Viral trends: Tyson preserved Holyfield’s ear and returned it after 16 years

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:

When Mike Tyson caused a sporting scandal by biting off half of Evander Holyfield’s ear back in 1997, I bet nobody ever imagined that he would have kept it preserved in formaldehyde, only to return it in a gift box 16 years later!Well, it looks like Tyson is finally making amends. In the latest Foot Locker ad from BBDO, New York, the former heavy weight champion turns up at Holyfield’s door with a neatly wrapped package in hand. “I’m sorry Evander,” he says, as he hands over the box, “ it’s your ear.”Ok, so it turns out the whole thing is just a fantasy of NBA baller Kyrie Irving, who’s dreaming about how Foot Locker’s Week of Greatness campaign could make the world a better place, but it actually makes for quite an amusing little ad spot. Other cameos include Dennis Rodman getting a one-way ticket to North Korea, (to the applause of fellow airport passengers) and Brett Favre, (famously known for repeatedly quitting and returning to football), leaving a half finished meal and declaring that he finally knows when to walk away. The ad has clocked up over 5.5 million and counting, shooting to the top of this week’s viral chart.

Now, whether or not you’re participating in Movember, you can’t help but notice the increasing volume of hair on the faces of those around you at this time of year. As the end of the month draws near, and men around the world begin to lament the impending pressure to do away with their new fluffy lip companion, German shaving brand, Harry’s, has declared a special holiday in their honour – National Shave Day (Dec 1st).The company has teamed up with New York agency, Droga5, to celebrate the efforts of everyone who took part in the charity awareness campaign by releasing limited edition razors to participating fundraisers. There’s also a dedicated National Shave Day microsite and Harry’s has partnered with 100’s of barber shops across the US to offer free shaves on December 1st.It’s a pretty smart way for a brand to cash in on a viral trend that’s been sweeping the nation. Plus, the ad itself is actually really fun to watch, with the mustachioed hero reliving his newfound sense of manliness as he prepares for the big shave. It’s nice to see a small company coming up with a quirky angle to stand out from the crowd!

Also trending this week… Alexander Meerkat and the family are back, celebrating one year of Compare The Market’s sponsorship of Coronation St with a special street party and a sing along with Garry Barlow; Unilever has released an emotionally charged campaign about what it really means to bring a child into the world as part of its new global sustainability initiative; and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary delivers a message from some of Instagram’s favourite pets.

UGC Viral Trends:

The internet loves a good old story of survival against the odds, especially if it involves babies or small animals. So when American filmmaker Benjamin Miller decided to create a heartwarming documentary about his premature son’s miraculous fight to survive, it was a viral time bomb waiting to happen.Born 15 weeks early, weighing only 15 pounds, little Ward spent the first three and a half months of his life in hospital, with doctors unsure if he would live. Miller documented the whole experience, from the first time his wife held their tiny son, to their arrival home and the first year of his life as he grew into a healthy, bouncing little baby. Sure enough, just a couple of days after the video went live, it already has nearly 6 million views.

When Kanye West’s video for Bound 2 came out earlier this month it was just a matter of time before the parody videos started rolling in. (If you haven’t watched it yet, no words can quite do it justice, you simply have to see it with your own eyes!) We were expecting some viral gems but James Franco and Seth Rogen’s comedy take is classic. There’s really only one word for it – WTF!!!

Elsewhere in the UGC Chart… Gavin McInnes has some tips on how to win a fight with a baby, Dr Who takes on Batman at the Super Hero Café and Kid President has more inspiring words of wisdom for the nation.

Squeak of the week:

Question - Is it possible to watch too many videos of cats adopting baby ducklings? Answer – Nooooooooo!

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