AXE ditch the sexist ads to campaign for a better world!

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

Video trending data curated by the VAN team.

Top trending viral ad campaigns:

Over the years, men’s deodorant brand, AXE, has become famed for some borderline offensive sexist campaigns. Smutty comedy captions and suggestive image macros are a staple part of the company’s marketing strategy. But in some what of a side step from its usual themes, the brand's latest ad spot is attempting to use its influence for the power of good with a global campaign for world peace.

The Super Bowl Ad, produced by BBH London, co-opts the famous slogan, ‘Make love, not war’. Featuring a tongue in cheek pastiche of references from war movies and news footage from notorious conflict zones across the world. Just when the situations look set to erupt into violence, the ad flips on its head, turning into an epic celebration of peace and love. Bomb explosions are replaced with fireworks, soldiers abandon their weapons and run to their wives and everyone starts hugging – awwwww!

The topic of global conflict and warfare perhaps isn’t the first thing you’d associate with an ad for deodorant and bearing in mind the brand’s previous marketing history it could be seen as trivialising some pretty serious world issues. But in an effort to lend weight to the campaign the brand has partnered with global charity, Peace One Day, donating $250,000 to the group and using the #KissForPeace hash tag to promote it across its social media channels.It's a smart way for a brand to get kudos for a noble cause and the idea obviously seems to be working. The video has gone straight to the top of the viral brand chart this week with nearly 3 million views.Also new in the listings, Super Bowl teaser videos are the theme of the week. It looks like simply creating an advert isn’t enough these days. When brands are spending upwards of $4 million for a precious 30 second viewing slot they need to milk their campaigns for all they're worth - cue the invention of adverts advertising adverts!This year Volkswagen has gone in for a montage of pretty much every viral trigger under the sun, from cute puppies, to babies, sexy girls, sports stars, comedy cameos and LOADS more. According to the scientists featured in the 60-second spot, Volkswagen is attempting to demonstrate the precision of German engineering by developing an algorithm to create the perfect Game Day ad. Unfortunately it treads a very fine line between nostalgia and cliché, lacking the sense of intrigue and sophistication we’ve come to expect from the brand that brought us the likes of The Bark Side and The Force. (Lets wait and see if Volkswagen steps up its 'game' on the big day).

We’ve also seen Pepsi release another instalment of its #HalfTime America Super Bowl trailer series, (that’s right folks, not just one but a whole ‘series’ of trailers). This time the brand has teamed up with Lee Brice to whip small town America up into a half-time frenzy. Elsewhere, Toyota as roped in The Muppets in a quick preview for it’s game day adventure; Audi has unveiled a trailer for some kind of mysterious Dog Show; and Bud Light has managed to bag Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Cheadle and Reggie Watts as cameos in what promises to be a pretty elaborate hidden camera prank.So now we've tasted the appetisers, Bring on the Super Bowl!

Top trending UGC and entertainment videos:

Over in the UGC chart it looks like the interweb hit a bit of a time warp this week… apparently not everyone got the message that Wrecking Ball is like soooo 2013! Top of the listings is yet another Miley parody, this time it’s Ron Jeremy swinging around half naked into concrete walls. #YawnSeenIt!

At number 2 is a hilarious hidden camera prank by zombie-loving YouTuber, Nick Santonastasso. The teen, who was born with no legs and only one arm, rose to interweb fame with his series of zombie prank vines last year, making him the perfect candidate to team up with the makers of The Walking Dead and give the crew a taste of their own scary medicine.

Also worth a watch are some hip-hop storm troopers twerking (yep, still in that Miley time warp); an alternative ending to The Desolation of Smaug; and some pretty epic nature footage of a bird attempting to steal a hidden egg-shaped camera, all of which have been going viral this week.

Squeak of the week:

So, when it comes to a basic comparison of cats vs dogs, it's pretty straight forward... dogs are all loving, loyal and desperate to please; whilst cats are all aloof, uncaring and have a general air of evilness about them. Never has this been more apparent than in this hilarious comparison of their teaching techniques! (In all fairness, the kitten got down those stairs much faster!)

Join the #KittenCamp Snackz mailing list for weekly updates on top trending videos and follow @JoinVAN for the latest viral gossip and industry news!Mel Peck

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