Slow and steady wins the race, and when you’re behind the wheel it also keeps you alive. That’s the lesson behind an insanely clever new viral video produced by advertising firm BBDO for a Russian insurance firm. The video “Most Terrible Fatal Car Crash Ever” is pure clickbait candy. Dashboard cameras are commonplace in Russia, a deterrent to rampant insurance fraud. Footage from these cameras of accidents, crashes, and wild driving is hugely popular on Russian YouTube, with deadly crashes routinely racking up millions of views. This video, however, is not quite what it seems.
Viewers watching at normal speed will see ten minutes of normal driving with no sign of the fatal crash promised in the videos title. However, those who chose to fast forward to the action will see something entirely different. The video’s thumbnails, viewed by dragging your cursor along the timeline, show a deadly crash followed by a title card with the message “Don’t Rush.” It’s a clever way to demonstrate that speeding, whether through videos or down crowded streets, can have dangerous consequences. The thumbnails also link back to the website of InTouch, the Russian insurer who sponsored the campaign.
We’re usually annoyed when advertisers try to cash in on a viral trend, but this time we have to hand it to them. BBDO and InTouch not only figured out what people were watching, but how they were watching it and built their message around that behavior. It’s clever and surprising, not something we often say about video ads.
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