Bieber’s burrito. A lesson in how ideas spread
Hoaxes are the best case studies on how to make an idea go viral.
Bieber’s Burrito is one of those.
In 2018, Justin Bieber was photographed eating a burrito… just look for yourself… what stands out?
Yes, he eats it sideways.
JB eating a burrito sideways went super-viral. Within days, it got write-ups in various publications from The Verge, to Vanity Fair, to USA Today.
It’s one of my favourite viral stunts. Many outlets didn’t realize it was a hoax and later adjusted their publications to not look so stupid.
The work was of YouTubers YesTheory. Their 23-minute video explaining the hoax has 23 million views.
How they did it – the short version – lessons for Sellouts
They first hired a Justin Bieber lookalike, step one.
Step two: they brainstormed things that would go viral. Yes Theory knew something most marketers don’t appreciate enough:
They needed to tap into the prevailing narrative surrounding Bieber.
The prevailing thought of Justin Bieber fits into the common narrative we apply to young pop stars: that they are young, spoilt, rich idiots.
Yes Theory knew they needed to identify something weird that would trigger our confirmation bias of that narrative:
Idea: idiot Bieber eats burritos wrong because he’s a young idiot pop star.
And that makes this idea excellent: a deep understanding of narrative and confirmation bias.
In a future post, I’ll talk about the execution.