Friday, April 01, 2011

Songbirds, Lovebirds, and YouTube

Boy scout and local boy Jason Pitts has become the talk of Santa Monica with his video "Prom?" that has attracted over two hundred thousand views as the likeable teen seranades his potential date with his "Lianna, you're so beautiful refrain." Pitts, his date, and his backup singers were all flown to New York to be on this segment of Good Morning America.

Given that most viral videos that merit TV coverage have jumped over the million view mark, I was surprised to see Pitts recognized by ABC. It wasn't until the hosts mentioned corporate parent Disney and the upcoming release of the movie Prom that the media synergy made sense.

Of course, some might say that I'm likely to be cynical about teen festivities, given that my own prom date went on to direct Saw 3D, but it's far to say that network TV wants YouTube to follow more traditional story arcs.

ABC also ran a story about letting "YouTube Do the Asking" last year. (Their broadcast about the teen who shot this video to plead for the company of a Maxim model on prom night is here.) YouTube prom proposals also have used stop motion animation, rap music, and green screen footage to be shown on the morning announcements at the school.

It's noteworthy that Pitts doesn't actually use YouTube as a technology of distance to ask his date and eschews digital effects in favor of strolling into the classroom with an acoustic guitar.

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