Fake VW ad beats real thing to become most downloaded viral in 2005

LONDON - The controversial suicide bomber viral created by Lee and Dan without the knowledge of Volkswagen has become the most downloaded viral campaign of the year, with over 2.3m downloads.

The viral has topped a poll by the website Bore Me, which hosts the largest collection of virals in the world.

It landed Lee and Dan, the creative duo behind the ad, in hot water after Volkswagen took steps to distance itself from the spot. It shows a suicide bomber on a mission who is killed when his bomb goes off while the "small but tough" Volkswagen Polo contains the blast and itself remains undamaged. The pair later landed jobs at London ad agency Quiet Storm.

Coincidentally, Volkswagen topped the list of legitimate ads downloaded, with its 'Singin' in the Rain' adaptation for the new Golf. The ad was created by DDB London and downloaded 579,209 times.

Other pure viral spots to score over a million downloads on Bore Me included the clip of US president George W Bush attempting to leave a press conference in China via a locked door, and a spoof of 'Is This The Way To Amarillo?' created by British troops stationed in Basra in Iraq.

On the list of real ads, the other favourites were Sure for Men 'Stunt City', created by Lowe London, and the Carl's Jr burger restaurant ad staring Paris Hilton, by Mendelsohn Zien Advertising.

Pete Brown, founder of Bore Me, said: "Viral ads have come a long way in 2005, and 2006 looks even better as brands increasingly take their traditional TV and cinema advertising budgets and invest it into viral advertising.

"With the increase of cable channels and digital TV, TV advertising is becoming less cost effective and losing its status. That coupled with the rise of broadband usage has made viral advertising very appealing."

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