Volvo goes viral with eye watering stunt from Van Damme!

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

Video data compiled by the VAN team.

Brand Viral Trends:

Volvo has a history of using elaborate stunts to demonstrate the stability and precision steering of its trucks. We’ve seen a ballerina slacklining between two moving vehicles, bulls stampeding through the streets and a hamster steering a truck around the side of a mountain, (that’s right folks, hamsters DRIVING). Now Jean-Claude Van Damme is getting in on the action, with his impossibly flexible legs, or in the words of the man himself, “a pair of legs engineered to defy the laws of physics”.

The video opens with a close up of the actor’s face as he begins his monologue; ‘I’ve had my ups and downs, my fair share of bumpy roads and heavy winds. That’s what made me what I am today.’ (Deep words Van Damme!) As the camera pans out we see that his feet are actually balanced on the wing mirrors of two Globe Trotter trucks that are gradually driving apart, leaving Van Damme in an eye-watering splits position.

I have no idea how he managed to get down from there, but the PR manager for the brand has insisted that it was 100% real, in fact apparently the stunt was performed in just one take! The video has become an instant viral hit, clocking up an impressive 36 million+ views and triggering a barrage of spoof video responses. My favourite of which has to be the terrifyingly realistic face switch that splices the head of disgraced American Major, Rob Ford, onto Van Damme’s body- #WTF! (There’s also an actual ‘banana split’ remix, which is just sooo bad it deserves a quick mention.)Also trending this week are yet MORE Christmas ad campaigns. The NBA has followed up the success of last year's musical viral hit, Big Colour, with another ode to a festive classic. This time the guys are shooting balls into baskets lined with bells to create Jingle Hoops or Jingle Bells to you and me. Keeping with the theme, Kmart has also released its own version of the holiday song. Only instead of sports players dunking hoops, it’s a group of semi-naked hunky models shaking their, uuum, Christmas ‘balls’ to the music!

Sainsburys also deserves some serious kudos this week for its awesome crowd sourced Christmas campaign. We’ve already established that John Lewis has stolen the festive advertising crown this year with its beautiful animated tale The Bear and The Hare. But with supermarkets being notorious for producing cheesy holiday videos featuring perfect families sitting around dinner tables, the prize for most original approach to Christmas marketing has to go to Sainsburys.Directed by Kevin Macdonald, the genius behind the awesome Life in a Day, which spliced together footage uploaded by hundreds of different people around the globe, this latest video could be described as a sequel of sorts. Sainsburys has taken genuine UGC clips from families across the UK to produce a campaign intended to create a REAL sense of what Christmas means to the British public. So far we’ve only been able to view trailer footage, but a full 50 minute film is due to be uploaded to YouTube at the end of the month, so watch this space!

UGC Viral Trends:

Now, personally I find the experience of mindlessly wondering through the isles of IKEA, admiring the vast array of attractive storage solutions and tea lights, pleasantly relaxing. But apparently for many, the store represents a desolate, dangerous vacuum, a bit like being lost in outer space. That’s the concept behind Amateur film maker, Daniel Hubbard’s, hilarious spoof take on Alfonso Cuarón's hit blockbuster, Gravity, which has been going viral this week.Here's the synopsis... A young couple get separated whilst shopping in a local IKEA, panic sets in… Will they ever manage to find their way out of the store? Will they ever be reunited? Will they succeed in getting all the things on their list before the shop closes? It's actually a pretty funny parody, but if you suffer from Ikeaphobia, look away now!

Also trending in the UGC sphere this week: Cute newborn twins... they’re only a few days old and already they’ve achieved the kind of interweb fame that most reality TV stars could only dream of, and for what? Well, just hanging out in the bath and having a little cuddle by the looks of it - over 11 million views and counting, the viral power of babies strikes again!

Elsewhere; Sesame Street has released a fun parody of The Hunger Games; Epic Rap Battles pitches Bob Ross against Pablo Picasso and Chris Hadfield gives us an astronaut's guide to Movember.Squeak of the Week: For today's dose of cute I bring you…. puppies learning how to howl! (There’s also a bonus video of a snoring duckling – just because).

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