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Viral videos are one of the Internet’s best entertainment mediums. They teach, impress, and–perhaps most importantly–help you pass the time.
Companies know this. When they commission top international advertising firms to produce Internet videos, they use “going viral” as a measure of success. Marketing videos can help bolster a company’s reputation, increase sales, and foster positive associations in consumers’ minds. Or, as the Microsoft and Nokia videos below prove, they can lack product association, but still be viral.
Here are the best viral marketing videos of 2009–so far. It’s only late October. Companies still have time to release new viral hits. Only time will tell what kind of random and fascinating content will hit the Web next.
Samsung chose to promote its LED TVs using LED lights mounted on…sheep. This sensational video employs skilled shepherds and cameramen to create un-baa-lievable results. Views on YouTube (at time of writing): 9.5 million
Microsoft sponsored this video of Swiss stuntman Bruno Kammerl executing a mind-blowing waterslide jump. Clad only in neoprene, Kammerl flies more than 100 feet into a tiny pool of water. How a waterslide jump relates to Microsoft’s Office Project 2007 is something of a mystery, but that’s just who fronted this flabbergasting fake. Views: 3.6 million
MSI laptops are so lightweight and durable that you can catch them in your buttcrack. At least, that’s what the company proved in its bizarre viral video, featuring young men in spandex hucking laptops into…you guessed it. Views: 2.3 million
What Kids Don’t See
German porn company Beate Uhse advertises its built-in child lock with a video reminiscent of an adult Rorschach test. If you’re curious as to how boobs can morph into a tweety bird, here’s your chance. Views: More than 800,000
Bruce Lee Plays Table Tennis
Ad agency JWT Beijing released this video for the Chinese release of the Nokia N96. The video features Bruce Lee playing ping pong using only a kung fu weapon–and beating his (very capable) opponents. The video is a jaw-dropper, though it’s unclear how it relates to the phone. Views: 600,000+
British company Bensons for Beds filmed mattress factory employees clutching mattresses, then falling like dominoes. The slapstick-style video ends with one employee and his mattress landing on a conveyor belt. A woman jumps into bed with him, and the couple gets loaded onto a Bensons truck. Views: 700,000
How’d He Make That Phone Disappear?
A man filmed this entire video on a new Samsung I8910 HD video phone. Towards the end of the video, he makes the phone he is holding disappear, though it can still make videos. He claims to have used no special effects. It was up to viewers to guess how he’d done it. Views: 1 million
Vanilla Ice Says Sorry
Virgin Mobile Australia released this video of Robert Van Winkle (formerly Vanilla Ice) apologizing for his first album. His apology, which is sincere, covers both his sound and his look. The shock value of this video lies in its uniqueness. Views: 885,000