Perhaps you’ve seen “First Kiss,” a viral video of strangers kissing which has been making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter the past two days.
The black-and-white video captures 10 pairs of strangers who volunteered to kiss each other on camera, documenting their journey from coy flirtation to the sudden intimacy of romance.
The video, which has now been viewed more than 24 million times on YouTube, was described by various members of my Facebook timeline as “actually beautiful,” “so beautiful!”, and “cute and touching and funny at times.”
It could also be described as “a clothing ad”:
As pointed out by Slate’s Amanda Hess, the video was published by the Los Angeles womenswear brand Wren to promote its fall fashion collection. The cast is made up of Wren founder Melissa Coker’s friends, the majority of whom are models, actors, and musicians with plenty of experience acting in front of a camera.
From a marketing perspective, presenting these professional attractive people as random amateurs is the perfect strategy for the social media era. By using a beautiful cast, Wren ensured that viewers would be excited and aroused, and by framing the video as a documentary, the brand gave viewers an excuse to share it with their friends on Facebook.
After all, it’s a lot more flattering to tell people you’ve discovered a profound truth about real-life romance than a great video of hot models making out.
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