(by Sofia Scatena)
Back in March 2014, a video went viral appearing on all social media walls and causing much excitement. It was about perfect strangers who accepted to share a french kiss. More than 59 millions views afterwards (in a few weeks), the story behind was revealed.
And it was a story that sounded a bit deceiving to most ears: “First kiss” was an advertising campaign assigned by fashion brand WREN to the professional filmmaker Talia Pilieva. The people pictured were not strangers at all but well trained actors performing a script. Did knowing this stopped the video spiraling towards 90 millions views? Definitely not.
Question: why did the video went viral in the first place? The answer is very simple: because of the pleasant emotions elicited in the eye (and the heart) of the beholder. As disappointing as our first kiss may have been, what’s sure is that we all remember it fondly, we tend to smile at our teen self and his/her awkwardness, sometimes we may even still skip a beat just remembering that first encounter of lips. Isn’t it?
But let’s remember this is an ad, even if there are no products, no claims, no call to actions. Hence the second question: why would a fashion brand put so much effort into doing this video? As James Ian McDonald says in his blog, we’re talking about art. And art and adv share the same purpose: to carve a space into our minds and remain there, for as long as possible, hopefully stimulating positive emotions when our memory goes back to that place.
And finally the third question: why are we so hooked to these images? It’s not the act of kissing that’s interesting but the emotions on display: those natural, human, reactions and changes that happen before and after a first kiss.
This video was not made to have people buy more products but to have people remember the emotion they felt. And it proved to be an extremely powerful one.
Here you can read the whole story as told by Talia Pilieva herself on Huffington Post.