Save The Children scores viral win with shocking ‘one second a day’ awareness video

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

Viral Chart data compiled by the VAN team

Top trending viral ad campaigns:

‘One second a day’ videos have become increasingly popular on YouTube, particularly when it comes to the subject of children and families. They’re a great way to capture the subtle passage of time and offer a window into the lives of others. Of course, when something becomes popular in the UGC sphere it doesn't normally take brands long to jump on the back of the trend. Top of the Viral Chart this week is a hard-hitting campaign from Save The Children, which uses the format to raise awareness of the crisis in Syria. Made by creative agency, Don't Panic, the 90-second ad spot aims to bring the reality of the situation home with a depiction of a war torn London. It follows the life of a little girl from one birthday to the next, documenting the day-by-day impact of the horrors of war as her comfortable existence is shattered and she ends up homeless in a refugee camp.The video ends with the message, “Just because it isn't happening here doesn't mean it isn't happening." It’s a clever way to encourage British viewers to relate to the terrible impact of what's going on across the world. The campaign marks an increasing trend by charities to focus on making the plight of far off countries more tangible by creating situations that viewers can relate to. It follows another PSA called Would you give your jacket to Johannes? from Norwegian children’s charity, SOS-barnebyer. The ad spot topped the Brand Chart just 2 weeks ago with a moving viral video that used hidden cameras to show how passers by would react to the suffering of children if they experienced it first hand.

Also trending this week is a bizarre, yet surprisingly charming ad from US fashion label, Wren. What makes the video so strange? Well, it’s a fashion ad that isn’t really about fashion. In fact there’s barely any focus on the clothes at all. Instead it’s a three and a half minute clip of strangers kissing and it’s already clocked up over 24 million views and counting.The emphasis on the brand is minimal. All the people in the video are wearing Wren clothing, but in a break from the usual fashion campaigns, which use models more or less like living mannequins to show off the outfits, the ad spot focuses on the human interaction. None of the couples knew anything about each other before they met and their reactions when they’re first introduced range from awkward banter to nervous gestures and giggling... then all the kissing begins. It’s cute. It’s cringey. And it’s actually kind of poignant. It’s nice to see a fashion brand think outside the box – cue the copycats!

Ok, I said ‘cue the copycats’ but I wasn’t expecting any brand to be quite so quick off the mark, or to come back with quite such a genius response as Snog Frozen Yogurt has. In fact, this is probably one of the best examples of a brand trend jacking another brand that I’ve seen all year. Why? Well, because it’s not doing what so many other advertisers have done, which is attempt to shoehorn themselves into a viral craze that is totally irrelevant to their product, (not to name names, but Wonderful Pistachios and Abercrombie and Fitch could learn a thing or two here).Using a clever play on words, the frozen yogurt company is a perfect fit for this campaign. First Snog is a smart and humorous pastiche of First Kiss and what makes it even better is that the brand managed to turn the ad around so fast, launching it just 1 day after the original went viral. Serious kudos to Krowd, the agency behind the video.

Top trending UGC and entertainment videos:

If you’ve ever watched Back to the Future, you’ve no doubt dreamt of the creation of a real life hover board (I know I certainly have). It’s the stuff of children’s fantasies and it’s finally here. Engineers at Los Angeles based company, HUVr Tech, have unveiled a brand new, fully functioning hoverboard and it’s AWESOME!The star studded demonstration ad features the likes of pro skater Tony Hawk, Moby and Back to the Future’s very own Christopher Lloyd. It makes for pretty compelling viewing and the video has shot to the top of the UGC chart this week with over 12 million views.

Bet you can’t wait to get your hands on one right? Well, unfortunately you might be waiting a while because sadly the video is a fake, (although I have to admit it’s a pretty damn convincing one). Rumours that it might be an advert for a brand or a clever PR stunt to promote a new film started circulating as soon as the video was launched, but it’s now been revealed that it was actually an elaborate prank from the team at Funny or Die.You can watch Tony Hawk’s behind the scenes video on how the whole thing was made below. But for those of you who are feeling super disappointed right now, there’s still hope - check out this awesome science video of REAL levitation in action. (One day folks, ONE DAY it could be real!)

Also trending this week... Kevin Bacon explains the '80s to millennials in an amusing short video from Mashable; Joseph Gordon-Levitt recreates viral classic David After Dentist for Jimmy Kimmel; and a little 7-year-old girl goes viral with a stunning rendition of Billy Holiday's Gloomy Sunday.

Squeak of the week:

Cat video bombing a yoga session!

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