Samsung, John Lewis and SmartWater among hottest social video campaigns of the week
Compiled by Liana Birkett, Andy Scofield and David Waterhouse
A pregnant Jennifer Aniston, an Apple-baiting Samsung ad and something fishy going on in a taxi. Yep, it's just another week in Adland.
But which new ads have been setting the Viral Video Chart alight over the last seven days? Which ads have been the talk of the online world this week?
Well, here are our five picks:
5. SmartWater: The Jennifer Aniston Security Tapes
'EXCLUSIVE: Stolen Security Footage from Jennifer Aniston's house', reads the caption. No wonder people got over-excited.
The video is, in fact, an ad charading as real security camera footage. It opens with a newsreader announcing the 'shocking revelations'.
Cutting to the footage, it firstly features Aniston crashing her brand new sportscar into the garage. She gets out the car, claiming she 'forgot her Smartwater'. From this point, Jen-fans start breathing again and are reassured that it definitely is an ad.
The ad gets more ridiculous by the second. We witness her releasing her pregnant-with-triplets belly from a stomach restrainer, removing her 'Rachel wig' and telling off her secret children. One of the kids is an alien, and the other is American TV host Jimmy Kimmel, who has a tantrum, whining that Jen is 'bashamed' of him.
Gullible viewers are reminded throughout that it's just an advert with the ever-present Smartwater. Particularly when she is having her pool filled with the product. The highlight of the video has to be when she wishes 'Rachel' goodnight in the mirror.
This is a classic example of a brand relying on the ad being a talking point and being shared, rather than actually promoting the features of the product itself. Smartwater has worked with Jennifer Aniston in the past. Her last ad focused on taking the mick about viral videos by incorporating ALL of the key attributes of famous past viral videos.
The clever ad closes with Smartwater's tagline 'even more refreshing than the truth'. It shows that Jen has a sense of humour and is ultimately making fun of celebrity rumour mills. Let's hope none of its true, Jen, otherwise I think your new fiancé, Justin Theroux, may have a thing or two to say...
4. Fresh Step: The Rotten Fish Taxi Prank
You are walking through the city and a taxi pulls up and offers you a lift completely free of charge. Anyone who's ever seen a horror movie knows something unpleasant awaits. But rather than brutally disemboweling the unwitting passengers, this video instead uses them to advertise cat litter.
Fresh Step cat litter claims to be able to cope with the rankest odours your beloved kitty could ever produce. But what if your kitty has a thing for bucketfuls of rotting fish?
As passengers get into the cab, their nostrils are assaulted by a nauseating wave of a seriously stinky fishy stench. The driver is keeping a box of very ripe freshwater fish just behind the passenger seat.
Everyone who steps into the cab immediately reacts. Some pull up their noses, some cry "pew, urgh", and some begin to violently retch. There are a few who try to politely ignore the smell while their eyes water and their stomachs churn.
Before the audience can start gagging too, the cabbie pulls over and covers the fetid fish with Fresh Step.
Customers who get into the cab have no idea that they are sat just inches away from putrefying flesh.
And when the passengers do find the boxful of icky carcasses, they are happy to touch, sniff and play with them. It looks like Fresh Step does it all it says it can.
The commercial is put together by Conscious Minds, the agency who used hidden cameras to capture terror on the face of unsuspecting men in this ad for Pine Sol.
It's a great idea and a brilliant product demonstration, but mostly this ad is about watching people's hilarious reactions to a truly unpleasant smell.
3. St John Ambulance: Helpless
Everyone has gaps in their knowledge. Things we should know, or once knew, but that somehow manages to evade us when when need it most. But much more useful than the history of British kings and queens or GCSE French, first aid is something we can't afford not to know.
This ad for St. John Ambulance pulls no punches in making this clear. Helpless follows one man's life through his battle with cancer.
We see his diagnosis, his body withered by punishing rounds of chemotherapy, the sleepless nights and the days spent in agony.
But the treatment works. He survives and begins his life anew, milking the most out of every day. He catches up with friends, spends time with his daughter and takes up running. It's now, after all he's been through that he loses his fight for life.
It's not the cancer that kills him. It's a summer's barbecue. As he enjoys a burger in the sun, he chokes.
He lays on the grass, gasping for breath as his loved ones panic around him, not knowing how to help him. His wife and daughter watch helplessly as he dies in front of them.
The hard-hitting ad, by BBH, dramatically illustrates that 140,000 people a year die when the most basic of first aid could save them. That's the same number of people that fall victim to cancer every year.
2. John Lewis: Never Knowingly Undersold
There are some brands which have a long, proud history that they want to show off. But how do they do that without appearing old-fashioned? A time-travelling tale of troubled love, that's how.
The latest ad for department store John Lewis stars a couple of younger lovers who share a whirlwind romance, despite being separated by 87 years of history.
He lives in the modern world, surrounded by hi-tech gadgets, 3D movies and coffee shops. She lives in 1925, a world of horse-drawn carriages, gramophones and where she can't vote until she's 30. It's also the same year John Lewis launched its price promise: never knowingly undersold.
Thanks to some hole in the space time continuum and split-screen film trickery, the couple go on dates and fall madly in love. She is always on the left of the screen, surrounded by her 1920's world, while he stays on the right with his computers and modern art.
The whole story is serenaded by Paloma Faith, singing INXS's ballad Never Tear Us Apart. Sadly her mellow crooning isn't enough to guarantee a happy ending. Oddly, it's not the closing of a wormhole or even the massive age gap that threatens happiness.
After a quick, timeless argument and an apologetic email in reply to a carefully penned letter, the couple make amends, reuniting outside the swanky coffee shop/tea room in which they first met. Probably to live happily-ever-after, even though their children would end up as old as his grandfather.
Put together by Adam&Eve/DDB, the clip has garnered nearly 51,000 views in just two days. The ad's timeless tale and haunting sound track have helped to drive over 8,400 shares.
This is a beautifully shot ad that really is quite moving. Though there is one thing we can't get over, he wrote her an email to apologise. How was she ever going to read that in 1925?
1. Samsung: The Next Big Thing Is Already Here
Forget the iPhone 5, the 'next best thing is already here', at least according to a new Samsung ad for the Galaxy S3. In the wake of the release of the latest iPhone, Apple's main competitors have taken the opportunity to mock their rival's customers. Now, now, children. Let's rise above this name-calling.
The ad cuts between different US cities, where queues of (presumably) iPhone junkies are waiting patiently for the release of the highly-demanded new handset. We overhear comments about the rumours they have heard.
"The headphone jack is going to be on the bottom!" a young man exclaims, signalling that his mind has been blown. "They're saying this phone is going to be like a precious jewel", another announces.
Then they notice an intruder... a Samsung user. They ask him if the Samsung didn't work out for him. But he says that there was no problem with his 'extremely awesome' Samsung, he is just saving a place for someone. That someone turns out to be his fairly elderly parents. Awkward.
Samsung user upon Samsung user appear and show off the new model's latest features - a bigger screen, data-sharing by touching phones and a 4G connection. But you have to wonder what they are all doing hanging out outside the Apple store.
The clip closes with the tagline 'The Next Big Thing Is Already Here'. Let's hope Apple don't retaliate. Just remember kids, sticks and stones may break your bones...