I try to find at least one great branded viral video each week to highlight, separate from the Friday round ups, so we can have frequent examples of how some companies are doing video advertising right. This week, there were two ads that really grabbed my attention, and I simply couldn't bring myself to choose between them, so you get two for the price of one.
Sony's new Cybershot camera has a brand new feature they're pretty excited about: Sweep Panorama. It's a way for point-and-shoot enthusiasts to grab an ultra-wide shot when the situation calls for it.
There are two ads, and the premise is simple enough. They take an iconic photo of a famous person, and then they "pull back" to show you what was really going on at the time the picture was taken.
In one, they have fun with the classic image of Einstein sticking out his tongue:
In the second ad, they turn a well-known photo of Marilyn Monroe on its ear:
What a clever premise, and it's totally repeatable–they could run an entire series of ads like this and they probably wouldn't get old. There's humor, which always pulls in audiences. There's also a bit of reimagining going on, where we tweak something familiar by adding a fictional new layer–viewers enjoy a good surprise. Finally, the spots do something crucial for brands: they demonstrate the product's usefulness.
Sony's got plenty of PR problems right now with the controversy surrounding the hacking of the Playstation Network, but these ads show that someone over there still knows how great publicity is done.
Who would have guessed that one of the single most creative online videos I've ever seen would come from MTV Brazil? Not me. And yet, that's exactly what's happened.
The ad is technically a stop-motion animation, but it's played out through a series of drawings on balloons–I know, it sounds strange, but when you see it you will understand. It's like a cartoon flip-book, only with balloons instead of paper.
Then, they mounted a camera to a long spike, and ran it at super high speeds through the line of balloons, creating the animation effect.
Seriously, are we positive that OK Go didn't create this ad? Because it just reeks of the kind of genius and hard work those guys are famous for.
By the way, if you're curious, there were 10 balloons popped per second. Imagine how long this must have taken to plan and execute… which is, of course, exactly what's so impressive about it. Audiences love an obvious work ethic in videos, and tend to reward hard-working creators by sharing the video with friends.
They also love creativity… something they've never seen before… and this certainly qualifies.
This is an exciting time for branded video, because new boundaries are being broken every day. In a way, advertising is driving the creative explosion in online video, so that fans of all kinds of genres are able to reap the benefits.