Trending This Week: Evil Pixels, The Art of IKE Andrews, Too Many Cooks - D.C. Edition

Pixels - Official Trailer (HD) - Summer 2015


On Tuesday, Sony released the much-anticipated first teaser for "Pixels," an action-comedy movie pitting an eclectic group of heroes (Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage and Michelle Monaghan, to name a few) against classic arcade game characters programmed by aliens to destroy Planet Earth. The inspiration behind "Pixels" is the lesser known, eerier film of the same name by Patrick Jean released on YouTube in 2010. Jean's short film gained a cult following over the last 5 years and is experiencing a resurgence in interest since the release of the new "Pixels" trailer, seeing more views on March 18 (57k+) than any other day in its history.

Showing IKEA print to Art experts


LifeHunters, an Amsterdam-based digital production group specializing in "awesome viral video content," played a highbrow prank on the patrons of the Museum Arnhem, planting a mass-produced IKEA print alongside the museum's most famous modern artworks and asking for their reactions. Visitors to the museum expressed their appreciation for the provocative piece by "IKE Andrews," some estimating its worth at being in, at least, the hundreds of thousands. The video, LifeHunters' second most popular behind their "Serving McDonald's to food experts" prank from last year, has gained more than 1.1m views in 2 days, and was the 9th most popular video in the Netherlands this week.

Här gör teckentolken succé i Melodifestivalen 2015


A stunningly expressive sign language interpreter named Tommy Krångh won the internet this week, stealing the show at the Swedish singing competition Melodifestivalen with his impassioned interpretations of songs performed by various rising Swedish stars. Krångh first gained buzz after a video of him signing and dancing along to a Magnus Carlsson song on Swedish TV channel SVT started making the rounds. SVT quickly caught wind of the fervor and released a special tribute to Krångh and his emphatic signing skills (above). In response to this sudden fame, Krångh told Swedish media outlet The Local: "I am overwhelmed, happy, thrilled...  I have heard people have been discussing me on TV in Hong Kong, Australia, the United States, Belgium, Spain...I hope that this will help more people understand that sign language isn't just about two deaf people communicating. It is creative, it is an art."

Election 2016: Too Many Cooks

And finally... wha?? Following the breakout success of last year's "Too Many Cooks," Adult Swim's viral dark comedy short, CNN decided to get in on the joke by releasing its own election-inspired version, starring the many, many "cooks" of the U.S. political world. The parody of a parody was released yesterday, with an unknown goal and geared towards an unclear audience, but has already got the wide range of media outlets buzzing (and scratching their heads) -from CNET, to NY Mag, to Daily Dot, to the Hollywood Reporter.

--Christine Huang

Trending This Week: Real-Life Bionic Heroes; Blue Steel's Back!

For The Collective Project: Robert Downey Jr. Delivers a Real Bionic Arm

For 8 months, members of University of Central Florida's Limbitless team (a group of students focused on producing affordable, 3-D printed bionic limbs for children with amputations) had been working on a specially designed Iron Man-themed appendage for a young boy named Alex who was born with a partially developed right arm. Yesterday, we had the privilege of witnessing Alex's much-anticipated introduction to his new arm, delivered by the world's most powerful bionic hero himself - Iron Man. The video, filmed by Microsoft as part of their Collective Project initiative, has earned more than 3.7m views and ~2k comments in less than 24 hours.


 Zoolander 2 - Maison Valentino Runway
 This week, guests at Maison Valentino's runway show in Paris were treated to a very special guest appearance by two of fashion's most infamous rivals: Hansel and Zoolander. Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller, the two stars of 2001's comedy "Zoolander," took to the catwalk together for the first time in more than a decade, a reunion that confirmed the release of the movie's sequel next year and that sparked a flurry of excitement around the web (1.5m+ views on YouTube, plus hundreds of thousands of shares, comments and likes across Twitter and Instagram). The nearly unanimous positive feedback from the bold marketing stunt bodes well for the aging (but still so hot right now) duo, and suggests that maybe there isn't much more to life than being really, really ridiculously good-looking.


Mean Tweets - President Obama Edition

For his latest edition of celebrities reading mean tweets, late night host Jimmy Kimmel invited one of the biggest celebrities of them all - President Barack Obama - to meditate on some of the criticism he's received in the Twittersphere (@Campaignrpoz: "A 30 rack of coors light is $23 now at Sun Stop. Thanks Obama."). In total, Kimmel's Mean Tweets clips have amassed a stupendous 300m+ views, and continue to be among the most buzzed-about and consistently popular segments from his show.


 Funky Flight Attendant

Adding to the 70k+ "Uptown Funk" covers, parodies, and homages that have been keepin' YouTube funky, this short dance tribute performed by one particularly coordinated WestJet flight attendant tickled the fancy of millions of viewers this week, the video of her in-aisle performance earning 5.5m+ views in little more than 4 days. The clip - recorded (vertically, smh) by the attendant's brother - gained quick traction through social media and blogs, first starting on Reddit then quickly spreading to sites like Mashable and Buzzfeed, the sum of which made up 60% of the video's views.



The Other Billion-View Song You Never Saw Coming

There is one video that sits atop the mountain of YouTube videos bearing the crown inscribed “Most Watched YouTube Video of All Time,” and it is a video for a song. That song is "Gangnam Style" by Psy. Uploaded almost three years ago by OfficialPsy, the video has tallied 2.3 billion views. This number, which is almost mind boggling, would have seemed unthinkable when the video was released. And yet, here we are.

"Gangnam Style" became the first video and song to cross 1 billion views on YouTube in December 2012. Next came Justin Bieber’s "Baby," which crossed a billion views last year. If you look at the list of YouTube’s most-viewed videos, you’ll see that there are a couple more videos, all songs, that are close to accomplishing this feat. Psy has another contender with "Gentleman," already at .8 billion, Katy Perry has "Roar" at .8 billion and "Dark Horse" at .9 billion. But there’s one other song that has already passed this prestigious mark and doesn’t appear on the list of the ten most-viewed videos of all time, and there’s no way you’ll ever guess what it is. Here’s a hint: It was released in 2007.

In 2007, the first iPhones was released, the last Harry Potter book went on sale, destined to become the fastest-selling book of all time, and a humble Gummy Bear began singing a self-affirming ditty titled I’m A Gummy Bear. For those who are unfamiliar, or are in need of a reminder, this is "I’m A Gummy Bear."



"I’m A Gummy Bear" was a phenomenon. While it had debuted as a 30-second video clip in Hungary in August 2006, the full-length song was unleashed on the world in October 2007. Not only did the song spend eight months atop Hungary's ringtone charts, but the song charted in the US as a dance track, where it has gone double platinum. Gummy Bear has spawned video games, movies, and licensing deals galore. This video, the English version of the song, has received 528 million views since being uploaded in October 2007. Of course, 528 million views is an astonishing number, but it’s nowhere near a billion. Well, this isn’t the only official upload of this song.

"I’m A Gummy Bear" has been translated into dozens of languages and uploaded to the official YouTube channel, "ICanRockYourWorld.” If you add up all the different translations of the song uploaded to ICanRockYourWorld, you arrive at: 921 million views. That moves the Gummy Bear song past Dark Horse and Roar, but it isn’t quite the 1 billion views promised above.

Not a problem.

There’s the other official Gummy Bear channel, “GummyBearIntl,” which also hosts the song and even more translations.  If you add those views to the mix, you get 1.1 billion views, making this a third song to have crossed one billion views on YouTube.

Psy’s "Gangnam Style" was unique. It was a song sung almost entirely in Korean, a language spoken by less than .01% of the world’s population, that managed to charm the world. Justin Bieber’s "Baby" had an army of Beliebers behind it and the benefit of being in English, the lingua franca of the pop music world. "I’m A Gummy Bear" became a force to be reckoned with by greeting people around the world on their own terms in their own languages - my gummy bear, your gummy bear, everyone’s gummy bear.




- Earnest Pettie

Trending This Week: Love for #DearMe; Miracles at 4,000 Feet

GUY HAS SEIZURE WHILE SKYDIVING


22 year-old Christopher Jones was skydiving 12,000 feet over Western Australia when, at around 9,000 ft, Jones began having a seizure. Free falling unconsciously through the sky, Jones was intercepted by his jumpmaster, Sheldon McFarlane, who managed to grab a hold of him and deploy his parachute, allowing him to float safely to the ground (at around 3,000 feet, Jones regained consciousness and was able to navigate his own secure landing). On Monday, Jones posted headcam footage of this terrifying fall - "possibly the scariest moment of [his] life" - and it immediately became one of the top trending topics of the day. Within the first 48 hours, the video received more than 9m views, 10k comments and hundreds of press mentions (and earned Jones an interview with Anderson Cooper, to boot).

Diversity & Inclusion - Love Has No Labels

Filmed on Valentine's Day in Santa Monica, CA, this touching PSA from Ad Council struck a chord this week - spreading the simple message of love, diversity and inclusion to more than 28.5m worldwide viewers in less than 3 days.  Set to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's Same Love, the ad features partners and friends of different backgrounds, genders, and ages expressing their appreciation for one another - openly and proudly - and demonstrating that love doesn't have, or need, any labels. The video was the top viewed non-music video of the week, coming in 4th overall behind Taylor Swift's "Blank Space".


Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars - "UPTOWN FUNK" (Sung in CARTOON Voices!)

Adding to the 60k+ parodies, covers and other tributes to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars's hit "Uptown Funk," voice impressionist Mikey Bolts lent his voice (and a dozen or so others) to his own version of the song this week, amassing ~2.7m views in just three days. Bolts, whose channel has seen nearly 170m views and more than 1.8m subscribers since its 2008 debut, assures his fans in his comments section that this video, though seemingly complicated, was but a single day's effort: "Started recording at 3am, filmed at noon, edited til 9. Tuesday vid." (A well spent day, we'd say!)

#DearMe - What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?


Tuesday saw the launch of #DearMe, our campaign aimed at inspiring and empowering girls around the world by asking them to answer one simple question: "What advice would you give your younger self?" This 2 minute spot features encouragement and words of wisdom from some of our biggest creators, including Hannah Hart, Laci Green, Michelle Phan, Grace Helbig, Gigi Chao, and Lilly Singh. The video received a 90%+ positive sentiment (likes vs. dislikes) and reached more than 2m people in three days.

--Christine Huang