The Viral Con: Ray Ban, Quiksilver, Kobe & Yossi

One of the best things I saw at Stream 09 was a video by Yossi Vardi, the Israeli tech-legend who co-hosts the event with WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell. It’s a spoof of the excellent Kobe Bryant Nike viral and got a big laugh when he showed it on the last night.

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The Kobe video has racked up a few million views so far, with many of them certainly coming as a result of people watching the video more than once, as they try to work out whether it’s been doctored or not. What’s interesting about the video, other than trying to work out whether he really has just jumped over a car, is that it was another example of a type of video that has become more & more popular.

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The video above was an ad that Levis drove viral, showing people supposedly leaping into pairs of jeans. Whilst it’s gained a lot of acclaim, I personally feel that it’s a rather weak imitation of the Ray Ban Never Hide video, which gained huge exposure due to the fact that it seems to show a guy catching sunglasses on his face that are thrown at him as he drives along in a car. What I particularly love about Never Hide is that although there is no sign of any branding, the final shots show the back window of the car with the words ‘never hide’ written on it in dirt. A search for ‘never hide’ at the time the video was released, led you to Ray Ban’s site. Genius.

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Of course these sort of viral cons don’t just have to show people catching things, or jumping into or over them. The people at Quiksilver caused a wave of attention when they released a video which looked like people surfing on a river in a major city, on waves caused by dropping dynamite into the river.

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Despite the fact that all of these videos appear to be manipulated in some way or another, you can create even more impact with something that people don’t believe, but which is actually true. The TFL Do The Test video I worked on whilst at Altogether generated a lot of views because people rewound the video, as they didn’t believe that the two pieces of film shown were one & the same. They were, and that’s probably why it even made it onto network TV in the US. Who said you need to trick the public to cause a stir?

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One comment

  1. Adam

    That’s hilarious. It’s amazing how some ads can become so popular virally over the net. Other viewers simply add to the trend and it becomes a great hit. The best part is that some are not even part of a viral campaign and happened purely by chance.

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