How 'Charlie Bit Me,' the Most Watched YouTube Clip Ever, Changed a Family's Fortunes


Howard Davies-Carr says people who own videos that unexpectedly go viral need to be careful.

"There are an awful lot of unscrupulous people out there who will try and take advantage of people that don't understand what they have."

Other owners of viral videos are catching on and cashing in, too. A Brazilian bank used a video of baby ripping up paper to promote paperless banking. An Internet security company uses laughing babies to promote protection. A contact lens company uses a cute wide-eyed baby to promote its lenses. And then there's Fenton the deer-chasing dog in London -- soon to be the subject of a children's book.

"Generally, we find that animals and babies the world over are popular," says Collier. "Those tend to be the videos that people gravitate towards, but there is no science to it, in truth."

And no viral video has come close to the viewership of "Charlie Bit Me."

Maybe it's Charlie's devilish laugh at the end that has won the world over.

"I don't quite understand why people keep watching it and why they find it so exciting, but people do," says Davies-Carr. "You know, people leave lovely comments back to us saying we watch this video almost every day."

He says he and his wife, Shelley, struggle with balancing their children's accidental good-fortune with the pitfalls of fame.

"It's difficult. It's something I probably worry about every day," he says."If people want to watch them, that's great, but we've never gone out to say to people, you know, 'You should do something with the children. They should be in films or they should be models or this kind of stuff.' That's of no interest to us at all.

"When the boys get to 18, I'd like them to think back and think, 'O.K., I've got something in my life which is more than just what I was when I did the 'Charlie Bit Me' video.'"

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