Dec. 1, 2010 at 1:38 PM ET
Dude's girlfriend moves across the country from Los Angeles to attend an MBA program at Duke. Dude has realization that thanks to the Internet, distance is relative. Dude — who just happens to live with this band "The Daylights" — decides to capitalize on his realization by posting a digital love letter in the form of a music video on YouTube — but not tell girlfriend about it.
Dude hopes she'll learn about it "organically" — in other words, the rest of the Internet will just start tweeting this or whatever, it'll go viral, and GF will just happen to stumble upon it. Because as we all know via the intricately choreographed and/or edited nerdier-than-thou marriage proposal and wedding save-the-date videos filling up the Internet, you're not really in love these days unless the Internet knows about it — and this case, even before your GF knows about it.
"It seems like we're far apart, but we're living in a very different world these days, and we can feel close without having to be close every day. I wanted to show how we try to make the world a little smaller," Walter C. Mays told the Village Voice yesterday. He's the dude with the Duke MBA GF. "I got together with my roommates, who are all in a band called The Daylights. I helped write the lyrics. They are tremendous songwriters." (See iTunes link on video.)
"I wanted it to be simple, something really anyone could have done. We shot the video in my buddy's garage on a Canon 5D one Sunday afternoon, and I spent maybe $100 in total, buying black bed sheets and stuff. I didn't want to go overboard, to show that the thought really does count."
Or maybe The Daylights just want to sell a song.
Attempts at viral videos are so de rigueur these days that marketers are now making their own fake viral attempts in the hopes that romantic nerds will fall for it, and by extension, whatever product these faux love productions are attempting to sell. So really, can you blame those now-jaded doubters questioning the latest version?
"What a manipulative way to promote a song," writes one commenter on YouTube. "Hope your girlfriend dumps you for using her love to get your song listened to."
"It's just marketing with a fake tale to tug at heart strings or shock you," writes another.
Maybe this "viral love letter" (three words that shouldn't be together) in which choreographed hands "sing" the words is totally for real. The Village Voice seems to think so, as does Katy Perry. So do many of the commenters on YouTube, where this video has been viewed more than 113,000 times since it was posted Tuesday.
And yet, with so many things that are, in fact "marketing with a fake tale to tug at heart strings," can you blame the majority of YouTube commenters who desperately want it to be true?
"How sad if we can't believe in such beautiful things," writes one true believer. "Just enjoy it :) It's fun regardless."