January 16th, 2013 | University

Yale alums become YouTube stars

This video, produced by Yale alums, garnered 83 million hits in one month.
This video, produced by Yale alums, garnered 83 million hits in one month. Photo by YouTube.

The year 2012 was a big one for YouTube: It featured its first video to ever reach 1 billion views, a hit music video from South Korean pop star PSY, as well as Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit single “Call Me Maybe” and coverage of the greatest moments of the Summer Olympics. In tribute to a memorable year, two Yale alums have uploaded their own video entitled “Rewind YouTube Style,” which has garnered 83 million views just one month after its release.

Produced by Peter Furia ’04 and Michael Rucker ’07, the video is a mash-up of the popular music video “Gangnam Style” and “Call Me Maybe.” It brings together breakthrough YouTube sensations and combines the 30 most epic YouTube moments of 2012 into one catchy tune, said Furia, who also directed the video.

While the success of “Rewind YouTube Style” is certainly rooted in the concept of synthesizing the most popular YouTube clips, Furia and Rucker were also strategic about advertising. Having the YouTube stars tweet at their respective fan bases helped promote the video, Rucker said.

Both have experience in viral products – Furia works for Seedwell, a company that creates viral videos as advertisements, and Rucker is a YouTube project manager for Google. Still, their interest in viral video can be traced back to their good old college days in Pierson. During his time at Yale, Furia produced two songs: “Pierson College,” set to the tune of Chingy’s “Right Thurr,” and “BK2Nite,” a song about Berkeley dining hall’s meal swipe restrictions.

Unfortunately, one of the top 30 YouTube hits of 2012 was the Harvard baseball team’s parody of “Call Me Maybe,” which Furia said has left him with a box of Harvard T-shirts rotting away in his Seedwell office. That’s too bad.