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“The Viral Experiment”
Entrant: The Woolshed Company, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Advertiser: The Woolshed Company, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

(From left) Adam Hughes, Producer; Clinton Madden, Editor; Lee Gluckman of Mobius; Dave Christison, Managing Director; Paddy Mithen, Producer; Anthony Salpietro, Technical Director; Ben Blennerhasset, Director; and Matt Weston, Director. (Photo courtesy of The Woolshed Company)

(From left) Adam Hughes, Producer; Clinton Madden, Editor; Lee Gluckman of Mobius; Dave Christison, Managing Director; Paddy Mithen, Producer; Anthony Salpietro, Technical Director; Ben Blennerhasset, Director; and Matt Weston, Director. (Photo courtesy of The Woolshed Company)

With all the worldwide hoopla about “fake news,” nothing is more fitting than a visit to The Woolshed Company in Melbourne, Australia. This branding and production company was only founded in 2014, but it made a huge splash in the social media world with “The Viral Experiment,” which won Best of Show Digital-Online in Mobius Awards 2016 competition. The videos in this series were all fake.

Lee Gluckman, chairman of Mobius, was at the agency offices the week of March 27 to deliver awards and chat with the creatives about the two-year social media experiment.

Producer Adam Hughes says the company takes great pride at producing campaigns that get worldwide coverage. The “fake video” campaign series accumulated more than 310 million online views, all done “without any paid media, promotion of distribution.”

One video, Tornado Selfie, was part of a promotion for Roadshow Films’ movie “Into the Storm,” released in 2014. That production won gold for best viral campaign at the 2015 Golden Trailer Awards. “The Viral Experiment” also was nominated for Content Strategy Of The Year at the 2016 BeFest Awards in Australia.

The fake video project was done to learn what makes videos go viral. The videos included ones about people attacked by sharks and lions and chased by bears while snowboarding, a woman who almost get struck by lightning, and two men “fighting” with selfie sticks. They received 1.6 million likes and 500,000 comments on social media. The audience was split 50-50 on whether the videos were real or fake, but most were presented as entertainment, Hughes said.

 

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