What is Liquid Mountaineering?
The YouTube video “Walk on Water (Liquid mountaineering)” is a popular video featuring the story of three men who attempt and “succeeded” in running on the surface of water. The British company Hi-Tec produced the film with the intent of promoting their new waterproof shoes, accompanied by the tag-line “100% Liquid Mountaineering approved.”
In 2006, Hi-Tec created the V-Lite Infinity shoe. The shoe was designed to be comfortable, durable, lightweight, and waterproof for runners on road or wild terrain.1 In order to promote their new product, Hi-Tec decided to create a short video that would reach a vast audience.2 The video features three men who invent a new sport called "liquid mountaineering" which entails running into a body of water and trying to stay on the surface of water as long as possible. The men in the video fail to run on water until they use Hi-Tec’s V-Lite Infinity shoes, whose unique design allow them to eventually perform the miraculous feat. The film was uploaded to YouTube on April 28, 2010 and just after one year the video had garnered over 9 million views.
Liquid Mountaineering is a classic example of viral marketing. The video exhibits the following viral marketing techniques which have helped bring viral recognition to Hi-Tec:
- Shooting the film in less than professional quality. Doing so gave the video a “real life” feel and masked the true identity of the video as an advertisement.
- Using Humor. The hilarity of watching people running into lakes and then running on water enticed people to share the video with friends.
- Keeping the video short. Though the video plays over three minutes, it maintains a short enough length to keep viewers interested.
- Strategic placing of the product. Though the video promotes Hi-Tec's products, the actual shoes play a minor role in the video.
- Maintaining a blog. Hi-Tec fed viewers curiosity by maintaining a blog displaying the current news about the new sport of liquid mountaineering.
The Possibility of Walking on Water
While the liquid mountaineering video and blog jokingly maintain that walking on water is possible, Hi-Tec has released a video on their website depicting how the actors in the video were able to run "on water."3 Despite this debunking, the intrigue of walking on water has spurred many people not only to attempt the feat, but also create websites promoting the sport of liquid mountaineering.
Concerns for Parents
- Hi-Tec’s original video entitled "Walk on Water (Liquid Mountaineering)" contains mild language.
- The Liquid Mountaineering blog contains mild language and mildly irreligious references.
- Watching videos on Quietube can help families use YouTube safely. Quietube allows you to watch YouTube videos on a clean white screen that's free from potentially inappropriate ads, video previews, and comments.