Photo: TNT / Screengrab
UPDATE: A video of a marketing stunt by TNT in Belgium released on April 11, has taken the internet by storm and is now second only to Volkswagen’s epic tale of a kid in a Darth Vader costume starting his father’s car using the dark side of The Force in social media sharing.Unruly Media’s viral ads chart clocks The Force at 5 million all-time Facebook and blog shares. The VW spot has been on YouTube since January 2011. TNT’s “A dramatic surprise on a quiet square” has received 3.3 million shares in just a few days.
TNT has a way to go before it usurps VW’s throne. Created by ad agency Deutsch LA, the Star Wars skit has been seen nearly 53 million times on YouTube, whereas TNT’s has “only” been viewed nearly 23 million times. Nonetheless, the fact that the undisputed best viral ad of all time, from the U.S., could be overtaken by a Belgian stunt is the kind of battle that will keep ad agency folks riveted to their YouTube accounts.
EARLIER: The television network’s ad agency, Duval Guillaume, placed a large red “push to add drama” button in the middle of an “average Flemish square” that, when pushed, provoked a series of high octane events worthy of any Primetime drama: Unsuspecting Belgians were launched into a spectacle of gunfights, runaway ambulances, and lingerie-wearing women on motorcycles.
Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 blog, which tracks the best of YouTube, said that “TNT should get their advertising agency to make their TV shows.”
The video was watched nearly 4.5 million times on YouTube and shared 702,610 times in its first 24 hours.
Considering that an attempted Adult Swim stunt in which the network placed magnetic lights on bridges and buildings around Boston provoked numerous calls to the bomb squad in 2007, Adfreak noted: “Here’s another marketing stunt for the ‘Could never happen in America’ file.”
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