In this post we examine not only what makes something go viral but also observe an interesting social effect of a ten minute long YouTube video with nothing more than a Futurama frog called “The Hypnotoad” staring you in the face.

How did The Hypnotoad become a celebrity?

Well, Futurama is quite popular and has an enormous fan base, so that’s a good start, however there was something wonderfully unusual about The Hypnotoad to start with. Most of us had a good laugh and moved on. One fan however, decided to loop the video for ten minutes and upload it to YouTube to see what happens.

The Reactions

It all started with a single comment (most likely ryno1982) and it said something like:

“this video clip is the biggest pile of sh- ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD”

What followed was quite interesting. Without any coordination or agreement users started making comments of the similar type, each slightly different, all ending with “ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD” implying they have been hypnotised. Two years later and it’s still going now with nearly half a million views, of what? A frog looping on the screen for ten minutes! Incredible.

Who did what?

We analysed the data available on YouTube and found out the following fascinating facts about this video:

hypnotoad comments

Out of 424,398 views users commented 5,663 times and using the data sample of 500 comments we found that a massive 62.40% of comments contained the sentence interrupted by “ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD” statement. Some 7% of all comments were marked as spam, 2% mentioned The Hypnotoad in one context or another and the rest are random other comments.


  • Number of Views: 424,398
  • Number of Comments: 5,663
  • Saluted Hypnotoad 62.40%
  • Spammed Hypnotoad 7.00%
  • Mentioned Hypnotoad 2.00%
  • All Other Comments 28.60%

What does this mean?

It means that 3500 people went along with this thing for no particular reason other than to have fun. Now, if you told people to do that on purpose you would not get the same percentage. Even if you paid them to do that – the outcome may not have been as awesome. This unlikely celebrity character has made it into the Internet culture alongside lolcats and other non commercially ignited virals. The video continues its steady hypnotic effect to this very day:
Hypnotoad Youtube Video Stats

And in conclusion we should als… –ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD!

The Ten Minute Video

The Context

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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