Fake Stunt That Duped Real Newscast Goes Viral

McDonald's Ad With Homosexual Teen Goes From France to Bill O'Reilly's Radar

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Look what's landed on the Viral Chart this week: the now-infamous "Liquid Mountaineering" spot for outdoor apparel maker Hi-Tec. Infamous because the faux documentary about nutty European adventurers and their new "sport" was picked up as real news by D.C.'s NBC affiliate in May, which pretty much sets the bar for "earned media" when it comes to web video.

The gaffe was widely covered on sites such as Mediaite (follow link to the WUSA segment) and Gawker, which added a helpful piece on how not to fall for a viral marketing scheme. Service-y! The video, which Hi-Tec once denied any connection to, came in at No. 3 with more than 2.5 million views last week across 34 different placements, including one on College Humor. Now, there's even a making-of video where Hi-Tec explains how water running is really done.

Duping a newscast is a pretty awesome feat, but so is getting Fox News' Bill O' Reilly to rail against your spot, which is what happened when a French TV ad for McDonald's hit the web. The spot, "Come As You Are," produced by Euro RSCG (of Evian "Roller Babies" fame) is pretty remarkable in that it shows an earnest but clueless father trying to connect with his homosexual son. In a McDonald's.

Fox analyst Jane Skinner called the campaign, which shows people from different walks of life in McDonald's, "over-reaching." A McDonald's brand manager explained in a statement Fox read on the air: "We wanted to show society the way it is today, without judging. There is obviously no problem with homosexuality in France today." The ad is worth watching. Welcome, McDonald's, to the Viral Video Chart.

The No. 1 video this week deserves mention because it reaches back to one of the seminal YouTube stunts to pitch Coke's newest beverage brand, Coke Zero. People have been dropping Mentos into soda bottles and posting the shenanigans to YouTube for nearly five years. Guess what? It still works! The guys from producer Eepybird were enshrined in Weezer's homage to YouTube celebrity, Pork and Beans (thank Vevo for the pre-roll). This time they created a Coke Zero and Mentos-powered Rocket Car. Watch below or better yet, go to their site and watch in 3-D.

Last Week Brand Campaign Agency Current Week Views* % Change in Views** Watch the Spot
1 New Coke Zero, Mentos Rocket Car Eepybird 3,107,152 New Coke Zero, Mentos: Rocket Car
2 1 Nike Write the Future Wieden & Kennedy 2,664,653 -65% Nike: Write the Future
3 New Hi-Tec Liquid Mountaineering CCCP 2,159,758 New Hi-Tec: Liquid Mountaineering
4 New McDonald's Come As You Are BETC Euro RSCG 2,154,626 New McDonald's: Come As You Are
5 2 Pepsi Oh Africa N/A 1,123,623 -25% Pepsi: Oh Africa
6 5 Fortnight Lingerie Super Sexy CPR Red Urban 1,035,169 16% Fortnight Lingerie: Super Sexy CPR
7 4 Evian Live Young BETC Euro RSCG 928,045 0% Evian: Live Young
8 3 Toyota The Sienna Family Saatchi & Saatchi 808,641 -32% Toyota: The Sienna Family
9 Back on Chart Gillette Uncut Greenlight Media & Marketing 783,999 Back on Chart Gillette: Uncut
10 7 YouTube YouTube Turns 5 N/A 746,587 +2% YouTube: YouTube Turns 5
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