July of this year will mark the 2-year anniversary of the very viral JK Wedding Dance YouTube video phenomenon. From the humble planning stages to the unforgettable dance processional, Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz “[would] never have expected this response to [their] wedding entrance in a million years,” says their website.
The video had the media abuzz, and before the newlyweds could pen a single thank you note, they were invited to appear on the Today Show with Matt Lauer. But even with momentary fame comes a price, and the couple faced a barrage of criticism over both the song choice and speculation over the video being a manufactured success with the help of Sony. Despite the controversy, the couple decided to use the attention their video received to get viewers to donate to a good cause. Because their selection of Chris Brown’s “Forever” was such a contentious issue, they ask visitors to help donate to the Sheila Wellstone Institute. “Sheila Wellstone was an advocate, organizer, and national champion in the effort to end domestic violence in our communities,” they explain on the site.
According to the CDC, 2,077,000 weddings took place in the United States in 2010. While we are inundated with television shows dedicated to the goings on of American weddings, one rarely stands out. Two years later, Jill and Kevin’s YouTube video has received nearly 65 million hits and the Sheila Wellstone Institute has received $34,600 in donations by 1,337 donors as of September 29, 2010. The success of the viral video proves that online media is alive and very well, and that the next YouTube phenom is just around the corner. We can only hope the next one uses it for a good cause the way Peterson and Heinz did.
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