There must be something in the water in France. Just a month after Evian's record-breaking Roller Babies' 26-month stay in the Global Arts Chart top 20 finally came to an end, a fantastic new commercial for another French mineral water brand, Contrex, pedalled its way to the top of the rankings.
The French ad, created by agency Marcel, was easily the most shared ad over the last 30 days, racking up an impressive 656,989 shares across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere during October – over 173,000 more than PS3′s Michael, in second place.
It's not hard to see why it has been so successful. Primarily, it manages the impossible – it makes losing weight look like fun.
Filmed to look like a publicity stunt, 'Contrexpérience' begins with a row of random pink exercise bikes on a bustling Parisian square. Not being able to hold back anymore, some curious women climb on the bikes and start pedalling.
As they pedal, the bikes power up neon wires that climb up the building opposite, until the neon outline of a muscled man appears. A record player starts blaring out and he starts to take off his clothes and prance around.
The faster they pedal, the faster he takes off his clothes. Bottles of Contrex mineral water, a brand owned by Nestle which supposedly helps people lose weight because of its high calcium content, are available next to the bikes for any women desperate to quench their thirst.
He is eventually left in just his underpants. He disappears to the side of the building, only to return with a strategically placed sign that tells them (in easy-to-translate French) they have burned 2,000 calories during the exercise. Cue lots of laughter and more drinking. Job done.
It is a very clever ad, not just for its sense of cheeky fun, but for its sheer innovation. 'Neon' and 'strippers' would not be the first words most of us would think about when conjuring up a commercial that would directly appeal to women.
But then, when you see the ad, it makes total sense. After all, this is an ad that specifically targets women who want to lose weight, but just don't like the idea of spending hours on running machines or eating bland foods to achieve it.
Contrex is not the only brand concerned with the pursuit of the body beautiful to make it into October's top 20. Also standing proudly in the mirror this month is a remarkable ad from make-up brand Dermablend that goes to extreme lengths to prove just how effective its concealer is.
Called 'Go Beyond The Cover' and created by Montreal agency Agence Tuxedo, it begins with the brooding image of an average white guy with metal in his face. So far, so pretty normal.
However, this guy is far from normal. His name is Zombie Boy, and he is a model so obsessed with all things undead he has covered his entire body and face in tattoos designed to make him look like a walking corpse.
Thing is, thanks to Dermablend's concealer, you only get to see his dramatic look after he gradually goes through his cleansing ritual – the message obviously being if it can cover up his tattoos, just imagine what it can do for the average person's blemishes, spots or, indeed, tattoos.
It is certainly a powerful ad that has attracted a mammoth 341,501 shares since it was launched on October 11, making it the fifth most popular ad of last month.
Adidas also flexed its muscles during October with a new ad spot to launch the second set of signature sneakers designed by Derrick Rose, the NBA's youngest-ever MVP.
Part of the 'All In' campaign, the biggest ever launched by the German sports brand, it sees Chicago Bulls star Rose, armed only with a ball and a pair of adiZero Rose 2s, take on the role of a bull in a traditional bullfighting arena. Suffice to say, the matadors don't stand a chance.
The ad attracted 149,512 shares during October, making it the 11th most popular commercial of the month.
Last on October's beauty parade is a dreamy spot for perfume brand Elizabeth Arden. It stars country pop singer Taylor Swift and contains more fairy-tale references than a sixth-year-old girl's fancy dress party.
But if you thought October's chart was all about the body beautiful, think again. There are also ads that offer nourishment for the mind as well as the body.
Unsurprisingly, two ads introducing the new iPhone 4S make an appearance in the top 6, but it is PS3′s 'Michael', from Sony's Long Live Play campaign, which really stood out last month.
It features two American soldiers as they make their way to a stone building in the middle of a forest. They pay the woman at the door, before entering the main bar, where they are met with a variety of much-loved characters from various Playstation games. They are all swapping war stories about someone called Michael.
But just who is this amazing Michael? Well, it is you. You are Michael. No, honestly. Sony's new PlayStation advert is all about you… and you…and you. OK, maybe not you.
It is a celebration of the true heroes of gaming – the gamers themselves.
The ad, created by LA agency, Deutsch, was the second most shared during October.
Other new ads to make it on to this month's top 20 include a spot for Wonderful Pistachios that revives the Honey Badger meme, a Halloween-themed Angry Birds cartoon from Rovio, a drink driving awareness PSA from New Zealand and an action-packed commercial for GoPro cameras.
The Top 20 Global Online Video Ads For October 2011
2. Sony, PS3: Long Live Play 'Michael'
4. Apple: Introducing Siri
6. Apple: Introducing the iPhone 4S
10. Kia: Soul Hamster – Party Rock Anthem
11. adidas: D Rose- adiZero 2 – The Bull
12. Wonderful Pistachios: Honey Badger
13. Weetabix: Chocolate Spoonsize
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