The Duck Song is a YouTube clip which contains music and graphics that tell a story about a duck that constantly asks for grapes at a lemonade stand, eventually annoying the man running the stand. The music was produced by Bryant Oden and the animations were created by Forrest Whaley. It was first uploaded to YouTube on the 23rd of March 2009, and the creators have achieved a lot from the clip in those five years. The clip was originally created for children and has over 154 million views. Although you would have to assume that a range of different people have viewed the clip, the success the creators have found (through more than one medium) is evidence enough that they reached their target audience. The success of the clip has led to many different avenues of income and popularity for the creators:
- an interactive children’s book
- further YouTube clips (part 2 and part 3)
- parodies of the clip produced by others on YouTube
- The Duck Song themed T-shirts and buttons
- an interactive application available for purchase on iTunes
- song available for purchase on iTunes
- sheet music available for purchase
These show the wave of impact that The Duck Song has had on its viewers and what popularity on YouTube can achieve for the producer. There are vast amounts of people who have found fame through YouTube (Lavaveshkul, 2012), however not so many have found it through an audience of under 10 year olds.
I find the success of this clip to be unexpected, but also admirable. I myself find the song extremely annoying, so the fact that it became so popular seems amazing. There is a mix of different comments on the clip on YouTube. One YouTuber commented
“WOW! LOOK AT HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE WASTED 3 MINUTES AND 11 SECONDS WATCHING THIS! 154,602,577!”
and another said
“Retarded. How this has 150 million views is beyond me.”
In contrast, a lot of the comments are also positive. One person commented
“So funny, very hilarious,”
and another said
“when the duck walked up to the lemonade stand….# awesome song.”
As well as those comments, over 479,000 people have liked the clip, compared to only 66,000 that disliked it. This shows just how popular the clip is.
Not only has the song been transformed into an interactive book for children, but that book is now available in your average local stores such as Big W and Target. Often only items of high demand or popularity are stocked in these stores, which shows the impact the clip has had on viewers.
The Duck Song YouTube clip is an example of how one unique idea expressed through YouTube can lead to a following of millions of people across the world. This in turn can transform the creator’s life through fame or wealth etc. This example shows how YouTube gives people ‘a voice; an opportunity and a venue to showcase talent, to create original content, share an idea, express an opinion, champion a cause, or even become famous, all on a tiny budget. This can often lead to earnings that are enough to live off’ (Lavaveshkul, 2012). The Duck Song is just one example from many which displays the power of YouTube.