This week we have one of the most eclectic viral video round ups we’ve ever assembled, with animation and incredible high-definition action, and everything in between. It was also a great week for branded video campaigns, with some of the most inventive and clever viral video ads I’ve seen in a long time. So find yourself a few minutes, sit back, and catch up on the week that was with the week’s best viral videos and video marketing lessons.

Videos Of The Week

Of all the viral videos we saw this week, a few stood out above the rest for their impact or overall quality. If you’re really pressed for time (and I hope you aren’t, because there are plenty of great videos below), these are the best of the best.

Teague Labs scored a huge hit this week with an inventive work called Video Game In A Box. It is exactly what it says it is, and it’s pretty impressive:

Mario is always a trusted ally when looking for something to hook the audience, and has helped this video pull in over 600,000 views in its first seven days.

Another trusted ally in viral video marketing is slow-motion, particularly when its HD. And this week there were two outstanding examples of high-definition slow-motion worthy of attention. The first is from Melbourne design studio, Betty Wants In. they shot some unbelievable basejumping footage using the increasingly popular Go Pro camera. Check it out:

What happens when you take the world of paintball, combine it with the visual style of Call of Duty, and shoot it all in glorious high-speed HD video? Only one of the coolest videos I’ve seen in months:

The video that made me laugh the most this week? That would have to be from Ojai Valley Taxidermy. Just watch it and enjoy, and then we’ll tell you more about it in a moment:

Pretty funny right? And it makes sense, considering it came from the minds of YouTube veterans Rhett & Link, as part of their IFC reality series, Commercial Kings. For the show, the duo travels to small towns, dreaming up and creating amazing (and amazingly bad, sometimes) local commercials for odd businesses.

Clever Brands

Brands continue to impress me. It’s easy for me to view big corporations and major companies as being full of stuffy old-school marketers who are set in their ways… and maybe that kind of thing still exists. But I’m genuinely surprised to see such continued ingenuity and inventiveness in branded online video.

Slow-motion must be an accidental theme this week, because Beneful–the dog food brand–used the technique perfectly in a video that went online a week ago but started popping up in places like The Daily What and Devour just two days ago:

Motor Trend went right for the car junkie jugular this week by assembling eleven of the world’s most elite sports cars for the mother of all drag races. If you like fast cars, you will like this video:

I can’t wrap up our section on branded viral videos without mentioning Big Cat Rescue. They’ve scored several viral hits over the last couple years, like Do Tigers Like Catnip. This week, they decided to take the domestic cat’s love of chasing laser pointers and see if big cats would react the same way:

Human Drama

Sometimes you don’t need actors, or even a script. Sometimes life itself provides all the drama your video might need.

One of the most buzzed-about videos of the week involves a dramatic real life rescue, as several strangers and passersby work together to push a burning car off of a motorcyclist trapped underneath:

Did you have big dreams when you were a teenager? Hopes for stardom or success? If so, I hope your mother was slightly more gentle in telling you about how the real world works than this poor kid’s mother:

Maybe one of the best strategies for capturing human “drama” on film is to simply turn a webcam on your grandparents:

Grab Bag

Some videos take some time before they find the right audience. Like this clip of an amazing water fountain, which went online in April but only rocketed to viral status this week when it was picked up by Gizmodo and Reddit:

Just when you think performance-art group, Improv Everywhere, has run out of ideas, they come up with something wacky and new, like a black-tie beach party:

I can’t even juggle with my hands, let alone my feet. So I was understandably impressed by this video:

I’ve never been to Greece, but I’ve always imagined it in miniature. Thanks to Cute Creta, and the wonderful tilt-shift effect, now I can see it that way for real… sort of:

Honorable Mention

For those of you with a few more minutes to spare, and an endless appetite for video, here are a few more: