The folks at Funny or Die are big fans of messing with people’s heads. And so for April Fool’s Day this year, they decided to poke fun at digital audiences’ ever-shortening attention spans and the services like Vine that appeal to them. After all, who has time for six second videos?
That was the absurdist thinking behind Dips, a collection of 1.5 second video clips created by people who are famous, those who used to be famous, and some who never seem to go away. (I’m looking at you Haley Joel Osment).
The prank went over so well that the company is planning on keeping the Dips platform going. That’s what Funny or Die CEO Dick Glover and Creative Director Andrew Steele told Sarah Lacy at last week’s PandoMonthly. The pair even plans to expand upon the premise to allow anybody to make their own Dip via a mobile app — just like the service it’s parodying, Vine.
Currently there are more than 300 looping videos on the Funny or Die Dips site featuring everyone from Will Ferrell and Conan O’Brien to Henry Winkler and Candace Cameron Bure to Cookie Monster and the Power Rangers. Many, like Charlie Day’s little salad song are instantly GIF-worthy. As Glover explained, Dips reached a virality, with 8 million views as of last Wednesday, which prompted Funny or Die to turn the prank into a consumer app.
It’s amazing how much can be conveyed in 1.5 seconds. There are even a few sponsored Dips already, which shows how smart Funny or Die is at finding ways to leverage viral media to bring in revenue.
If Dips succeeds, I’m not sure what that will say about the new consumer app landscape. But hey, worse apps have gone on to attract millions of users. And when the resulting videos are this much fun, who cares if it’s a joke — even if the joke’s on us.
Watch Glover and Steele discuss the genesis and future of Dips:
[photo by Geoffrey Ellis]