March 23, 2006 1:20 PM PST

Teenage auteur ignites buzz about video graphics

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Marketing experts pay heed: A video clip produced by a teenage girl has become a mini-blockbuster on a popular video upload site while also helping to introduce Logitech Web cameras to a legion of young people.

"Breakup," a 75-second clip produced by a 17-year-old girl who refers to herself as "Bowiechick," has been viewed more than 155,000 times and generated more than 800 comments on YouTube.com since Tuesday. YouTube, which has emerged as a major online entertainment hub only three months after its launch, lets people post homemade video clips and share them with the world.

Bowiechick, who did not respond to interview requests from CNET News.com on Thursday, has posted several video blogs on YouTube. "Breakup" is little more than the young girl lamenting a breakup with her boyfriend. As she frets over the end of the relationship, Bowiechick simultaneously cheers herself up by playing with computer effects and altering her on-screen appearance with the click of a button.

Photos: Web cam effects

One minute, she appears to be wearing glasses, the next it looks as if she's strapped on a gas mask. At one point her nose and eyes appear feline.

Of the more than 800 comments posted on YouTube about "Breakup," dozens were requests for information about the visual effects.

"Wow, what movie maker is that?" asked one viewer. "Sorry about your breakup."

The interest was so great, in fact, that it prompted Bowiechick to post a second video to address the questions.

That video, and Bowiechick's YouTube profile, reveal that she shoots her clips with Quickcam Orbit MP by digital toolmaker Logitech. The camera retails for about $100.

Nancy Morrison, a Logitech spokeswoman, said software called Logitech Video Effects is behind the various cartoon images. Launched last August, the software features animated avatars that can make a user look like a martian, a great white shark or Santa Claus.

The software tracks a user's face so that the images stay in position even when the user moves, says Morrison.

"The software maps to about 16 points on your face," Morrison said. "When you turn your head, the effects turn with you."

Logitech offers almost 100 different avatars and all are available for download at Logitech.com. Four of the company's Web cameras: QuickCam Fusion, QuickCam for Notebooks Pro and QuickCam Pro 5000, come equipped with the software, which works exclusively with those Logitech products.

Though it's too early to tell whether Bowiechick's clips have affected Logitech sales, it's plain that many more people are aware of the company's visual graphics as a result of her videos.

Though only a teenager, Bowiechick may already be an expert on "viral marketing," the strategy by which companies try to tap social networks to generate buzz about their products.

"That was really funny," wrote one Bowiechick fan. "I wish I had a webcam cool enough to make me a kitty."

See more CNET content tagged:
breakup, Logitech, video clip, YouTube, girl

10 comments

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this is news?
really?
Posted by Yukimi Konomi (48 comments )
Reply Link Flag
WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE??
No one else is brave enough to do what this girl did. I say we commend her for having the courage to say something no one else would!!!
Posted by till8791 (17 comments )
Link Flag
Why is this news?
okay, so 700 people have viewed a boring video, helped out no
doubt by this article. Is this a case of the media creating the
news, or is this an example of a slow news day?

I choose to believe it is the latter.
Posted by Earl Benzar (197 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But She Got It Out Ontime
If it was Microsoft, the video would be years late and her ex-boyfriend would be dead of old age.
Posted by maxwis (141 comments )
Link Flag
She's no Auteur . . .
It's just her 15 minutes of fame. Perhaps she should have at least
done a little self promotion, like looking for referrals for a free
iPod. Damn! email ron <dot> bannon <at> gmail <dot> com if
you're interested.
Posted by rbannon (96 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The most impressive thing about this is
that she refused interviews.
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
Reply Link Flag
She Had Better Luck Uploading Than I Did
I tried to upload a 95 meg video to youtube with no success. Tried 3 different times using 3 different browsers. They just spun their wheels and the memory utilization of the browsers climbed upwards of 400 megs.

Boo youtube!
Posted by maxwis (141 comments )
Reply Link Flag
incorrect facts
According to wikipedia youtube.com started February 2005, not 3 months ago.
Posted by JoeCrow (83 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Undercover Viral Marketing?
Perhaps. This is pure speculation but it could undercover or viral marketing of some stripe or another. Similar to ILoveBees or hiring people to promote things in bulletin boards.
Posted by Xpheyel (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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