Publicis Mojo Schweppes ad goes viral – after a year’s wait

A short film by Publicis Mojo that was created more than a year ago for Schweppes has raced into the world’s viral video top 20 after online users belatedly fell in love with it.  

“Signs” was originally created to promote an online Schweppes short film festival. It was one of the last pieces of work by Nick Worthington before he left the agency to move to Colenso BBDO as executive creative director.

signs-viral-trend-2But in the last month, the 12 minute movie, which does not feature the brand and has only one subtle reference to a character putting her finger to her lips, has surged in popularity.

On YouTube it has picked up nearly half a million views and a Facebook Group has acquired the film nearly 2,000 fans. According to the website Viral Video Chart, it is currently the world’s 17th most viral video. (Update: It’s now number nine. Update to the update: It’s now number five.) Globally, more than 300 blog posts have been written about it in the last 28 days. It has become particularly popular with Portugese and Spanish audiences.

The popularity of the film  exploded after a US-based YouTube user uploaded it on January 29.

There is evidence that other users heve uploaded it to video sharing sites in the past and seen it removed – possibly because the brand wanted to have traffic go to the Schweppes site. But on this occasion, the work has remained up and exploded in popularity as a result.

Last year, the film failed to make a major impression on awards juries – making Cannes Lions and Clio shortlists and going inbook for the D&AD Awards, but failing to win major metal.

Directed by Patrick Hughes of Surry Hills-based Radical Media, the film tells the story of a lonely office worker gradually falling in love with a woman he can see in the next office block. They communicate by holding up hand-written signs.

Much of the online debate has been over whether the female character is deaf.

The user who uploaded the video told Mumbrella: “I didn’t even have slightest clue that the video I uploaded a few weeks ago would evolve into another YouTube hit. I am still amazed with the number of hits I’m seeing every day. I am still overwhelmed with the popularity of the video. The video is extremely popular in many countries including Poland, France, Spain, China, Brazil, and Oz.

“I have many people sending messages to me asking me if “Stacey” was deaf or not. It is something we cannot answer for sure. However, it is all up to us, the audience, to decide if she is deaf or not. Ironically, I am deaf as well.”

Stacey is played by Kestie Morassi, who has since become familiar to Australian TV viewers as lawyer  Zarah Garde Wilson in Nine’s Underbelly and brothel boss Natalie in the Showcase drama Satisfaction.


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