It’s been a cracking year so far for experiential ad campaigns and public pranks are top of the list when it comes to viral marketing techniques guaranteed to capture the interweb’s attention. So it’s not surprising to see hidden camera stunts dominating this week’s Viral Brand Chart.
Photoshop Live – Street Retouch Prank – Snatching the number one slot with over 12.5 million views and nearly 25 thousand Facebook and Twitter shares, is Adobe’s Street Retouch Prank, created by Swedish agency, Abby Norm.
The concept of the ad is pretty simple; take one public bus stop, install an interactive digital billboard with some hidden cameras and place a couple of Photoshop gurus in a van around the corner ready to edit the live camera footage into personalised ads. Now throw in some unsuspecting would-be passengers to star in the posters and hey presto, you have the recipe for viral magic!
Passers-by saw themselves transposed into a variety of unlikely situations, with one man being shrunk down and turned into a tiny genie wriggling around in a glass bottle, another guy was transformed into a muscled action hero, while two young strangers become the subjects of a rom-com style movie trailer.
The campaign was designed to showcase the artistic possibilities of Photoshop and promote Adobe’s Creative Day. It’s the perfect example of the playful new breed of experiential advertising that’s been sweeping across the web, proving that fancy special effects and celebrity endorsements aren’t necessary to create a smash hit viral video.
#PubLooShocker – Coming in at number two is another hidden camera viral, only this one is a damn site less fun! We’re all used to seeing disturbing PSA videos by now and the Department of Transport’s drink-driving campaigns have featured some pretty nasty scenarios over the years in an effort to curb drink-driving deaths, but there’s something about the realism of this latest ad that makes it especially shocking.
Created by advertising agency Leo Burnett, the video used hidden cameras set up in the men’s bathroom of a pub to film unsuspecting members of the public entering the toilet. As they approached the mirror they were literally brought face to face with a bloody head as it smashed through the glass, terrifying pub-goers and viewers alike. The hidden cameras perfectly capture the genuine shock and horror of the poor guys on film, adding to the realism of the campaign and making for a remarkably sobering viewing experience.
What makes this video stand out from the many other ads using experiential marketing to raise brand awareness is that it is so strongly focused on creating a negative experience, using horror tactics rather than the usual lighthearted pranks focused on creating a fun, comedic experience for the people involved.
Shock is an excellent sharing trigger for viral content and with #PubLooShocker clocking up close to 6 million views and counting since it was released less than a week ago, it looks like the ad has definitely delivered the kind of impact to get people talking.
Belgian optical illusionist Brusspup has topped the UGC Viral Chart this week with another awesome experiment, this time he’s recreating what is known as the ‘Chladni plate’ test, using a tone generator and a metal plate attached to a speaker to cause randomly scattered grains of sand to form beautiful geometric patterns – pure physics in action! (If you like this be sure to check out his Amazing Water & Sound Experiment, it’s pretty epic!)
Also trending this week; a Detroit radio station unleashed a Ryan Gosling lookalike on the city streets to see how fans reacted – cue lots of screaming, gushing and a few tears; The Philadelphia Orchestra entertained passengers on a delayed flight with an impromptu musical performance; and AsapSCIENCE looks into the physics of dreaming and some pretty amazing studies demonstrating new technology that could be the first step to being able to actually record people’s dreams as they sleep!
Squeak of the Week – This might actually be the most relaxed bunny you will ever see! (don’t worry, he’s not dead, just really, REALLY chilled out!)
For all of the chart news and the full run down of the most shared online videos this week, check out The Drum Viral Video Chart, powered VAN, or follow @JoinVan to stay up to date with the latest industry news and YouTube gossip.