Avril Lavigne YouTube “Fan Cheat” Hoax Helps it Take Top Spot

Avril LavigneWhat do John Edwards, the Chinese Olympic Gymnastics Team, and certain fans of Avril Lavigne have in common?

They all may be involved in cheating.

The difference is, the Avril Lavigne fans haven’t technically cheated.  They used “cheating” to promote a viral marketing campaign.  So far, it’s worked.  They’re now #1.

For a long, long time, the innovative and clever “Evolution of Dance” video has held the top spot as the most watched video ever on YouTube.  It features a man, Judson Laipply, performing a dance routine on stage that is, as many have called it, absolutely brilliant.  In 6 minutes and through cuts of 35 songs, Laipply makes up for questionable dance skills with a creative blend of humor and physical exertion.  The end result is something completely original, though it has been copied many times over recent years.

Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend video is a music video.  It is somewhat provocative, which helped it to acquire its initial blast of 50 million+ views, but overall, it is nothing exceptional.  Don’t tell that to the fans who are trying to propel it to 100,000,000 views faster than any other video.  One way or another, they plan on pushing the video over the top.

Already, the video has taken the top spot.  Currently, it has 97,462,978 compared to Laipply’s 96,188,641.  Was there an influx of Avril Lavigne fans who have stumbled upon the video?  No.  AvrilBandAids.com created a way to “cheat” the YouTube system by refreshing the video every 15 seconds.  When fans opened a browser with the page on it, they would, in theory, help promote the video by “viewing” it over 5,000 times per day.

Several major online publications picked up on the “cheat” and cried foul.  What they didn’t know was that YouTube caps its views per IP to 200 per day.  That wouldn’t have been enough to push the video over the top.  Luckily for AvrilBandAids, their goal wasn’t to cheat to the top.  They pretended to cheat to get publicity for the site, thus pushing it to the top virally.

In other words, they used the reporting of the cheating to do the cheating for them.  The publicity was enough to push it closer to 100,000,000 and passed the champ.

While I don’t necessarily approve of the tactics, you have to admit that the effort itself was pretty darn clever.

YouTube Most Viewed

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Read more about Viral Marketing on this blog.


Posted in a comment on the Digg submission of this story was a link to a video explaining it all.  Thank you, alpinedigital!

Leave a Reply


  1. JD Rucker

    @Kling-on – ???


  2. Gerard Barberi


    What exactly was ‘provocative’ about that music video?

    I thought it was another piece of shit by the mainstream.

  3. JD Rucker

    The subject matter is the “provocative” part — Avril in a “sexy” video. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t pay much attention to the video once I realized that it was just a video.

  4. ALF

    It’s very easy to look up the evidence – but I did all the work already. I made this so I wouldnt have to keep explaining things.


    –adjective 1. tending or serving to provoke; inciting, stimulating, irritating, or vexing.

    I think that just about covers all her videos, according to those who find her irritating LOL

  5. Poot

    The thing that’s pretty stupid here is, what good is “breaking the record” in a fashion like this? The video didn’t break a record if you have five dozen computers using a refresh cheat–OK, you might break the record for “the most idiots on computers at the same time,” but that’s about it, it’s basically about as impressive as winning an election because you voted for yourself a million times. It doesn’t mean she’s a star, it just means a lot of her friends aren’t too bright and need to get a girlfriend or a job.
    Look! I broke the world record for the 100 meter dash. All I did was use a motorcycle!

  6. Gerard Barberi

    Hey ALF,

    I saw that definition , too. In fact, I know what the word means, but when JD used it to describe Avril’s video, I looked it up to make sure its meaning hadn’t changed – no offense JD ;).

    There was nothing about that video – other than being horribly irritating – that would incite “discussion” from me. 🙂

  7. Hey Poot

    Hey Poot, Did you actually read the entire article, because your answer implies that you clearly did not. Re-read it again you silly poot, because they did not actually cheat, ‘they faked cheating’, to incite interest and more news buzz, to create more interest and draw more people to view the video and give the video legitmate views, I think their plan was actually brilliant.

    Poot you really should finish reading the entire article before you comment on it, bcause you missed the point of the article entirely.

    Thanks for posting.

  8. Yeah, Poot did you actually read the article

    Yeah, Poot did you actually read the article, because if you did you would have probably responded differently. Those fans are pretty damn smart; it was genius plan acttually, lol.

  9. JD Rucker

    GB, I stand by my opinion. Using the “stimulating” aspect of the Provocative definition, I contend that it got a lot of buzz when it first came out because it had Avril Lavigne of loose-jeans fame dressed in fishnets and skimpy shorts dancing around in a “stimulating” manner at times. That is what “provoked” the initial burst of views, IMHO.

  10. Hey JD Rucker

    I agree with you JD Rucker, Avril indeed was not only more stimulating and provocative, Avril gre in to one beautiful woman and people loved it and watched her video in droves. And people are still watching it at about a clip of about a 100,000 views a day.

  11. ALF

    Okay guys, here’s the deal, because I defended the idea of this being about a cheat, but people still haven’t figured out why it has so many. So lets take a look at what we know…

    7 out of 8 of the most viewed at youtube ARE music videos. So we’re at least in the company of a similar video catagory. But what gave Avril the edge? Well for that we find out what stands out, or whats different: Girlfriend was the subject of many gossip and news sites because of the lawsuit with the Rubinoos.

    After Girlfriend’s first storm of views, there came the publicity of the song being stolen, and I can only imagine how many hater comments came along with it. I CAN say that after the second publicity wave from the cheat page stunt, haters are STILL showing up saying the page was the source of so many views. Even people who dont hate her that much stumble onto the article and cant wait to come spread the news like they’re going to enlighten someone.

    So yeah – she’s got a little sizzle to her but she’s hardly doing what most pop artists do, which is dress in ever-skimpier outfits, or something skin-tight, and dancing with body-carressing moves or tracing their body with their fingertips. THAT is the Britney that Avril said she didnt want to behave like. And that is what I think most people would define as provacative, whereas the rest I chalk up to ‘controversial’.

  12. kardemee

    I think Avril deserves the no. 1 spot because YouTube has disabled the counts used by automated systems and has deleted all of those views, additionally Avril’s videos are not embedded anywhere else but in YouTube, unlike Evolution of Dance’s video which is embedded all over the internet. It is quite amazing that Avril’s video has managed to rack up that many views without embedding, If Avril’s video had been allowed to be embedded by RCA it would have already far surpassed the Evolution of dance video long ago.

    Also the Evolution of Dance video has been out far longer than Avril’s video and it has caught up in record time, proving the immense popularity of the song worldwide.

    Avril’s song Girlfriend was the most legally bought and downloaded song of 2007.

    Furthermore, Avril was the best selling female artist in the world in 2007 according to:

    And Avril Lavigne now has the most NO. 1 Top 40 Hits This Decade. Avril Lavigne has ascended to a lofty pedestal: The 22-year-old now has the most No. 1 top 40 hits this decade at “five” and is the No. 2 artist in the 14-year history of Nielsen BDS, behind Mariah Carey’s six chart-toppers. —Chuck Taylor (Billboard.com)Source: billboard.com/bbcom/content_display/reviews/singles/e3i6337374c02990aa382432d13494ab554

  13. maybe right …. but i still love avril

    go girl….

  14. me

    This supposed article makes my BLOOD BOIL

    The fans BLATENTLY CHEATED, the article even mentions it. They admitted it. You can read everything they wrote, watching how the views were going up dramatically overnight..

    Then, a couple of months later they GET CAUGHT, so the person in charge of the message board is desperately trying to do some damage control and cleverly throws in the word “hoax”, well what do you know, simply using the word hoax was enough. It doesn’t matter that her excuse was obviously a lie and made no freaking sense. All the media just believed it was a hoax.


    It is a complete sham that these cheaters managed to get away with it because apparently no-one in the media can use their brain to actually CONFIRM what it is they are writing about, instead they are just taking the word of the cheaters, so not only have they cheated and got away with it, but they lied and the media and youtube are just letting it go.
    Youtube are apparently not interested, probably because they’re making tons of money from it. (although it did get removed at one point, but it came back and had all it’s viewcounts intact)

    Honestly, why on earth could or would they even think of such a plan (to ‘pretend’ to cheat, then get caught???), nevermind do it which would be EXTREMELY RISKY. Half of the people involved have already admitted it was not a hoax and that they embarrassed and some of them are even saying things like “I told you you shouldn’t have cheated, now you’ve got caught and Avril is getting bad publicity. I knew this would happen and that’s why I never took part” because SOME of Avril’s fans on that website actually had enough decency to not want to cheat her to the top.

    You may want to re-write your article

    Try writing the actual truth this time, instead of using her fans lame, bizzare, cover-up excuse.

  15. interesting article… was just talking with friends at http://www.affluence.org about very similar subject

  16. Sweet! I feel like I just dug up gold 😉

  17. Sweet! I feel like I just dug up gold 😉

  18. gerfy

    How many times did you get caught avril Lavigne?
    My scoails project is on you and thats why i want to know.

    by your fans: J.P G.G

  19. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZBBl2Hk74E
    yella mane trap work

  20. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZBBl2Hk74E

  21. JFMM

    Avril and her fans should be shamed of themselves. What a cheap, dirty work!

  22. fosslee

    Don’t press this link


    …don’t press it….

  23. ow I just learned about cheating youtube views this month…. seems like I’m late this article is 5 years old lol