The Week’s Best Viral Videos & Marketing Lessons: Short Films & Fakes

The Week’s Best Viral Videos & Marketing Lessons: Short Films & Fakes

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It’s that time once again–Friday morning, to be exact–when I provide you with a list of some of the best viral videos I found and read about throughout the week. Some are branded advertisements, some are artistic projects in nature, and of course some are of the usual, funniest-home-video variety. Hopefully you can entertain yourself before you start the work day, and maybe even leave with a nugget of insight or advice.

Let’s not waste any more time.

Short Films

Short films continue to grow as a medium, fueled by the affordable filmmaking technology and the web’s power to connect with audiences. But it’s also growing, in part, because it’s such a flexible format. Short films can work as entertainment, art, advertisement, and even cause-marketing.

In fact, one of my favorite short films that had viral success this week is tied to a nonprofit cause. It’s called A Love Story… In Milk, and it succeeds as adorable entertainment and cause-marketing all at once. Take a look:

The story is the entertainment, and the awareness message is woven in seamlessly… one could almost not exist without the other.

Some short films are just projects born out of personal experience and passion. Like The Accidental Sea, by YouTube user ransriggs, which uses fantastic imagery to tell the story of the real-life Salton Sea:

Short-form documentaries are also on the rise. Like Darren’s Great Big Camera, which tells the story of a man who built a gigantic homemade camera:

Short films allow the creative freedom of feature-length videos–maybe even more so–but also meet the time-length requirement of many of the web’s short-attention spans.


Brands continue flocking to so-called “hoax” videos, usually featuring unbelievable feats. They’re doing it because the controversy surrounding the clip’s authenticity spurs more viral sharing than normal.

Another convincing fake is this unassuming little documentary from Physalia Studio about a 3-D moving sculpture they supposedly built for a festival. It’s as well done as anything I’ve ever seen:

Musical Covers

Lots of musicians are finding YouTube success (and career growth) by covering an existing hit song in a new or unconventional way. Like these two fellows who created this awesome ukulele-based cover of Bizarre Love Triangle:

ThePianoGuys also scored a hit with their cover/mash-up of classical Mozart using a piano (duh) and lots of cello tracks:

Brands Bringing The Funny

I had a lot of laughs this week watching viral videos, and in many cases I have a brand to thank for it. Advertisers are getting better and better about shooting for the kind of entertainment that has an emotional payoff enough to cause viral behavior.

New Era brought us another hilarious baseball-rivalry spot starring Alec Baldwin and John Krazinski:

Sesame Street–no stranger to viral success in their own right–teamed up with Saturday Night Live’s Andy Samburg for a funny interview with Bert. It hit the web yesterday and is already tearing up the charts:


The Xbox Kinect-based “virtual dressing room” is pretty awesome, even if there are still some kinks to work out:

I enjoyed this “Facebook in Real Life” video more than I probably should have:

And it’s practically a crime in my eyes that this video game-related stop motion video using gummi bears still hasn’t hit 200,000 views yet:

Honorable Mention

Even more videos! For those of you who just aren’t ready to tear yourself away from video goodness to get to work:


Video Industry

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