patrick hughes: signs.

So I’m a little behind the curve on this one, because it’s already topped one million YouTube views, but I just found it. And it’s cute. Really cute. The perfect balance of cute that girls will swoon and guys won’t feel emasculated for feeling its undeniable cuteness. 


Directed by @RadicalMedia’s Patrick Hughes for the Schweppes Short Film Festival, this is some high-end classy ass online marketing. Sure, it’s for Schweppes  – no denying that – but it’s just so… cute! If you’re going to pretend to put on your own film festival, it either has to be so grassroots amateur grimy that people thing real people did it or it has to be like this: beautifully shot, nicely soundtracked, and emotionally impactful.

This is a quality little short – and it mostly made me believe that maybe Schweppes is a brand that creates art for the sake of art and not for promotion… until I saw the fucking product shot at 6:30. WTF? Why? WHY?? It totally pulled me out of the story. It’s like everyone at the table totally got what was going on, but then there was one old dinosaur Marketing VP who insisted there be a product shot. If they thought they could sneak it in there with nobody calling cheese, they were wrong. 

But it’s so cute, I forgive them.

ray ban + never hide: super chameleon.


I like the way Ray Ban is doing viral. They’re being fairly transparent about it; through their Never Hide Films they’re not trying to outright mask who they are but they’re also not veiling it so thinly that they come off as ignorant of how viral works. There’s nothing worse than a “viral vid” that ends with a button shot on the logo. Then it’s just an ad that someone’s put online. Although it’s an ad trying to cloak itself into something the company clearly doesn’t understand, and that’s just brutally, horrifically lame.

For Ray Ban the whole thing is mostly working: that vid of the guy flipping sunglasses onto his face has got about 4 million YouTube hits and the vid of the cow giving birth to a dude got 1.8 million. Although, when they tried to go a bit more high budget with their lame-ass vid of the guy with the 13-scoop ice cream cone it was total fail (read: 12,000 hits), so there’s always room for a little improvement.

Their latest vid, “Super Chameleon”, is right up my alley. If for no other reason than it stars nature’s most awesome reptile – the chameleon. It’s alive and it changes colours. You don’t need anything else, people. If shape+colour had a reptilian mascot, it would be a chameleon. Hopefully it would be this chameleon, cause he’s obviously into electro…


Thanks to Abby at Current for the tip

cbc + the accident factory: macs vs. pcs.

So, I’ll be honest, I don’t know what the fuck is going on here. At first it’s not so confusing: we’ve got Macs, we’ve got PCs, we’ve got “West Side Story”, and we’ve got “Dawn of the Dead.” It’s almost Hallowe’en, they’re hoping this shit goes viral (and I’m blogging it, so I’m contributing to its viral-ness.) Got it. Then I realized that it’s commissioned by the CBC, and that’s where I’m lost.

For those of you who don’t know, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is a media dinosaur; generally dull and plodding and slow-moving and about as hip as trucker hats. But it’s Canadian and it’s ours and Canadians love anything that’s been around for 100 years and we’re not about to do something crazy like criticize it. Like the monarchy; we simply don’t question it.  It’s a very Canadian thing to secretly believe that any kind of major change will lead to the downfall of our society. It’s possible that universal healthcare is somehow based on the existence of the CBC, so let’s not rock the boat. We like to keep on keepin’ on.

For a general example of how quick the CBC is to trend-spot, they’ve recently discovered… reality television! Basically they like to wait until something becomes really popular everywhere else, wait a few more years so that it can start to become unpopular, and then do a not-quite-as-good version of what’s now almost throughly unpopular… and somehow hope it becomes popular again.  I imagine a bunch of men, scratching their heads, sitting around a boardroom wondering to themselves “what will those whacky kids do next?” So, the fact that they managed to catch on to something culturally current while it’s still actually culturally current is a little mind-blowing. If they can make it a trend, good for them. I won’t hold my breath though.

Also, since the CBC is publically-funded, that means my taxes have somehow funded the making of this vid. And, thus, I’ve given myself a producer credit. See below…

(Agency: The Accident Factory. Director: Kirby Ferguson. Tax-Based Public Partial Producer: Jeremy Elder and all other tax-paying citizens of Canada.)

Via Wired

diesel + the viral factory: sfw xxx.

This is fucking amazing. Literally. Please… just watch it. Watch it right now.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(Agency: The Viral Factory. Animation: Big Animal.)

The original idea of a site called SFW Porn, which takes some (seriously nasty) XXX pics and pixellates clothes onto the porn stars, The Viral Factory and director Keith Schofield take the same idea onto film for the build-up to Diesel’s globe-hopping 17 city 30th anniversary, Diesel XXX.

I think my fave part is the corn eating. That, or the chick “spinning” on the turntables. What’s yours?

This shit is going to spread like wildfire, so start sending it around now. Viral brilliance everywhere.

Thanks to Jason for the tip.

stanley wong + tyler russel: pac-man the movie.

I stumbled on this randomly on YouTube today. It’s destined for viral greatness. This is what I love about user-generated content on the web. Real fans of real stuff who can create what they want and send that little baby into the world for everyone to see. What did people do before YouTube? I honestly don’t remember. I guess I went outside and talked to people… or something like that.

Described as “the twisted tale of four ghosts trapped in a maze while being stalked by a giant yellow monster”, they cleverly flip the hero of the story from Pac-Man to the ghosts and then throw in all of those action/horror movie clichés we’ve come to love and groan at.  We’ve got the mentally unstable screaming guy, the crying girl who just doesn’t understand why this is all happening to her, the surprise attack from behind right after guy has made speech declaring they’ve all survive, and slow-mo heroic death sequence set to a John Williams-esque aching strings and piano score. Give these guys 100 million dollars and they’d have just about every Michael Bay movie you’ve ever seen. Themeatically, they’ve got this shit locked down.

They key to its success is how earnest they are. Any sort of wink wink nudge nudge that they’re in on the joke would totally kill it. It’s not a lampoon, it’s a tribute. The result is ballsy, totally entertaining, and filled with an energy that could only be injected by people who are 110% into putting their vision on film. Plus, it takes some real commitment to be this into your character while wearing plastic table cloths. 

I say brilliant. I can’t wait to see what they get up to next.

marmite: hate/love.

Every country and culture has one of those inherent tastes you grow to love. The kind of social oddities that bind certain groups together while simultaneously disgusting the rest of the world. It’s kind of like the secret handshake to your national culture club. Then you can go backpacking to some other country and give a little nudge nudge wink wink to a fellow national as you hash out the difference between Pop and Soda (by the way, in the Southern US they call all flavours of pop “Coke”. How’s that for being top of mind?), or the great Canadian/American dilemma: Macaroni & Cheese vs. Kraft Dinner.

If you’re British, you’ve got Marmite. The non-British hatred and mockery of Marmite is so universally stereotypical that I feel like a boring wannabe for getting on the bandwagon. I like to think of myself as a little more worldly and open-minded, with the discerning palette to match. And so I tried Marmite once. Upon tasting Marmite, there is one very immediate, logical, and overwhelming conslusion: Marmite absolutely tastes like a yeast infection. There’s no other way to imagine it. It’s heinous almost beyond words. Even the little jars it comes in look nasty:

If you’re Australian, then you’ve got Marmite’s evil twin, Vegemite. Never say never, and maybe I’ll be totally loaded in Australia one day and throw caution to the wind, but based on my Marmite experience I can fairly safely say I would need to be water-boarded for several hours before I’d even consider trying Vegemite.

If you’re Canadian, then you’re likely all too familiar with the pure liquid evil that is Buckley’s Mixture. Famous for its brilliant tag line “It tastes awful. And it works.”, your first time drinking Buckley’s is a physical and mental experience akin to losing your virginity or getting waxed for the first time. It’s simply something you don’t forget. That’s how overwhelmingly vile it is. If you haven’t tried it, it boasts a consistency and flavour similar to what could really only be described as salted, mentholated snot. Or, let’s all be honest, semen.

Both brands have taken the perfect angle of not fighting against their inherent grossness, but instead capitalizing on it. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. In their latest print campaign from DDB London, Marmite has created a series of posters where each image is a play on either loving Marmite or hating it. You can check out the full series here, but this one is my favourite:

Officially, it’s supposed to be a play on either putting a Marmite rice cake either into your mouth or into a garbage can. I’m pretty sure that nobody at DDB London missed the fact that what it really looks like is pulling a Marmite rice cake out of someone’s ass. Or, if that’s your sort of thing, putting it in someone’s ass. Which is appropriate, because ass is pretty much what Marmite tastes like.

As for Buckley’s, they recently knocked it out of the park with a viral and TV campaign showing the iconic “blind taste test” where people couldn’t tell the difference between Buckley’s and a host of other disgusting fluids, my personal favourite being “Buckley’s vs. Spring Break Hot Tub Water”:

Other highlights include Used Mouthwash, Snail Trail, Trash Bag Leakage, and the terrifyingly vague “Public Restroom Puddle”. Ah, the subtlety.

gap: sound of color.

I don’t know if this could really be called a genuine viral, since everybody knew it was happening and that it’s sponsored by Gap. I mean, most virals don’t have a Billboard press release. And by “many”, I really mean “none”. I’m pretty sure the genesis of this project was a bunch of old men wearing ties in a boardroom somewhere, scratching their wallets and asking “what are the cool kids doing these days? we need to move some khakis…”

Despite the sort of desperate-to-be-cool bandwagon-jumping vibe of the whole deal (not too surprising since Gap makes the most world’s most boring, middle of the road clothes), the colour freak in me can’t help but love this site. Plus the musicians they’ve got on board are sick. I tried not to like it, but c’mon, it’s called Sound of Color. It’s right up my alley…


Exploring music inspired the by the mood of color, 5 musicians – Marié Digby (songwriter of the 2007 song of summer “Umbrella”), Dntel, The Ravonettes, The Blakes, and Swizz Beatz – were given a color – red, yellow, green, blue, and black – and asked to write 5 songs about it. Then those tracks were given to 5 video directors. The end result is five original songs and videos, all inspired by the universal language of colour.


The site is beautiful and really seamless. Each colour gives you the song, the video, an interview with the artist, their bio, and a making-of. Plus you can download the tracks for free until March 15th and check out dozens of colour-facts about each hue. Cleopatra wore green to symbolize victory and all that stuff. I love that shit.

virgin mobile: go jesus. it’s your birfday.

I think most people can reasonably agree that all the “happy holiday” political correctness is basically annoying. Christmahanakwaanzakah is a cute buzz solution, but nobody’s really buying it. In this gloriously un-PC viral, Virgin Mobile Canada finally takes the plunge and calls a spade a spade. It’s called Christmas. It’s when Jesus was born… and we’re gonna sip Bacardi like it’s his birthday.

(Agency: zig Toronto)


burger king: whopper freakout.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky continues it’s viral brilliance for Burger King with Whopper Freakout. Basically, they took over a BK for a day and told people that the Whopper had been discontinued: fake newspapers reporters, big black Xs on the menu boards and all. Hidden cameras catch the stunned, the speechless, and the mentally unstable go ape shit as they try to come with the mind-bending realization that the Whopper is no longer.

Not only is it entertaining, but when finally the poor transfatties are let in on the joke and are reunited with their Whoppers, the looks of relief and pure joy on their faces are probably the most heartfelt advertising a fast food burger could hope to get.

People are going to debate if this is fake or not, which is precisely one of the points of it. Get people talking. If it is fake, then these are some of the most brilliant improvisational actors ever. If it’s real, then equally awesome. Either way this will spread like wildfire so BK and CP+B are winners all.


harvey nichols: they shoot models, don’t they?

This viral didn’t turn out to actually be about what I thought it was about. Watch it first, then read on…

(Agency: DDB London)

See what I mean? I thought we were watching some sort of PSA-ish comment on the ruthlessness of the fashion industry / anorexia / kate moss / marginalization of women with the whole mental flip-flop of “if we wouldn’t do this to an animal, we shouldn’t do it to Gisele” thrown in. Maybe a bit odd coming from a department store, but every market has the right to ride the consumer awareness wave now and then.

But after digging deeper on the Harvey Nichols site, it turns out the whole Foodmarket AW07 catwalk thing is really to sell gourmet foods online. For real. Like “Gloucester Old Spot Pork Sausage” made with Amalfi Coast Lemons.

In the end, we’re openly acknowledging that the models are animals and the glamour of fashion is being used to encourage us to buy meat made from the Ostrich/Naomi Campbell that we killed once she finished her last walk. We’re not turning the models into false icons of unattainable feminine perfection… we’re turning them into sausage.

This makes me feel totally weird. I’ve spent some time thinking about it and I’ve decided I don’t like this spot. Which is completely beside the point, because I’ve now expended so much energy thinking about it and Harvey Nichols that I’ve proven how wildly effective this viral really is. Damn them…

Via Adverblog