Viral videos – our top 5 spoof and stunt videos

13th October 2013

Have you seen (or shared) the Carrie Coffee Shop Surprise viral video stunt this week? If you have, you’re in good company – over 30 million folks have viewed this fake telekinesis so far!

The stunt or spoof video helps us to unpick just what makes video content go viral. They reveal that viral videos don’t just happen by magic. Creativity, time, and video seeding combine to create something that surprises, hits our emotions or sparks a watercooler chat, and is of course shared and shared…

To inspire you, we’ve pulled together 5 of our favourite spoof and stunt viral videos and reveal why they work.

1. Carrie coffee shop viral video

What would happen if Carrie from Stephen King’s novel went out for a latte? Earlier this week Sony released a stunt video to show just that and publicise the remake of Carrie. This Carrie viral video gained more than 2 million hits on the first day with the hashtag #flexlikecarrie.

Unknowing terrified customers watched an actor pretend to have telekinetic Carrie-like powers and push a fellow actor up the wall with the power of her mind when he knocks coffee over her. This prank plays on the pleasure of being in on the joke, and we enjoy watching the gasps of the customers. A bit of schadenfreude can help a video go viral! Check out those shocked coffee drinkers:

Influencers are crucial to successful seeding and this video was no exception. Carrie movie stars, Julianne Moore and Chloe Grace Moretz tweeted a link to the video to over 1 million followers between them.

2. Beer flowing from the taps – the target audience’s dream!

The next stunt comes from a New Zealand beer company, Tui Beer, which uses the theme of mates playing pranks on each other. One guy comes home to find that cold beer is running from his taps (a nice problem some might say…) The pranksters in the video are all genuine friends and so the video has an authenticity critical for successful social media sharing. As with all video content, whether pranking or not, this video works as the brand identified its target audience and created something that talks to them.

3. Coca-Cola – where will happiness strike next? 

In this stunt, happiness flows from a Coca-Cola drinks vending machine. Unsuspecting students get a dose of happiness starting with free coke bottles and moving on to pizzas, a mega ‘man vs food’ baguette, flowers, balloon animals and hands even pop out of the machine to pour out a glass of the drink.

This stunt reinforces their brand ethos, and happiness and smiling faces is a universal, fun thing to share for the audience of this global brand.  All the things coming out of the vending machine can be shared too again keying into the central brand messages. “Where will happiness strike next?” is an effective hook at the end of the video – at an emotional level the audience may wonder if this could happen to them and their friends.

4. Mercedes-Benz record-breaking attempt

In this viral video Formula 1 star, David Coulthard and pro-golfer Jake Shepherd beat a Guinness World Record whilst promoting Mercedes-Benz. A golf ball was shot at 178 mph and caught 278 metres from the tee, making it the longest shot caught in a moving car. It’s pretty cool – take a look…

This viral video gained over 2 ½ million views and works for a number of reasons. The World Record attempt gives it a clear hook, and a sense of anticipation of whether they will succeed or not. The premise illustrates beautifully the key selling points of the product – the speed, precision and power of the car, but in a playful way. Finally, it was backed up by a substantial seeding and PR campaign to get in in the right places.

5. April Fool’s Spoof Viral Video

Spoof video viral campaigns are something we love doing too. Financial services brand, Barclaycard’s digital agency, Dare, commissioned us to help create an April Fool’s Day spoof video about #Paywag, an NFC chip which is embedded in a dog’s collar, allowing it to make purchases.

The spoof quickly gathered momentum with over 20,000 views early on the morning of 1 April. It gained 717 likes on the Barclaycard Facebook page every hour on the first day, soon becoming the most Popular Dog video on this social network.

The video currently has over 300,000 views and illustrates the power of video content marketing with a strong creative concept and backed up with well organised digital PR and video seeding.

Chat viral videos with us

What’s your favourite viral video? If you would like to discuss video content, contact us for a chat.

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