48-second clip has been viewed almost 5 million times on YouTube alone.
Miss South Carolina confidently responds (literally word for word…click here if you don't believe me
), “I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and that I believe our education, such as in South Africa and the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should our education over here in the US should help the US, or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future.” Uhhhh…what?
But we’re a digital media news site, and I won’t get in to a discussion here about blondes, beauty pageants, certain regions of the
US, our education system, or anything of the sort. The clip does all of that well enough on its own. Especially when Saved By the Bell’s AC Slater, the luckiest man in the world for having viewed this spectacle from no fewer than 6 inches, can barely contain himself as he moves the proceedings right along, “Thank you very much, South Carolina.”
Worthy of mention is that in the 3 days since the pageant I’ve been emailed the clip by no fewer than seven friends, all of whom are friends of each other. Even the most remarkably viral clips we’ve seen in the YouTube Era haven’t come close to that.
So finally, after the seventh friend emailed me today, I decided some kind of speed record had been set and required mention. I declare a Guinness Book of World Records nomination for the fastest clip the internet has ever seen.
But it also highlights something far more valuable to content owners (like the folks at NBC who broadcasted the show): Is it possible you now recognize the benefit of allowing YouTube to show your stuff? I’d bet if you asked 1,000 random people last Sunday to name 50 things on television that day, maybe ten would know about the pageant. Now, after Miss South
Carolina’s display, the 2008 pageant is must-see television. Almost 5 million people (and counting) have watched a 48-second clip of the World’s Smartest Teenager with the proud NBC logo at the bottom. Water cooler chit-chat will be discussing your show all week.
Just think about that for a minute.