Last night (April 17) marketing and social media folk gathered in New York City to pick the most creative online videos of the year. These weren't homemade LOL cat videos (though some of them are a hoot), but rather company-sponsored shorts that people liked to watch just for the entertainment value.
All the videos were hits in terms of online views (well into the millions), but judges from AdAge, which sponsored the event as part of its digital advertising conference this week, looked for the ones that were most entertaining, and invented Oscar-like categories to fit them, such as "Best Use of Alec Baldwin to Sell Stuff" and "Best Good Time Beer Ad that Actually Looks Like a Good Time."
One of the most fun was the "Out of Nowhere" award winner for a little L.A. company called DollarShaveClub.com entitled "Our Blades Are F***ing Great." There's really no way to explain it. Just watch. (Safe for work: No actual cussing in the video.)
Well-deserving was Samsung's "The Next Big Thing" ad, which won in the category of "Best Apple Fanboy Hating." In this truly funny ad, Samsung achieved the amazing task of actually making Apple's iPhone look silly, while also making its Galaxy X II Android phone look pretty darn good. "I could never get a Samsung. I'm creative," says one of the line dwellers. "Dude, you’re a barista," his friend points out.
But the most surprising was a combination mini-series and game for Intel and Toshiba called "The Inside Experience." It was a genuine movie, starring Emmy Rossum ("Mystic River," "Shameless"). In the piece, directed by D.J. Caruso ("Disturbia," "I Am Number Four"), Rossum is taken hostage on July 25, 2011, and has to ask players on Facebook to solve puzzles and offer her clues on how to get out, which finally happens 11 days later. (She wasn't "imprisoned" the whole time, of course, but appeared in a series of videos that were based on the tips that Facebook fans sent in.
When Rossum finally emerged from her "captivity" under L.A.'s Union Station, fans actually went down there to meet her.
Unfortunately, the original films aren't up anymore, but here is a good trailer.