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Viral Chart highlights: Advertisers can't get enough of animals

By Mel Peck

March 29, 2013 | 6 min read

Mel Peck from the Viral Ad Network picks out the best bits from The Drum's Viral Video Chart and takes a look at the rise and rise of animals in advertising.

The Pepsi Max test drive stunt is still hanging on to the top spot in the viral chart this week, followed at number two by Celebrating #Twitter7. Believe it or not, the social network is celebrating its 7th birthday this month and to mark the anniversary the site has released a video tribute to chronicle the history of its development, from the first tweet to the first hashtag.

Another notable new entry in the listings this week comes from Mountain Dew, in the form of a bizarre ad spot starring a rather nasty fictional goat named Felicia.

Produced by ad agency BBDO and directed by Tyler Haley, (member of up coming LA rap group Odd Future), the trippy video features a crazy goat having a heated argument with a waitress before downing a bottle of Mountain Dew and storming out of a restaurant – it’s pretty random!

Recently the viral chart has been flooded with videos from advertisers using animal ambassadors to promote their brand. This month alone we’ve seen both Three Mobile and Old Spice launch hugely successful animal fronted campaigns, and Mountain Dew is the latest in a long list of marketers to jump on the bandwagon. But it looks like there’s a clear four-legged favourite that’s been stealing the interweb’s heart lately and it’s not what you might think – could the days of kittens ruling the web be over? Well, not likely, but goats have become strong new contenders on the viral scene!The trend started earlier this year when YouTubers spotted the fact that bleating goats can sound remarkably similar to people screaming and the Goats Yelling Like Humans meme was born, quickly followed by Humans Yelling Like Goats Yelling Like Humans! From there things took off pretty quickly and the interweb found all kinds of ways to mash-up footage of noisy goats into YouTube videos, one of the most popular being to splice clips of the yelling animals into the choruses of pop songs.We took a quick look at the new YouTube search feature that’s now available in Google Trends to see what videos web users have been looking for lately – check out that blue line…
Yep, that’s right, at one-point goats even kicked our fluffy feline friends off the top of the most searched for animals list!It’s good to see brands being quick off the mark to react to trending internet culture, and keeping an eye on what’s popular online can provide invaluable insight for marketers when planning viral campaigns. Mountain Dew isn’t the only brand to cash in on the world's newfound love of goats either – both Doritos and Frys have also used screaming goats in recent commercials.Rumour has it that this isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of Felicia, so watch this space for more antics from Mountain Dew’s new psychotic goat star!Over to the UCG chart and it looks like there’s a new suburban celeb on the viral scene! Local news interviews are a great source of fodder for memes and we’ve seen them turn all manner of unlikely members of the public into overnight viral sensations. Remember Antoine Dodson and his infamous Bed Intruder rant, or more recently, the hilarious Sweet Brown or Kai, the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker?Last week Michelle Clark (a resident from a storm-affected neighbourhood in Houston), was interviewed by a local news station about her reaction to the crazy hailstone shower. Cue an enthusiastic rant, some overly animated gesturing and a few classic lines like: Man, those chunkers were big… KABOOYA! KABOOYA! The interview instantly went viral, already clocking up over 7 million views and triggering a string of parody mash-ups.

Also trending this week: Babe Ruth and Lance Armstrong fight it out in another Epic Rap Battle; ASAP Science teach us why using the snooze button on your alarm clock is BAD; and Mental Floss is back with more pearls of wisdom for your brain.For all of the chart news and the full rundown 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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