Swearing and shagging? It must be a viral

It’s almost as if a time machine has whisked us back to the heady days of, oh, 2005ish. That’s when the good old video viral ad was at its height. I used to run a secret area on our company intranet where all the latest noteworthy virals would earn a short run. Around 2006 there were fewer and fewer good ones, and I closed the secret site because of the severe lack of quality.

“Quality” is subjective. Remember that this was before social networks and YouTube took off, so the majority of video virals had to be good enough for people to be willing to email chunky attachments to each other. Controversy gave the viral its fuel and longevity.

The following three examples are current and come from the 2005 drawer. They’re not particularly artistic or outstanding, but have that cheesily slapdash quality typical of the genre. Now they live on YouTube, where they can exist for far longer while their creators promote them via social networks, blogs and (of course) email.

The Greenpeace viral is ridiculously inept, but is just about safe enough for work (with the sound down). The message is confusing, combining shagging with saving the forests. This, at a time when overpopulation threatens the ecosystem.

Guinness claim this one’s not official, and are set against it. Oh sure, like the protest isn’t going to generate more interest, eh? Anyway, the product is not one that’s normally associated with sharing, as suggested here.

And here’s a good example of an obscure brand punching above its weight by employing a little star quality.


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Self-important bit

I’m Victor Houghton, a, er... something or other in one of the UK’s largest advertising agencies. My job title has a comma in it, which is embarrassing. I’m the chief finder-things-outer with a splash of trends who is lucky to work with all the major functions of the agency, even though I am most closely associated with strategic planning. Everything in this blog has most probably been stolen from other, infinitely more talented people, although the opinions are most definitely my own and not those of the agency.

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