Ad Age Viral Video Chart For Week Of Sept. 28

Abbey Klaassen’s weekly chart lists the top 10 viral videos from last week, with number of views for the week and percentage change in views for videos that stayed on the chart.  The list is compiled by Visible Measures.

Microsoft has to be happy about the continually impressive number of views garnered by its Project Natal video.  The video climbed to number two on this week s chart, drawing 35 percent more viewers than last week for a total 670,000 views for the week.  On the other hand, outside of the game division, Microsoft might be thinking when life gives you lemonade it could still come with lemons.  Right below Natal at number three is the atrocious Windows 7 Hosting Your Party video with more than 545,000 views for the week.

Given that this week s slate is made up of all repeat performers, Klaassen asks Visible Measures what the recipe is for such longevity.  The firm’s VP of marketing and analytics Matt Cutler believes that most of the videos are drawing repeat viewers, the only way they could sustain such high numbers.  He pinpoints where they succeed as nailing one or more of three key features that drive viral videos: whimsical feel good spots that provide an escape, content that raises questions such as “is it real?” and deep musical connection.

Check out the full list and watch the videos at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

‘Spore’ Ad Written By A Child

EA enlisted 12-year old Blake Simon to write the script for TV spots advertising Spore Hero.   The ads for the Wii game have begun airing in the UK.

There’s little word on whether this was the culmination of an EA Spore contest, fodder for a PR campaign, perhaps a cost-cutting move.  Brand Republic reports that Simon was brought on to rewrite the script for an existing TV ad.  Kudos to the kid, he delivers, a likely product of proper weaning on much game marketing and box copy.

Watch it at Brand Republic.

Exclusive: ‘Broadcast, Trailers, Video Content’

Moderator Geoff Keighley of Spike TV gathers a panel of experts to discuss the evolution of game trailers and successful strategies in using videos to market games in this session filmed at the 2009 [a]list summit.  Participants include Karl Stewart, marketing director at Eidos, Ryan Wener, marketing director at Activision, and Phil Marineau, product marketing, EA.

Watch it at the [a]list summit channel.

Making Of ‘Halo3: ODST’ TV Spot

Building on the live action TV spots that launched Halo3 in 2007, Microsoft took a similar approach with ads for this year s pseudo-sequel Halo3: ODST.   This time there s a good reason Master Chief is missing: the TV campaign premise follows the new protagonist, a general infantry Joe, through boot camp and into his first taste of battle.  Much like the Niell Blomkamp video treatments trying to sell Hollywood on Halo, these live action spots do as much to whet the appetite for a Halo film as the games.  Maybe that’s somewhere in the back of minds at Bungie and Microsoft.

With amount of effort and budget that went into creating the ads, it s only natural for Microsoft to want to get more mileage out of them by creating a slick behind-the-scenes video.  It s a perfect companion to the other video we circulated today in [a]list daily, a filmed panel session discussing game video strategies.

Watch the roughly five minute behind-the-scenes video at Game Videos.

Reality In Isometric Perspective

A photography technique that makes real environments and people look like scenes out of a diorama has found its way into TV spots.  Tilt-shift photography originated in print ads, including a perfect application of it in a Toys ‘R’ Us print campaign called Everything’s Toys where real cityscapes were depicted as miniature toys.  The technique is now being used for TV spots, such as the one for National Australia Bank highlighted by AdFreak.

For the gamer set, the visual result of tilt-shift photography video might be most notable for how much it makes reality look like an isometric video game.

Watch it at AdFreak.

‘Splinter Cell: Conviction’ Release Date Trailer

Ubisoft released this video trailer at Tokyo Game Show to announce the release date for the long-anticipated sequel, Splinter Cell: Conviction.   How do you communicate the amped-up combat in store for Sam Fisher?   Repetition; the trailer’s pacing comes from punches and gunshots.  Fans of the stealthier game play that highlighted the early entries in the series take note: the most prominent shadows in the video are the ones cast by muzzle flashes and explosions.

The minute-long trailer just might be one of the game’s TV spot candidates in the way it’s structured, complete with Microsoft’s official 360 tag at the end.  It also advertises an exclusive in-game shotgun available to those who pre-order the game at Gamestop.  The game is due out February 23 of next year.

Watch it at IGN.

‘Brutal Legend’ TV Ad

EA’s 30-second television spot for Tim Schafer’s Brutal Legend seems to cover the basics.  Introduce cool new hero, check.  Show awesome vehicles and weapons, check.  Mention Jack Black, check.  Rockin’ premise, Shafer-ific characters, hot babes, check, check, check.  The more than 100 classic heavy metal songs licensed for the game…sound check, I’m not getting anything.

Watch it at YouTube.

Exclusive: ‘Online, Viral, Acquisition, Community’

Moderator Scott Steinberg, publisher of, gathers a panel of experts to discuss the power of social media in this session filmed at the 2009 [a]list summit.  Participants include Min Kim, VP of marketing at Nexon America, Keith Lee, CEO of Booyah, Paul Caparotta, media manager at Namco Bandai, and Caryl Shaw, senior producer on Spore for EA and Maxis.

Watch it at the [a]list summit channel.

Another HBO Project Pushes Storytelling Boundaries

Following HBO s storytelling experiment with HBO Voyeur, the network is pushing boundaries again with a project called HBO Imagine.  The focus of the art experiment this time is multilayered narrative delivered through multimedia, specifically disparate video, audio and text clips that come together to form a coherent story.

In its current form, one of the most interesting aspects of the project is HBO Cube, where scenes shot continuously on a single set are broken down into four perspectives.  The effect works especially well with the subject matter, where as a mystery story unfolds the viewer finds the need to return to these Cube scenes for missing clues.  As a whole, these scenes and other multimedia created for this specific narrative debuting HBO’s project run the gamut from cable-worthy production value to budget video game cut-scene.  Yet the intrigue here is less the ends and more the means HBO is introducing as a novel spin on multilayered storytelling.

HBO has exhibited HBO Imagine in New York and Philadelphia, and is making its last stop in Washington D.C. at the end of this week.  Another component of the project challenges independent filmmakers to submit videos at following the narrative formula set by HBO Imagine.  There is currently only one user-created film available, though this may pick up as the city tour and promo concludes.

Check it out at {link no longer active}.

Resident Evil 5: AE Trailer

Capcom debuted this trailer for the upcoming Resident Evil 5: Alternative Edition at Tokyo Game Show.  The new version of the title, which is slated for both 360 and PS3, will have new content and the ability to play using PS3’s upcoming motion controller.

The trailer focuses on one of the new missions in the game.  As revealed through the video, players will get to return to the creepy mansion in Raccoon City that started it all.  (Welcome to survival horror.   Oh the memories)  Aside from slick presentation expected for anything RE, one the best parts of the video comes at the very end.  Without giving it away, it s a bit of comic relief and a refreshing perspective on how the superstars at Capcom aren’t so caught up in success that they can’t laugh at themselves.

Watch it at GameTrailers {link no longer active}.