"i-CAUGHT:" DISSECTING THE NEW VIDEO REVOLUTION
Airs On Tuesday, September 4 on ABC
From consumers using the Internet to take on big companies to a two-year-old online sensation, this week's "i-CAUGHT" examines several stories that are part of the video revolution. Anchored by Bill Weir, "i-CAUGHT" airs TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Reports include:
* Consumer Video Fight Back: It used to be, if someone was unhappy with a product or a company's service, they'd write a letter of complaint. Today there is a whole new way to express discontent: it involves a camcorder and the Internet. Dissatisfied with your Mac Book? Try smashing it, videotaping it, and uploading onto YouTube. You might catch the attention of Apple. It worked for 33-year-old Michael Whitford of Chanlder, Arizona. He made a complaint video and ultimately ended up with a free upgraded computer. It's happening all the time and companies are responding with answers, refunds and sometimes new products. Jeff Rossen reports.
* "Landlord": Only in the upside-down world of the web could a business overseen by comic superstar Will Ferrell and backed by big bucks from Silicon Valley be lifted to success on the slender shoulders of a two-year-old girl. But thanks to a tough-talking performance from a little girl named Pearl, the clip "The Landlord" went mega-viral - earning some 42 million hits - and helped make FunnyorDie.com one of the Internet's top destinations for cutting-edge comedy. For "Talledega Nights" director Adam MacKay, it's a thrilling development, not just because he helps to run FunnyorDie.com, but because he's also Pearl's father. Chris Connelly reports.
* Viral Ads: Viral-ad campaigns are changing the landscape of marketing. A word-of-mouth strategy has stormed the web in the form of mock-u-mentaries, stunt skits, short comedies and even faux reality shows. The entertainment-focused ads are made just for user-generated video websites and the prized web savvy demographic age group who have made this trend viral. Just ask Quicksilver, who received more than 1.5 million hits for their user-generated looking "Dynamite Surfing" ad or Burger King's "Subservient Chicken" ad campaign, totaling more than 20 million hits. Dan Harris reports.
* The Internet Made Me Famous: When Ryan Wieber first met Michael "Dorkman" Scott on a "Star Wars" fan forum, they were bitter rivals and enemies. So when they collaborated on a light-saber movie, it was a shock to those who knew them. But then came an even bigger surprise: the movie, "Ryan vs. Dorkman," went viral and has been seen almost four million times, including by employees of George Lucas' video game company, which offered Ryan a job. That eventually led to another job doing special effects for shows like "Ugly Betty" and "Grey's Anatomy."
* Tom Green: Actor/comic Tom Green, starting the second year of his live Internet talk show, broadcasts from his living room five nights a week - and sometimes during the day, if he feels like it. Throughout the show he takes live web calls on his home phone, allowing viewers to interact with him and guests like Val Kilmer, Pamela Anderson, Andy Dick, Norm MacDonald, Bob Saget, Tom Bergeron and "LA Ink" star Kat Von D (a million people downloaded that episode). He has hundreds of thousands of loyal fans across the world and talks to them throughout the day on his website. This month fans downloaded nearly 30 million clips from his site. Bill Weir reports.
* Second Life: We all want to look good. Now there is a virtual world called Second Life which offers Internet users the chance to create an idealized version of themselves with just the click of a mouse. "i-CAUGHT" takes viewers inside the 3D world of Second Life to meet some of the people who have changed their self-image all because they created an alternate version of themselves in a virtual space. John Berman reports.
* Your 3 Words: "i-CAUGHT" viewers submitted video describing their week, their lives or just about anything in three words.
In conjunction with the new show, the "i-CAUGHT" website allows people to submit their own video to be considered for the program. People can upload video to it through ABCNews.com.
"i-CAUGHT" is anchored by Bill Weir. David Sloan is the executive producer and Jon Meyersohn, Ann Reynolds and Danielle Baum are the senior producers.