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New rules of viral videos

They’re getting longer and funnier – and they’re barely recognisable as advertisements.

For the last decade, viral videos have pushed the envelope of what constitutes an ad. Remember the infamous sock puppet ad for the now-defunct Pets.com that ran during the SuperBowl? That was long before YouTube, and just one early example of strangely compelling marketing exploits.

Another trend, one that has been around for at least a few years, is to make an ad look like pure entertainment. The recent VW ad where a kid is acting like Darth Vadar is one good example, and many of the recent T-Mobile ads show a magenta-clad biker racing around without ever using a phone. The casual viewer might not even realise which company is involved until the logo appears.

Ad? What ad?

Now, there’s a new trend: digital shorts that run for as long as three minutes and appear to have no discernible advertising ploy. There might be well-known actors who perform crazy stunts, and the product makes only a brief cameo. One recent example: During the Emmys, a digital short with Parker Posey explained, in sardonic terms, how to do an Emmy acceptance speech.

…to read this article in full, visit leading US small business resource, Inc.

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