While many cultures see public selfie-taking as a distracting, albeit innocent, act, Indian authorities are treating the growing trend with caution — and for good reason.
According to one study, the country accounted for more than half of deaths worldwide related to taking selfies. Samsung has responded by creating a video campaign that garnered over 22 million views in the seven days through Sunday and landed atop the Viral Video Chart for the second straight week.
The "Samsung Cares for a Safe India" spot shows a bloodied man lying face-down on the pavement. Next to him, a cracked phone shows a selfie of him biking. "The moments you hold so dear can disappear with one silly selfie," the onscreen text warns. The country's Minister for Road Transport and Highways then pleads Indians to use their mobile phones responsibly.
Seventy-six Indians died in the span of two-and-a-half years while taking selfies, accounting for more than half of the 127 selfie-related deaths worldwide, according to a study from Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Delhi. Those numbers are alarming, and the findings have led to public warnings — including Samsung's ad — and even forced Mumbai police to mark off no-selfie zones after two people died in a selfie-related incident.
Other top video campaigns include Volvo Trucks' "The World's Largest Unboxing," which drew 7.6 million views, and 7UP's "Mix It Up a Little," featuring Sir Mix-a-Lot (of big butt lore), with nearly 7.3 million views. Our VCC, compiled by Visible Measures, includes both paid and organic views.
Samsung had a second spot, "Smart Switch," in the top ten, with just over 6 million views. The opening shot shows a woman taking a — you guessed it — selfie, while an upbeat song plays in the background. Eyes and mouth wide open, she leans toward the edge of a high-rise building, and the off-screen singer cheerfully declares, "For you, I nearly died."
In miniscule text across the bottom, Samsung issues a warning: "Professional stunt. Do not attempt."