Here is a neat little scam that I have dreamt up. I am sure that I am not the first to think of it. Firstly let’s say that people are seeing the financial value in creating a viral video for their social media account. Instagram is flavour of the month.
People can make decent money in advertising revenue from a viral video. And if you have a bit of a following on Instagram you can become a mini-influencer or major-influencer and start to be paid by retailers and manufacturers to promote products.
Important: I am not advocating that people scam others. I am trying to flag up what I see as an extension of the rush to generate income online with videos.
Here’s how you can do it. The Camp Fire has lead to many riveting videos of cat rescue and reunion.
Two people and their cat drive to the nearest area of Camp Fire devastation. You’re looking for burnt out vehicles and charred trees interspersed with the ruins of people’s homes.
You find a nice quiet spot and park the car. One person takes the cat in a carrier to a position about 100 meters from the other who is positioned near one of the burnt out homes. This person has the smart phone with video camera. She or he also has a tub of cat food and treats.
The person with the cat releases him and moves out of shot. The other person calls her cat to come. She starts the video recording. The cat responds to the call and wanders towards the person with the video recorder looking confused.
To all intents and purposes it looks like the cat has been discovered among the ruins and is miraculously being reunited with their owner. The cat’s owner sobs in emotion. Her cat eats from the tub of treats. End of video.
This has been a brilliant and highly emotional reunion between loving cat guardian and gutsy cat who survived the fire. The slight anomaly is that the cat is not dirty and has no injuries. No matter, the video still works at an emotional level and viewers want to believe and so they do.
There are variations on this theme. For instance a single person can do the whole video alone. You take your cat to the scene of devastation and hold him in your arms. With the other arm you film a selfie. In the background is the burnt forest and skeletons of cars and trees. You gently cry into the camera to tell the world that you found your cat hiding under the bath in your wrecked house which, incidentally, is high on a hill with stunning views.
Your video achieves 200,000 views and you make $80 in advertising revenue. Not much but one more step in the journey to becoming an influencer; your goal.
Important note: I have no intention of detracting from the wonderful, genuine cat rescues and reunions after the infamous California fires and other natural disasters of which there are many. I am simply pointing out the possibility that sometimes, rarely, videos are not what they seem.