One of my favorite authors, George Bernard Shaw, who wrote Pygmalion had this to day about creativity,
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.”
In today’s world YouTubers all around the world live by this philosophy. According to statistics provided by YouTube, every minute there is close to 100 hours of videos being uploaded. Granted most of you are probably thinking that they might be cat/baby videos. But there is some great content, which millions of subscribers tune into every day of their favorite YouTube celebrity. I for one am a very big Ryan Higa fan and need my dose of NigaHiga almost on a daily basis. Be it singing those crazy collaborations that make no sense (See “Christmas Swag” or “Shed a Tear”) or the “most informative” How To videos on the planet, or probably the best segments called “Movies In Minutes” it’s something that makes me giggle my face off at the end of a long and sometimes stressful day.
When we look at some of his videos, we see that its spoofs on products that are available in today’s marketplace and are often very popular. An iPod becomes the iPod Human similarly the Google Glass becomes the Google Glass Human.
These videos are hilarious spoofs on what a human would do if they were to have skewed functionalities of these devices. I feel that these devices gain greater popularity through the spoofs that we see on YouTube. NigaHiga, who has close to 9 million subscribers, is one of YouTube’s biggest celebrities. This is free publicity for the product at its finest. It gives the companies making these products have greater audiences than they would have probably had before, and no business would ever bring any action against that.
Nick Pitera is another favorite YouTube wonder who I go and watch to experience that blast from the past. His renditions of Disney song mash-ups always put a smile to my face and usually make me want to go back and watch “The Lion King” or “Beauty and the Beast.” I think we can agree that people in our generation often look back and find a sense of nostalgia in simple things like Disney movies which all of us watched as kids. We like humming along to the “Hakunamatata” and experience the pain of Mulan’s sorrow as she doesn’t honor her family in front of her town. These small but crucial nostalgic moments are what companies are counting on so we can keep going back to them and ask for more of what we once had.
In the New York Times article “Disney Tolerates Rap Parodies of Critters. But Why?” , it talks about how Disney is allowing YouTube users to take snippets from their movie, or in Nick Pitera’s case use their music to come up with creative ways of engaging their audience. According to this article, this act of stringing together snippets is in violation of their copyright act. However, since these videos are going viral, big companies like Disney and Nickelodeon are often letting things slide since the publicity and the audience they get from just one video, is far greater than the audience they get from their paid adverts. As a business, they are continually thinking of growing. YouTube is just a way for them to get a wider audience. These companies are allowing YouTubers to be creative with copyrighted material and engage the audience however they please.
One cannot put a price on creativity, but through YouTube, many of these stars have honed their creativity to also become a lucrative business for them. It is interesting to see how much of an outlet new media like YouTube has become to all of us today. It has allowed us to look at and explore a lot of new and different or sometimes even the old and comfortable, but it never fails to bring out some sort of emotion in us. The aspect of bringing out intense emotions through creativity is what has allowed new media to thrive for this long.