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Virals round-up: The advertising industry does the Harlem Shake

By Mel Peck

February 21, 2013 | 4 min read

Mel Peck from the Viral Ad Network dissects The Drum's Viral Video Chart and looks at which brands have trended online over the last seven days

Going straight to the top of the Viral Brand Chart this week is the NIVEA Deo: Stresstest - created by ad agency, Felix & Lamberti, for Nivea Germany. It’s no secret that the inteweb loves a good prank and the brand put unsuspecting airport passengers’ stress levels to the test with an elaborate hoax to convince them that they were wanted for questioning by the police.

Using a covert team, the production crew secretly took passengers mug shots and mocked up fake newspapers and TV broadcasts; watching as subjects grew increasingly more stressed, before sending a team of ‘police’ to reveal what was going on.

Despite being created for the German branch of Nivea, the ad has gone viral worldwide, clocking up over 4 million views and nearly 70 thousand shares and counting.

The Harlem Shake is also trending in the world of advertising this week - it’s been nearly 3 weeks since the original video was first posted online, and the internet’s obsession with the new dance fad is certainly showing no signs of letting up. Of course, brands are never far behind when a new online sensation sweeps across the web and this week’s chart is full of ads from companies using the memes popularity to boost brand awareness, with videos from the likes of Pepsi, Topshop and Sea World being just a few of the Harlem Shake ads to make it into todays listings.

Piggybacking on the popularity of trending viral content is becoming a popular marketing strategy and brands doing it well can benefit from a huge uplift in earned media. We saw a few instances in the viral chart last year, with 4GEE recreating the Fenton viral and Samsung using the Overly Attached Girlfriend meme to promote its products. More recently Abercrombie & Fitch, cashed in on the interwebs love of Call Me Maybe covers and just a couple of weeks back, Wonderful Pistachios teamed up with Gangnam Style’s Psy to bring the world a nutty South Korean rap.Its not just brands jumping on the Harlem Shake bandwagon either, ad agencies all over the world have been churning out their own versions too! The shelf life of the Harlem Shake still remains to be seen, but something tells me we’ll be seeing more of it in the chart over the next few weeks!Moving on to the UGC Chart and unsurprisingly, the world of user generated content is also still being dominated by the Harlem Shake, from New York flash mobs to underwater divers and dancing dogs, even home appliances are getting in on the action!

For all of the chart news and the full run down of top videos on the internet this week, check out The Drum Viral Video Chart, powered by VAN, or follow @JoinVan to stay up to date with the latest industry news and YouTube gossip.


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