Pepsi pranks travellers with terrifying bus shelter shocker

PepsiWe’ve seen a spate of bus shelter advertising stunts going viral in the Brand Chart of late: from Photoshop’s Street Retouch Prank last year, to more recent campaigns from the likes of Norwegian charity, SOS Children’s Villages and Duracell’s Moments Of Warmth, which turned a bus shelter into a human powered battery to keep travellers warm. Now it looks like Pepsi Max is the latest brand to use a public transport waiting-stop to target unsuspecting passers by.

Imagine the scene… you’re patiently waiting for a bus when you glance through the side of the shelter and notice an escaped tiger running towards you – scared? What if you saw alien ships descend from space or a killer robot rampaging through the city? Don’t worry, the world isn’t ending, it’s all just part of an elaborate prank by Pepsi. The soft drinks giant hijacked a London bus stop, secretly installing augmented-reality screens on one side of the shelter to display hyper-realistic scenes of destruction and mayhem unfolding on the street beyond.

The public’s reactions range from laughter to bewildered confusion and outright shock. It makes for a pretty amusing ad and the video has already clocked up nearly 3 million views.

Elsewhere in the chart, it looks like wearable technology is the flavour of the month, with smartwatch promotional videos from both Google and Motorola making it into the top-10 listings.

Last week Google announced that it’s extending the Android platform to ‘wearables’, opening up its software to the developer community and encouraging designers to start creating apps for wearable devices. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear was one of the first smartwatches available and now Motorola has unveiled plans to bring a classic, old-fashioned design to the market. We’re expecting to see more and more mobile phone manufactures start jumping on the wearable technology bandwagon over the coming year and Apple is going to need to be quick off the mark if it doesn’t want to loose its share of the market.

Also worth a watch in the brand scene this week is the latest video from Banksy. The artist has teamed up with rock band Elbow to mark the third anniversary of the crisis in Syria with a moving charity video tribute. Voiced by Idris Elba and set against a haunting backdrop of bloodshed, the short film brings to life one of the artists most iconic stencils, the girl with the heart balloon. Urging viewers to stand up against the violence and join the protest by using the #WithSyria hashtag to voice their opinions across social media.

Top trending UGC and entertainment videos:

Over in the UGC listings, Kevin Bacon proves he’s still got what it takes to tear up the dance floor. It’s been over 30 years since Footloose first got the world kicking off their Sunday shoes and busting out the dance groves (I know, 30 years, WTF!) and to mark the anniversary, Bacon teamed up with Jimmy Fallon to re-enact some of the most iconic dance scenes from the film. Stripping down to that famous white vest and rocking out to a crowd of admirers, it’s clear that Bacon still knows how to make an entrance and Jimmy Fallon certainly knows how please an audience, adding another notch to his belt of viral hits with nearly 10 million views and counting.

Also trending is a moving pregnancy time-lapse video from Tom Fletcher, former member of popular boy band Mcfly, or was it Busted? Or McBusted? (I don’t know. I loose track.) Well anyway, the onetime pop star turned vlogger is developing quite a fan base on YouTube, following up the success of his viral Wedding Speech with a series of regular video diary entries and making headlines across the media this week with his latest video, a beautiful tribute to his wife and new baby son. Aaaaaah cute, and he even wrote them a little song!

Squeak of the Week:

Everyone loves magic right? That combination of puzzled wonder and the desperate desire to find out how the hell the trick works. But are humans the only species that can enjoy a good magic show? Apparently not! My favourite video this week comes from Finish magician, Jose Ahonen, who put the theory to the test on a group of unwitting doggie participants. Using some clever slight of hand tricks, he makes tasty treats disappear right before their eyes, the results are hilarious and the video notched up nearly 8 million views in 4 days.

 Chris Quigley is a marketing meme lover and founder of awesomeness including  #KittenCamp and VAN.