I always send various videos that I collect throughout the week for this column to friends and family, and it usually gives me a pretty good indication of whether or not the column has a good cross-section of different video types and tones. And this week, one video stood tall above all the others as a universal crowd pleaser--but you'll have to read on to find out which one it is.

Gifted & Talented

There have been a great many online videos about our current president. This is probably my favorite Obama-related online video ever:

A year or so ago I shared a video in this column of a trio of talented musician children, led by the meanest banjo player I've ever seen. The kids have continued growing in popularity--even appearing on Letterman--and had another viral hit this week with some more great finger pickin':

If I could sing well enough, I would definitely pursue a career as one of those guys that makes acapella recordings of famous songs... like this incredible Simpsons theme song:

Branded Video Goodness

Brands are growing increasingly interested in creating content, as opposed to traditional ads. They want their video to be the destination content, not just a promo tacked onto the destination content. And as ads begin to look more and more like entertainment, we're ending up with some pretty excellent online video to enjoy.

Like Collapsing Towers, which aims to spread the message about sustainable and renewable energy through a little destruction-combined-with-animation:

Big Cat Rescue should be given an award. We should call it the "does the most creative online video marketing work with the least amount of budget" award. They're just a nonprofit, trying to increase awareness about big game cats, with a video asking the simple question, "Do Big Cats Purr?"

We knew branded video could be entertaining... and humorous. But did you know it could be inspiring as well?

They may not have won the post-Super Bowl fan polls for best commercial, but they definitely got a viral hit out of it:

Old Spice skipped the big game, and will still get more traction out of their online video ads than most Super Bowl advertisers, so long as they keep putting out crowd-pleasing weirdness like this:

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Jimmy Kimmel likes asking his audience to play pranks on people and then film it--he's already ruined Christmas for some kids by asking parents to pretend they got them lame gifts. Last week he asked football fans to pull the plug (literally) on their televisions at a crucial moment in the Super Bowl... and film it:

Trailers for Movies Nobody Asked For

Hollywood has been making some great superhero movies lately. So it's kind of a surprise to see them already remaking one of hte most successful superhero franchises in film history just ten years after the original. Here's the trailer for the totally unnecessary The Amazing Spiderman, which actually looks pretty good.

When word came down that Matt Damon wasn't going to do anymore Bourne movies, I was a little sad. I love the Bourne films. But then came notice that the studio was going to continue the franchise with a new actor playing a new character (then why still call it Bourne?). And just like the Spiderman trailer above it... this movie is completely unnecessary, and this trailer is pretty dang cool.

Marvel Comics fans will cry foul that I'm suggesting "The Avengers" is a movie no one asked for--many of them were asking for it for years. But hey... I needed a third trailer to keep this category from being too small:

Grab Bag

When all your friday videos can't fit neatly into pre-selected categories... you make up one called "Grab Bag" and throw the leftovers in there.

Like the Ghost Pepper Challenge, which looks rather excrutiating.

In Alpena Michigan, a tiny town, there is a weather man that has long been famous to local residents. This week, he became known to the rest of the world as well when video of his weather reports went viral:

Speaking of weather... have you ever wondered what 14 years of weather radar data would look like? No? I could have sworn you did. Oh well, here you go anyway:

Psycho Siri is a short film that shows a darker side to the iPhone personal assistant: