The Secret Power of Viral Videos, You’ve been Rick Rolled

Rick Rolled
photo by Jason McArthur

So admit it you’ve either heard about or have been Rick Rolled. If not, where have you been, Antarctica?

For those who have managed to avoid the Internet over the past 3 months, One video has been causing quite a storm, unusually a music video of

Rick Astley performing “Never Gonna Give You Up” from 1987 the year I was born incidentally.

What happened was a prank, people who clicked on links expecting one thing were suddenly confronted with Rick Astley, and often the message “You’ve been Rick Rolled”. This is a common ‘bait and switch’ tactic where a visitor is sucked in expecting some valuable content, but is instead fed a completely unrelated video.

You have to see the funny side, so heres a funny variant where Beaker of the Muppets is dubbed singing “Never Gonna Give You Up”.-

Good fun, if you want to see the original no-dubbed Beaker in action you can find it here. (And No I have not Rick Rolled that link!)

Well whats the point talking about this, well the main video has been shown 11,237,444 on youtube at the time I’m writing this. Plus the spin offs that have seen at least 30 million.

Accidentally it has become the biggest marketing of a video this year. Imagine if you could replicate that with a video promoting a product of your own, like a website the potential is amazing. Image just replicating that by 0.01%. That would be over 1000 potential viewers you have the opportunity to convert.

But the difficulty is in converting, a logo or web address maybe off putting and prevent the spread, therefore more subtle techniques must be employed. Such as a brief display of the logo or placement of the product in the video or most commonly used is to leave a link in the description of the video. It was this curiosity that fueled the “Rick Rolled” craze. Just cashing in on this human nature is the challenge.

Remember ‘curiosity killed the cat’,



p.s One last laugh-

Rick Astley is Successfully Rick Rolled

Comic from

4 thoughts on “The Secret Power of Viral Videos, You’ve been Rick Rolled

  1. i already notice this with my website, put up any popular video and search engines eat it up and so do casual searchers. Its a nice return plus you keep a good repository on memorable videos and overall information.

  2. It sure does look like images and videos could be key to getting a good visability in search engines, now and in the future.

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