When Rube Goldberg introduced the world to his absurd machines, all he had was a pen and paper to show how his over-engineered contraption could perform a simple task. Nearly 100 years later, the Rube Goldberg machine has found a new medium to display its silliness, the viral video.
This week a live-action Rube Goldberg machine has made its way onto the Viral Chart. Red Bull's new campaign, "Kluge" – a word that is derived from the German for clever – debuts at No. 4 garnering 8.2 million views.
The video opens with skydiver Sean McCormack falling from a helicopter and landing on a giant target that starts the machine up. From there, skateboarder Joey Brezinski, biker Danny MacAskill, and Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones, among other, help to propel the machine forward until it ultimately accomplishes its task. Part of the fun of a machine like this is figuring out what it is actually trying to do, so no spoilers here.
Red Bull hit No. 6 on the Chart in mid-October with a similar human-powered Rube Goldberg video featuring Jason Paul, a freerunning (parkour) champion and Red Bull athlete. Part of the Jason Paul freerunning series, "Human Powered Freerunning Machine" landed 2.9 million views the week it was on the chart.
But this new video differentiates itself in that it has a higher production value and is packed with 11 big-name Red Bull athletes. According to Red Bull's site, the whole video took 17 days and 3,500 hours of preparation to ready "Kluge" to shoot.