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2010 in review

#top 20 virals

2010 in review top 20 virals

Before, when the dinosaurs ruled the Earth, the hours were filled in various ways: going out, meeting friends, reading, sleeping, making trips to the outdoors. Then, video games were invented, and a little later YouTube appeared; a never-ending source of trash, jokes, video clips, cats in boxes, babies and TV fragments that has, logically, become the biggest meeting point for lazy people, bored personnel and stressed individuals in need of a bit of fun. The Internet viral phenomenon has been to this website –and others like it– something of a goldmine. The best virals we’ve been wasting office hours on this year are the following:

20. Top 60 Ghetto Black Names

If you’re a fan of Nicki Minaj, of pulling people’s leg while moving your head like this and fried chicken, your name should be on this list. And if it isn’t, you could always go to court and change the one you have for any of the 60 named by these two clever youngsters. If Watermelondrea, Spongebobeeshia or any of the other names here don’t convince you, you can always go to the Facebook applications and find the one that suits you best. Mónica Franco

19. Sleigh Bells: “Riot Rhythm”

It only went up online a few weeks ago, so the effect has been relatively small so far. However, we think it’s one of the best fan clips of this year. Of course, if you have fans with degrees and excellent careers in audiovisual arts, the chances of this happening increase considerably. Director Bo Mirosseni showed us that not all hipsters are lazy and they don't spent all their time getting swallow tattoos and reading Vice magazine. We hope that Sleigh Bells’ label –property of M.I.A.– will grant the man a nice reward, at least a Season’s greeting card … MF

18. Never Say No To Panda

Made in Egypt, this is one of the best publicity campaigns of the year. A friendly looking panda bear gets angry if you say “no” to “his” product. Don’t let the pretty eyes and the Buddy Holly music fool you: if you make him angry, he will fuck you up. Endearing, disturbing and fun at the same time, what more could you want from a cheese ad? Franc Sayol

17. History Of Hip Hop

Jimmy Fallon, the American talk show host and comedian with a surreal tan and a “Bonfire of the Vanities” look showed that, apart from the large role music has always played in his performances, behind that WASP appearance there’s a homie with a lot of flow. His new jack swing dance moves are priceless, as is Justin Timberlake’s Snoop imitation. The Roots, as usual, are impeccable in their function as backing band. MF

16. Scarface School Play

Instead of recreating a Christmas play, the students of the “Jaydon School” decided to do an adaptation of “Scarface”, the classic film about the Cuban mafia in Miami directed by Brian De Palma (note: it’s not a real school, of course, but a piece written by Mark Klasfeld, director of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” video). A cult film amongst rappers and potty-mouthed aficionados –it’s the film with the most swearwords ever in history– “Scarface” tells the story of the rise and fall of cocaine king Tony Montana. Suitable for children? Not really, but keep in mind that there is a censored version for television, with much less blood and fewer “motherfucker” mentions. Interesting details: Montana’s mountain of charlie is actually a pyramid of popcorn, and they kept in the famous line from the film, “you little cockroaches, come on.” Standing ovation. Javier Blánquez

15. Bruce Haack: “Party Machine (Prince Language's Afterparty Edit)”

Distributed by Stones Throw to promote the compilation “The Electric Voice” by Bruce Haack, this is one of the strangest videos of 2010. The year is 1982. The setting: a party of white rich kids doing a robot dance to the rhythm of “Party Machine”, by the man who made the vocoder popular. How could this happen? Do you get it? What is this?!? FS

14. Forehead Tittaes with Marion Cotillard

With the tone of the anti-aging advertisements, this creation by Funny Or Die is worthy of only one adjective: hilarious. Featuring the very elegant Marion Cotillard (she and her French accent give the whole a bit of extra comic sophistication), this fake ad presents an invention that will make men look where they should. The final part with the different versions of the product is hilarious. Breasts for the forehead and laughs for everyone. FS

13. الابتسامه القاتله

A Filipino man records himself practising his seducing smile and gets over a million views on YouTube. The guy has charisma, a suspicious ’tache and it looks like he’s going for something between the Martini Man and Travis Bickle’s “are you talking to me?”. Wonderful. FS

12. Nike. Write The Future

“Nike. Write The Future.” That was the idea on which the spectacular Nike ad for the World Cup in South Africa was based, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. As usual, the production and realisation are impeccable, ideal for the development of a brilliant narrative idea. But, oh, the irony: all the superstars wearing the brand who had to write the future of global football failed spectacularly, round after round: Drogba, Rooney, CR7, Cannavaro... The Nike marketing agency, together with the now-deceased Paul the Octopus, proved the best talismans for Spanish football: the only ones humiliated in the ad, Fàbregas, Iniesta and Piqué, were the ones who took the trophy home with them. MF

11. Patrick Jean: “Pixels”

Nowadays we have different fears than back in the day. Public Enemy talked about the “fear of a black planet”, and Orson Welles scared people with his fake broadcast about an alien invasion. Now, director Patrick Jean warns us about the coming of the beings who used to live in old video games and who want to pixelate Planet Earth, starting with New York. It all starts with a relatively innocent explosion. But then Space Invaders, Pacman and the Tetris blocks start to do their thing, leaving the subway, the skyscrapers and bridges in shambles. In the end, the inevitable happens: everything is reduced to one miserable pixel. An award-winning short film, naturally. JB

10. Pulpo Paul

The facts are the facts. During the World Cup football, Paul the Octopus was right about each and every game he “guessed”. A thousand and one theories later we still don’t know if it was all a coincidence or if the animal was gifted. Be it as it may, the whole world, and Spain in particular, turned an octopus into a legend. An octopus who deserves a special mention on the most glorious page of the recent history of sports south of the Pyrenees. Rest in peace. FS

9. J. Biebz - U Smile 800% Slower

At the height of the popularity of the annoying adolescent Justin Bieber, some obscure producer from Tampa, Florida, who calls himself Shamantis pulled a trick that wasn’t new and had never really worked before. It consists of running a whole song –in this case fringe boy’s “U Smile”– through a piece of software in order to slow down the track. He set the control for -800% and the hit turned into a more than 30-minute piece that sounds like Sigur Rós: super slow ambient, open, oceanic, celestial. Was it fake? Possibly, because since then, nobody obtained such a good result. Two and a half million visits on SoundCloud to date. JB

8. Blu: “Big Bang Big Boom”

The history of mankind in ten minutes and painted by Blu. But when we say “painted” we don’t mean on a canvas, like Rembrandt, nor a wall, like Banksy. Better said: on a wall, but not just one; many, many walls and buildings painted and repainted hundreds of times so that every brush and roller stroke in white, red, blue and green colours form, one by one, planes to mount a complete sequence using stop motion technique in which we see how the universe is born, how the solar system is formed, how life starts in the water, how amoebas turn into fish, fish into amphibians, amphibians into dinosaurs, how they make way for mammals, then man, and finally man inventing technology and civilization. Wonderful. JB

7. The-Dream: “Panties To The Side”

What could three hot girls from different American cities with iPods have in common? The teaser for “Love King” claims the three of them are listening to the album by The Dream, so we could assume that the ladies have downloaded the leaked album, naughty girls; however, we all know that what they really all have in common are fabulous bodies, a fundamental element for selling a product, whatever it is. The-Dream, applying the ground rules of marketing like no-one else. MF

6. Trololo

Can a song become a global hit, 44 years after its recording? Yes, it can. Russian singer Eduard Khil recorded this hypnotic ditty in the sixties and one fine day he found his grandson humming it. Someone had uploaded the video to YouTube and the madness began: millions of views, merchandising, ringtones, hundreds of imitations and requests for a world tour. A hit is a hit. FS5. Keenan Cahill: “Down On Me (With Me And 50 Cent)” Although most of us know him because of this video, Keenan Cahill has been lip-synching online for a long time. Long enough for the producers of Chelsea Lately to arrange for a meeting with 50 Cent, thus giving the Chicago youngster the opportunity to create his most-seen performance. “I can do that,” many of you will think. But what’s really dazzled us about Keenan is the entertainment the rest of his performances provide us with. Keenan Cahill, because you’re the only one who had the balls to record what we all do in front of the mirror in the privacy of our bedroom, we thank you. MF

4. Lindsay Lohan Out Of Jail, Heads To Rehab + Chilean Miners Face Up To Life Underground

They could be graphic adventure animations in the vein of the ones by LucasArts from the mid-90s, but they’re better: the humorous news items from Taiwanese channel NMA have reached so far that they’ve become a necessary cult stop for the most addicted Internet junkies. Almost in real time, this show has been commenting on the news of the day with high quality graphics and scenarios that are astonishing and hilarious (in that order). The story of Lindsay Lohan leaving jail to go into rehab –true story– is explained with scenes as possible as the picking up of a soap bar in the shower and the abuse by the other inmates. But the most hilarious one is the story on the 33 trapped miners and the fictionalisation of what their days underground must be like: running on the treadmill to lose weight, singing karaoke and playing Chatroulette. Slapstick humour. JB

3. Kanye West Penis + Ke$ha Covered In Cum

The favourite link of all voyeurs no matter what their sex. Everybody gets curious when it comes to finding out what their favourite star’s private parts look like, whether you’re male or female, gay or straight, and when a photo of Kanye West appeared supposedly showing his member, it spread like wildfire. Some people believe it’s a fake, but others are sure ‘Ye’s Johnson is as real as his face. Supposedly, the rapper was practising cyber sex via Chatroulette when the picture of penis in the initial phase of erection was taken. A snapshot for eternity that seriously competes with the post-coital pic of (supposedly) Ke$ha with her thorax splattered with semen. We like it. We’re pigs like that, and so are you, admit it. JB

2. Iamamiwhoami

Cum laude viral by virtue of its creativity, plastic attraction and visual quality, yes. But also by its insistent nature. Jonna Lee has released fourteen videos under the moniker Iamamiwhoami and, it has to be said, from the moment we knew who this strange blonde creature was –one moment smeared with tar, the next covered in plastic, and then disguised as a bean shoot salad– the whole thing lost appeal. It was more fun to speculate about the maker’s identity than to watch the weird adventures of the videos’ stars. Although we would have loved it if it had been the work of Christina Aguilera –as some cryptographic theories– suggested, we applaud the artistic work of the Swedish girl and her band. MF

1. Bed Intruder Song

The hit moves in mysterious ways. Just ask Antoine Dodson. The story is known: an intruder gets into the bed of young Kelly who, scared, warns her brother Antoine to scare the stranger away. The local TV news covers the story and broadcasts the testimony of the victim’s family. And that’s when the good part starts. The way Antoine talks into the camera, warning the assailant that he’s coming for him, can only be classified as “ghetto gay”. The Gregory Brothers saw an opportunity and decided to turn the images and sound into their new “Auto-Tune The News” release, a project focussed on transforming the new into songs using T-Pains, his favourite plugin, which normally gives a funny result but without musical repercussions. But in this case the raw material was of prime quality and the inevitable happened: millions of YouTube views, sales on iTunes, a spot on the Billboard Hot 100, merchandising, sequels and more sequels, and thus Antoine Dodson became a media star. Song of the year. FS

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