But which new ads have been gaining eyeballs on the Unruly Viral Video Chart over the last seven days? Which ads have been the talk of the online world this week? Well, here are our 5 choices for you to feast your eyes on.
5. Bud Light, “Up For Whatever”
In 2013, we saw a lot of brands lead unsuspecting civilians through weird and wonderful adventures before dropping the curtain to reveal a crowd of happy revellers. Bud Light’s joyous Super Bowl entry, “Up For Whatever”, takes this sub-genre to its logical extreme by, well, taking pretty much everything about it to its logical extreme.
Whether its a mystery limousine, a llama in an elevator or a party populated exclusively by twins, “Up For Whatever” never even pretends to be a believable ‘prankvert’. In fact, our gung-ho hero seems to be expecting the cry of “You’ve Been Framed!” at every point.
And that’s not even mentioning the celebrity cameos. While we won’t spoil the twists and turns, any ad that includes comedian Reggie Watts as a limo DJ gets the thumbs-up from us.
4. Learn For Life, “Set Yourself Free”
The supposed Public Service Announcement “Set Yourself Free” is tough to describe for a couple reasons. Firstly, because its central joke (and it’s a pretty good one) revolves around a fairly sizable twist.
Secondly, because ‘Learn For Life’ may not actually be a real brand, but rather the brainchild of two cheeky Australian comics.
In either case, the ad begins in the generically upbeat mode of so many others – some teens take a road trip, play the guitar, and occasionally look wistfully out the window. So far, so “coming of age” movie. And then… well, you’ll just to have to see for yourself. But trust us, this home-brewed ad has been shared 625,000 times for a reason. And also it might make you rethink your next beach trip.
3. Coca-Cola, “America Is Beautiful”
One truly dispiriting thing about the Internet is when something totally innocuous becomes the subject of controversy. We saw this last summer when a Cheerios ad featuring a interracial couple was met with a vicious online backlash. Now Coca-Cola has come under similar scrutiny.
The soft drinks brand’s Super Bowl entry “America The Beautiful” has a sweet, simple concept: a montage of charming people and gorgeous landscapes plays over a multilingual version of the patriotic classic “America The Beautiful”. While the message of inclusivity and acceptance is clear, some vocal viewers took issue with the ad’s multicultural themes over Twitter.
2. Diet Mtn Dew, “Dale Call”
While I’ve never been duck hunting myself, it seems like it might get a little dull. I imagine it involves a lot of crouching and wearing Wellies, with very little time allotted for Netflix breaks. Well,
Diet Mtn Dew’s latest spot adds some much needed adrenaline to a tedious bloodsport with the help of a celebrity and a kind of magical flute.
Okay, that might seem like a big pitch for a 30-second ad, but bear with me. The spot, “Dale Call”, finds a couple of deadpan duck hunters comparing their special implements. When one reveals what looks like a cross between Doctor Who’s Sonic Screwdriver and a kazoo, then stock car racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes a baffling appearance out of the long grass.
If that sounds enticing, then congratulations – you have very specific tastes indeed.
1. PBS, “Benedict Cumberbatch and the Sign of Four”
Boy, it’s been a rollercoaster few years for ol’ Benedict Cumberbatch. For a minute there, he was simply Britain’s favorite funnily-named character actor, jumping nimbly from playing Van Gogh to Stephen Hawking. But now having portrayed Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek’s Khan and a really big dragon, he must be looking for his next challenge.
Well, he seems to have found it, and it has frizzy fur and googly eyes. That’s right, Sesame Street’s latest spot features the acting sensation in a tense count-off with a couple of our favorite educational puppets. And while counting some fruit on a table may not be as deductively taxing as The Adventure of the Speckled Band, it’s all for the kids, right?
– Jamie Fraser