How T-Mobile Won the Royal Wedding With Video Stunt

Well-Timed Video Derived From Another Viral Hit, 'JK Wedding Dance'

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For the royal nuptials, there are no corporate sponsors, but that's not stopping T-Mobile from stealing the show on the web with its brilliant and certainly viral "Royal Wedding" spot.

Just as the hype over Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding Friday reaches fever pitch, Visible Measures tracked T-Mobile's uncanny video to the top of the viral list this week (its first appearance on the chart) with a remarkable 8.5 million views last week.

It features an eerily recognizable wedding party, including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, dancing down the aisles of Westminster Abbey -- a spectacle made famous a few years ago in the unbranded but oft re-created "JK Wedding Dance" video.

T-Mobile has an impressive history of matching branded entertainment with the zeitgeist with flash-mob-style hits such as "T-Mobile Dance" in a Liverpool train station, and "Welcome Back," featuring an elaborate instrument-free musical number staged in London's Heathrow airport. What makes "Royal Wedding" especially brilliant is its combination of elements -- the spot is derived from a genuine, unplanned viral meme as well as its own uplifting dance-based entertainment formula, all in the context of a timely and much-publicized event.

The formula worked: "Royal Wedding" was launched April 15 and drove more than 3 million views in just two days. It was timed to peak in tandem with tomorrow's actual royal wedding, and it is on track to do just that. The campaign's 70 videos (including copies, responses and spoofs) have now earned more than 14 million views, according to data from Visible Measures.

It is followed by Mullen's gorgeous "Fage: Plain Extraordinary," which charted a distant second this week (its third on the chart) despite its 16% decline in views, with 1.3 million. Diet Pepsi's "Get the Skinny," featuring the affably sexy Sofia Vergara, dropped 47% in views in its second week on the chart to fourth place (below Evian's viral staple "Live Young") with just more than 1 million views. Volkswagen's perpetually viral Super Bowl spot, "The Force," clocked in fifth place this week with more than 785,000 views, posting a 9% decline since last week.

Also debuting this week is "Orabrush the Movie," a film-trailer parody that melodramatically depicts the origins of the tongue cleaner. It earned more than 675,000 views last week. The spot is in the spirit of Blendtec's "Will It Blend," which marked its 30th appearance on the chart this week in ninth place, with 653,000 views. Both brands leverage online video to market a single product.

Downy's "Mike in the Window," starring comedian Mike Birbiglia, made its third appearance on the cart this week with 669,000 views, down 39% since its last appearance (and in seventh place this week.) Sundrop's infectious "Drop It" slipped 6% in views to eighth place, with 663,000 views. And Wieden & Kennedy's "The Old Spice Man Is Back" rounds out the chart with 536,000 views in its seventh week, down 48% from its last appearance.

Last Week Brand Campaign Agency Current Week Views* % Change in Views** Watch the Spot
1 New T-Mobile T-Mobile N/A 8,507,179 New T-Mobile: Royal Wedding
2 2 Fage Plain Extraordinary Mullen 1,301,020 -16% Fage: Plain Extraordinary
3 6 Evian Live Young BETC Euro RSCG 1,230,424 +21% Evian: Live Young
4 1 Diet Pepsi David Beckham TBWAChiatDay 1,011,617 -47% Diet Pepsi: Get the Skinny
5 8 Volkswagen The Force Deutsch 785,554 -9% Volkswagen: The Force
6 New Orabrush Orabrush the Movie N/A 675,550 New Orabrush: Orabrush the Movie
7 4 Downy Mike in the Window Digitas 669,528 -39% Downy: Mike in the Window
8 9 SunDrop Drop It MTV Scratch 663,039 -6% SunDrop: Drop It
9 10 Blendtec Will It Blend? In-house 653,204 +1% Blendtec: Will it Blend?
10 5 Old Spice Old Spice Man is Back Wieden & Kennedy 536,737 -48% Old Spice: Old Spice Man is Back
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