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04/04/2008 by

Viral Friday: Rick Rolled

Viral Friday is the weekly viral video chart of ViralBlog, showing the 10 most popular viral videos, commercials or user-generated videos, carefully selected and ranked by popularity, viral impact & spread.

This weeks Viral Friday #1 position goes to YouTube with Rick Rolled. On April Fools day YouTube Rick Rolled its users by linking all of the featured videos to the Rick Astley video, resulting in over 9 million views. The runner up spot is for Exotic World Gifts with Elephant Paints Self Portrait. Online store Exotic World Gifts imports self portraits made by elephants. By selling their art they support these “Starving Elephant Artisans”. BBC’s Flying Penguins complete this week’s top 3. To promote BBC’s iPlayer Gorgeous and Passion Pictures created this April Fools joke video in which we see Terry Jones reporting from Antarctica about a unique colony of Adelie Penguins.

Do you want to see this week’s list from 1 to 10? Go on then, and have a look! We’d like to hear your opinion about the virals. Have fun!

1. YouTube: Rick Rolled


Rick Rolling – when a link is apparently provided to a seemingly interesting source, when in fact, it is a link to the video of Rick Astley’s ’78 classic “Never Gonna Give You Up”. On April Fools day YouTube Rick Rolled its users by linking all of the featured videos to the Rick Astley video, resulting in over 9 million views. For complete understanding of this internet meme check the timeline.

Rickrolling is a new trend in online posting, in which a link is apparently provided to a seemingly interesting source, when in fact, it is a link to the Rick Astley video.

2. Elephant Paints Self Portrait

Online store Exotic World Gifts imports unique African handcrafted home decor, embroidered pillow covers from India, Cambodian purses, silver jewelry from Bali, and pine needle baskets from Central America by artisans in need of sustainable income. One of the fair trade products they sell are self portraits made by elephants! Bhab, an elephant rescued from very abusive conditions in Burma, is one of them who now lives a wonderful life frolicking, learning and enjoying love and attention in Thailand. Touched by the backgrounds and talents of the elephants, Exotic World Gifts now supports “Starving Elephant Artisans” and sells their art. The video of the painting Bhab was viewed over 2 million times in very short time.

3. BBC: Flying Penguins

Gorgeous and Passion Pictures created this beautiful April Fools joke to promote BBC’s iPlayer. The 90-second ad is presented by former Monty Python star Terry Jones, reporting from Antarctica about a unique colony of Adelie Penguins. Terry walked through the flocks of penguins that subsequently took to the air, swooping and diving through the frozen scenery, and eventually heading to the jungle to catch some sun. The video, seeded by digital agency GT, can be found on several video portals and social network site (like YouTube, and Bebo) and on BBC’s iPlayer homepage and was viewed over 1 million times since it aired April 1st. Also check the behind the scenes footage. (Source: Digital Arts, Brand Republic)

4. Virgin & Google: Virgle

Google has a tradition of announcing new, strange services on April Fools day. Last year they introduced the very successful TiSP. This year’s joke appeared to be a series of jokes, with Virgle getting the most attention. In a shared press release Virgin and Google announced the launch of Virgle: a jointly owned and operated venture dedicated to the establishment of a human settlement on Mars. Everyone can apply to be a Virgle pioneer. (Source: Dag)

5. Earth Hour Movie

Last Monday over 380 cities around the world switched off the lights between 20.00 and 21.00 local time. The project is called “Earth Hour” and is a WWF initiative. Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis. It is about simple changes that will collectively make a difference – from businesses turning off their lights when their offices are empty, to households turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby. (Source: Planet)

6. MacBook Air Parody

The above is Dell’s answer to the MacBook Air commercial. Or at least, that is what THE BUREAU wants us to believe. A High Quality version of the video is available on THE BUREAU’s website.

7. Dunkelziffer: Tentacle

German advertising agency Red Rabbit created this rather creepy commercial for Dunkelziffer e.V., a group in Germany that helps sexually abused children.

8. Cadbury: Trucks Having Fun

The follow-up to the hugely successful Cadbury’s Gorilla advert, ‘Trucks‘ by Fallon’s director Juan Cabral and Blink Productions, has been released online. The music in the much-anticipated sequel is Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. Also check our extended posting on this item. (Source: Creative Review, Scamp)

9. New York Pizza: Damn F*cking Tasty

Dutch Pizza chain New York Pizza, founded in 1993 and one of the Netherlands fastest growing pizza delivery chains, has launched an integrated advertising campaign with three short ‘mafia style’ films, featuring flour, tomato sauce and a pizza delivery boy. The campaign, created by independent agency Selmore and NYP’s first television campaign ever, will air from last March 27th till October 2008 and is supported by online seeding and point of sale material. Also check our extended posting on this item.

10. Real Beauty

This ad for, a Russian mail order bride website, aims to get the message across that some people – like Russian mail order brides – don’t need any fixing up; they’re so absolutely stunning, that it’s their surroundings that need to be retouched, proving the existence of natural beauty. Obviously the video is a spoof of the famous Dove Evolution viral which has been spoofed before by (amongst others) Foster Farms (Transformation), Slob Evolution and Pumpkin Evolution. (Source: Adrants)


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Comments (2)

  • Daan Jansonius 05/04/2008, 16:36

    Love the New York Pizza ads!

  • Caroline
    12/09/2010, 21:30

    About Exotic World Gifts – indeed their business philosophy is fair trade but unfortunately, despite being contacted by elephant activists and conservationists, they refuse to acknowledge that elephants are forced by their mahouts to make those paintings. What the outsider does not understand is that elephants perform only out of fear of getting hurt – if that were not the case, then why do mahouts carry bullhooks? If you were to look at Exotic World Gifts’ videos on youtube, you can clearly see mahouts digging very sharp hooks into the elephants’ ears where the skin is paper thin or whacking them on the head to force them to entertain the tourists and it’s a terrible existence for the elephants who are such emotional intelligent creatures. There are international organizations trying to put a stop to such abuse whereas Exotic World Gifts is profiting from it. It’s a terrible business practice reflecting very poorly upon the reputation of Exotic World Gifts.