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The Viral Video Blog

The team behind the Viral Video Chart examine the latest trending videos and look at what it takes to become a web smash.

Golf goes viral thanks to a hovercraft and Beyonce travels back in time - the week's viral trends dissected

Mel Peck from the Viral Ad Network picks out the best bits from The Drum's Viral Video Chart including the enormous viral appeal of golf star Bubba Watson.

With the 2013 golf Masters now upon us, debate is rife about who this year’s champion might be. Google searches for The Masters increase by nearly 500 per cent in the weeks leading up to the tournament, so it’s the perfect time for brands to champion their sponsorship of the athletes involved.

This week’s viral chart sees sunglasses manufacturer Oakley snatching the top spot with a fun little viral stunt to highlight the brand’s sponsorship of Masters contender Bubba Watson.

These days, simply excelling in a sporting field isn’t enough to launch you into the viral limelight; sporting mega stars work hard to cultivate their celebrity status and Watson is certainly no stranger to the viral scene. The golfing pro got his first taste of YouTube fame when he teamed up with fellow golfers Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan to form the PGA’s exclusive boy band, “Golf Boys”, releasing their first single in 2011 which became an instant internet hit with over 6 million views.

Now Watson and Oakley have partnered up with the creative team at Thinkmodo, (the agency behind the awesome Popinator), to revolutionise the world of golf transportation, replacing the traditional golf buggy with an impressive new hovercraft machine. The so-called ‘BW1′ is designed to float across water hazards, sand traps and virtually any other obstacle a golf course could throw your way, reaching a top speed of about 60mph.

The viral campaign is part of a clever marketing strategy to generate awareness around Oakley as a golf brand and Watson as an Oakley athlete. Being strategically released the week before The Masters got underway on 11 April, the video has already seen over 7 million views and 85 thousand shares. The clip itself is fairly light on Oakley branding which is limited to logos on the vehicle and a few shots of Watson wearing the sunglasses, but the ad has received extensive media coverage championing both Oakley and Watson as the geniuses behind the flying vehicle, causing web traffic to Oakley’s main site to increase by over 40 per cent and Watson himself to gain over 100,000 new Twitter followers.