What can Christmas lights in sequence to music teach us about social objects?

December 21, 2010

We here at Amnesia Razorfish talk about the value of social objects when looking at how can brands can enter social media. What’s a social object you ask? Anything that people feel compelled to share in a digital landscape. Photos, games, jokes, songs, videos.. and the holy grail, memes.

What binds all of these ‘objects’ together is the simple proposition that the content appealed to someone enough to motivate them to want to share it with their friends. Whether this is because it made that person laugh, cry, revere or repel, it triggered an emotion that caused an effect – they passed it on.

But finding the key to understanding what triggers people to want to pass content on is difficult and takes considered insight. Most brands will fail in their attempts to ‘make something go viral’ and even believe that because they didn’t get 1 million hits on YouTube with that shiny new TVC, that social media isn’t a worthwhile platform for them or for their marketing budgets.

But there are a few basic rules in successful content. And as ’tis the season for all things Christmas (and today being my last day of working in 2010) I wanted to share some fantastic pieces of ‘viral’ content that have garnered the magical seven-figure views.

This magical Christmas lights video is currently sitting on 8,183,000 views. Pretty crazy eh?

Slayer (heavy metal) meets sequenced lights. Rad. And it’s appealed to 1,587,000 people.

It’s pretty slick, but still obviously a ‘home-made job’, but 1,641,000 people watched it.

Because you can’t blog about memes without a LOLcat, this one just makes it in. Sitting at 3,757,000 views, it’s got legs (or is that fur?).

So I’ll leave you with a challenge to find and share your favourite Christmas videos.  And have a very Merry Christmas, and a safe and Happy New Year!

~ Karalee Evans, Social Strategy Manager x

YouTique – The YouTube boutqiue from French Connection

September 30, 2010

Don’t you just hate it when something you’ve thought of and presented gets made and launched by someone that isn’t you or your client. Say hello to French connection’s YouTique:


Kitty criminal – the viral story of CatBinLady

August 27, 2010


I was walking home from work and saw this cat wander out in front of me. I don’t know what came over me, but I suddenly thought it would be funny to put it in the wheelie bin, which was right beside me.

Happens to the best of us, eh? This is how 45 year old Mary Bale from Coventry in the UK described the bizarre lapse of judgement that has catapulted her to global interweb fame in the space of a few days.

Lola the cat’s owner, Darryl Mann, heard her piteous yowling inside the wheelie bin outside his home fifteen hours later. Unluckily for Mrs Bale, her random act of kitty cruelty was captured on Darryl’s security cameras and promptly uploaded to YouTube by his wife, Stephanie. It wasn’t long before the resourcefulness of crowds tracked her down, and now she’s news from the Washington Post to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Her name, address, manager’s phone number have been posted online; there are at least 8 Facebook pages denouncing her villainy (not counting ‘Death to Mary Bale’, removed by Facebook). The Sun newspaper in the UK has published a Flash whack-a-mole game (renamed Whack-cat-woman) allowing users to smack Mary’s wicked head as it pops out of wheelie bins.


Back on YouTube there’s a video entitled ‘Cruel Cat Dumps Woman In Bin (Revenge of Cat)’ in which the tables are turned – a man in a Sylvester the Cat suit dumps an old lady in a wheelie bin.


Mary’s even got a fake twitter account in her name, CatBinLady, which has her tweeting pathological random acts of weirdness as she goes through her day: “Just kicked the head off next door’s gnome. For a joke. Who’s laughing now though? Not me. Not me.”


In short – she’s gone VIRAL! In just days.

While notorious Mary is barricaded at home, pilloried by the world’s media, menaced by crowds outside her house and expecting to lose her job, you’ll be pleased to hear that Lola has recovered from her ordeal purrrfectly.

Only in New Zealand

August 5, 2010

I stumbled across these nutty sports whilst doing some work for our client, Tourism New Zealand. Thought I’d share them:

1) Pomparkour Ladder Sport
This sport is either invented by V energy or just used in it’s latest campaign, but it’s still pretty cool.

2) High speed barefoot long boarding … on a freeway!
These guys are just nuts. Spot the guy with no shoes on.

Urban Bowling

July 30, 2010

Another parody of the Sony Bravia bouncing balls ad from TBWA Paris. It’s been ages since the last one so it actually made me laugh.

Louis C.K. reminds us

July 28, 2010

So you may have already seen this, but one of my favourite comedians, Louis C.K. reminds us just how far technology has come.

It might also make some of us think twice before having a whinge when our wi-fi device doesn’t pick up a signal for a few seconds.

Louis C.K.’s slightly autobiographical show Louie is currently on FX and it’s hilarious. (but it’s also NSFW, depending on where you W)

The Human LCD

July 1, 2010

Great idea executed brilliantly. Love it


It’s almost here: The iPhone controlled quadcopter drone

June 2, 2010

Update: I’ve been waiting  to buy one of these since I blogged it back in January. Well – the wait is almost over. June 15th sees the launch and pricing details of the AR Drone. Sick … as a Parrot. Details here

I’m planning to get one shipped over. Let me know in the comments below if you want to come and have a play with it 🙂

Here’s my original post.

Santa didn’t bring me one, but I wish he had. An iPhone controlled quadcopter drone with onboard cameras … yes really. It says it’s controlled using ‘wifi technology’ so I’m hoping you can’t just fly within a wifi zone. Big brother footage of Sydney coming soon. More here



Hi-Tec achieves a viral miracle with it’s walking on water doco

June 2, 2010

So Hi-Tec has come clean by admitting it was the brand behind the “Liquid Mountaineering” documentary, which has attracted over 4 million views.

We’ve seen many a fake viral fall flat in the past; most notably the high profile backfire of Naked’s Witchery viral in early 2009. It’s true you can’t fool a YouTube audience. However, Hi-Tec have made a masterful attempt at tricking YouTubers into thinking a group of european thrill seekers have managed to run on water. Gullible bogans. Lots of people have called it, but many people seem to have been taken in:

… or are they?? Or have CCCP (the dutch ad agency behind this genius) done the sensible thing and flooded the comments board with a load of bollocks to make you put all logical thought to one side and think this is actually real. I sincerely hope these comments are genuine, but  sadly I suspect the most gullible ones are not.

I have to admit it had me going until I saw this shot:

… and the bit with men running on water.

As an agency, we don’t create “viral videos”. We create pieces of content that, given the right ingredients, we hope will achieve viral status.

So I thought it would be worth deconstructing the ingredients of one of the best ‘fake virals’ I’ve seen.

Here’s my learnings from CCCP’s viral miracle.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alan Wake – The Project

May 12, 2010

Here’s a little something we worked on recently for Xbox Australia that was pretty fun. We kidnapped a bunch of Xbox gamers, stuck some probes on them and then left them alone in various locations at the Quarantine Station at Sydney’s North Head. Oh, yeah, they got to play Alan Wake before anyone else in the country.

Interesting to see how the body responds to intense situations in games. Alan Wake has its share of them too. I’ve had a go myself and I’m in no hurry to go wandering in the woods at night any time soon.

Check the site out at http://www.xbox.com.au/theproject/

There’s some more videos you can check out and a bunch of pics on Flickr.

The TV Show – Watch It

May 3, 2010

This isn’t the newest fantastic piece of animation around, but we haven’t mentioned it here yet – and it’s well worth watching. Produced by Sugimoto Kousuke (director) and Manabe Takayuki (music), it’s an excellent example of carefully combining sweet animation with thumping beats.

How you can not watch something with a scene like this? I don’t know. Click through to see the video.

Read the rest of this entry »

Steve Jobs’ Thoughts on Flash. Boom.

April 30, 2010

Today, in an open letter published on Apple’s website, Steve Jobs shared his thought on Adobe Flash and its place (or lack thereof) on Apple devices such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Steve’s “Thoughts on Flash” can be found here. I break down his points after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

New York Under 8-Bit Attack

April 8, 2010

Forget King Kong atop the Empire State Building, long live Donkey Kong!

Check out the wholly destruction based fantasy of long time gamers in this video, when New York has everything 8-bit unleashed upon it:

[Courtesy of Gizmodo AU]

Amazing holographic drumkit and turntables

February 25, 2010

Neurosonics live. Ammmmaaazzzzing.

The Banksy Movie

January 27, 2010

I’m very much looking forward to this. Not because I’m jumping on the Banksy band wagon (Back in my uni days I went to one of his first exhibitions and failed to buy a piece of his work for peanuts … foolish) but because I’m pretty sure it will be nothing like the trailer and do something completely unexpected.


Anyway, here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it already:

Pepsi changes it’s name to Pecsi

December 10, 2009

People couldn’t pronounce the word Pepsi in Argentina so the brand changed it’s name to something they could pronounce…Pecsi. Love it.



More here

Animating a P&O Wave (or How to use Peanut Oil in a Website).

November 30, 2009

Last week we launched the new P&O Website [cue the trumpets because it took a year!] Whilst e-commerce websites aren’t generally considered somewhere you can ‘get creative’ we decided this should be an interesting challenge …which it was. When we did our early research we found some very interesting insight about that “twilight zone” where air meets water (see images below). We realised there was something here to play with and decided that if we could execute it well enough it could be an important design feature on the site… but execute it poorly and it would just look tacky. (Let us know what you think).

Above Video: The making of the wave: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWCsS7W3yQk

Creating a ‘wave’ was not as simple as we first thought. Animated tests trying to simulate the wave in 3D or in Flash just didn’t cut it. We wanted something which felt as realistic as possible. We next moved to the real world but equally found that water on its own did not work well at all when we filmed it. To cut a very long story short we finally made a glass tank (very lo-tech – a vase with half a CD case fixed using a glue gun) and filled it with 50% water (tinted blue with food dye) and 50% clear peanut oil. The two substances allowed us to create and film the illusion of water moving very realistically but a much slower down rate. Some After Effects magic with the raw film and we now have a looped, low bandwidth wave for the P&O site.

Final Website above: http://www.pocruises.com.au/Pages/default.aspx


Above: During design research we found a ton of wonderful images which were part of the inspiration for the final wave.


Above: Other features in the site include “Full Screen Experiences” that work without leaving the current page you are on. It’s slightly buried but an unusual feature – especially for an ecom website.

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Burger King does augmented reality banners

November 2, 2009

Here’s a nice banner concept from Burger King that uses augmented reality. Grab a dollar bill, hold it in front of your webcam and see what appears. Nice.


Historical Moments of Internet Social Power Changes

October 27, 2009

I was just checking my folder where I keep interesting screenshots of stats (ok, I admit they’re probably only interesting to me but hey… I just like sharing). So here’s some ‘interesting’ moments where power shifts occur in the world of social and UGC. (Note: Stats are from the publicly available Alexa site). Note that I screen grabbed these at the time and saved them because there’s not always a guarantee you’ll be able to get the data in the same state in the future. Currently Alexa now only goes back 2 years since they changed their data analysis so the first screenshot below is something of a collectors item (if you collect screenshots of stats that is).

~ @eunmac

Below: Jan 2007 YouTube clearly passes MySpace.


Below: What has happened since (in a little under 3 years)


Below: Another change in global domination in 2009. Facebook passes YouTube in July.


Below – What’s next? Despite the hype surrounding Twitter it’s got a long way to go to catch Facebook which continues to grow at a phenomenal rate with YouTube appearing pretty solid – although interestingly Twitter appears to be now on par with MySpace and looks set to pass it next month.


Kasabian does giant Guitar Hero with soccer balls

October 27, 2009

I’m a big fan of Kasabian. I’m a big fan of Guitar Hero. I’m not a big football fan(soccer to the aussies) but I’m a big fan of tech stunts. I love this.