Making Branded Content Ownable: Kutiman, Somebody Gotye Used to Know

Just when you thought “Somebody that I Used to Know,” Gotye’s radio pandemic was on its way out…

Just what’s so interesting? A few things.

Kutiman’s Thru-You Project
Gotye actually produced this himself, and posted it to YouTube earlier this morning. As I write this post, it’s registering just 303 views on YouTube, a result of automatic throttling/capping of views on Google’s part. I expect the video to explode fairly quickly, as it will certainly make its rounds on Facebook feeds, after an obligatory appearance on Reddit.

What’s more interesting to me, is what inspired Gotye: Kutiman’s Thru-You project, which made it’s debut in 2009, garnering 1.5 million views and a number of derivatives and copycats.

Digicultural Norm: Consumer “Ownership”
Kutiman’s creative spin on using other people’s YouTube videos to produce something of his own reflects a digicultural norm: Whether it’s moral, ethical or otherwise, “ownership” of digital content belongs to consumers.

While it might be the bane of the recording or movie industries, this principle is imperative to understand when developing and distributing content online. Ask yourself: “What’s so valuable about what we’re creating that will inspire consumers to go out of their way to 1) consume it, and 2) make it their own?”

Digitally creative consumers will often spend hours producing content like Gotye, which drives remarkable organic consumption and engagement. I wonder how many advertising dollars digital marketers would be willing to spend on views, visits, likes, shares and comments to even touch the number Gotye’s video will likely receive?

Edit: One day, almost half a million views.

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