How to make a viral online video for money, the Rhett & Link way


Who can forget Chocolate Rain, the insanely weird, catchy song by Tay Zonday, that made him a web sensation? Even pop star Lily Allen was a fan and had him on her show, Lily Allen and Friends, in London. But when Zonday scored a deal with Dr. Pepper, starring in an overly-produced online commercial, mocking his success, complete with scantily clad dancers, people thought the scrawny-necked kid with the deep voice sold out. "This internet thing is wild," Zonday says at the end of the video. Big advertisers would agree, because they're frustrated by it.

One team is helping them out while maintaining their college humour cred. "It's very hard to train someone to make viral videos. We're still learning," says Rhett McLaughlin of Rhett & Link, the viral video-making team of such hits as the Facebook Song, Fast Food Folk Song, and this week's big sensation, thanks to an AP story, Red House: Furniture for Black People and White People. (They even have a viral seven-minute video, showing how they crashed the Grammy's and got artists on the red carpet to strike a pose from a Lionel Richie album cover.)