Kissing, Clothing and Awkwardness

I almost feel as if you know what I’m going to blog about today. This video has become momentously viral. Within the past three days alone it has accumulated 38,386,937 views on YouTube. Yes, you guessed it; I’m talking about the enamouring “First Kiss” video.

Let me break this down for you if you have not seen it yet (uh, where have you been?). This video was posted by Tatia Pllieva, filmed by WREN, on YouTube on Monday the 10th of March. All that was written in the description box was “We asked twenty strangers to kiss for the first time…” This is a very simple yet slightly mysterious synopsis for the video, especially since we, as the audience, would like to know why exactly these twenty strangers were asked to kiss on camera.

At first I just felt that the video was awkward and kind of made me squirm in my seat, but as the strangers began to loosen up a little bit, I began to see the fairy-tale like charm in the situation. I mean, how often to you see complete strangers make out for no apparent reason… sober? When you are sober, your inhibitions are at full force and you are fully aware of how your breath smells, the gargantuan pimple on your nose and your excessively sweaty palms. The nervous giggles and darting eyes create a sense of innocence and sheepishness which most people find endearing, hence the thirty eight million views.

However, I found it peculiar (really sweet, but odd) that a group of strangers would agree to do something like that without any real commercial purpose. I also noticed that this ‘random clump of strangers’ were quite good-looking; I mean what were the odds? I then decided to do some research. According to an online article by Christopher Hooton of The Independent entitled “First Kiss Viral Video Was Just A Clothing Advert Starring Actors”, posted on Thursday the 13th of March, the entire video was just an advertisement for Wren Studio clothing. Wren Studio is a fashion line based in Los Angeles, founded by designer Melissa Coker. Hooton claims that most of the people in the video were actors or models, and included Soko, the musician who wrote and performed the song playing in the clip. He described the video as a “covert way of boosting clothing sales for brand Wren Studio”.

As it turns out, this is true. Wren Studio tweeted that they “asked 20 strangers to kiss for the first time for [their] 14 fall collection” on the 11th of March with a link to the video. They created this video to celebrate the debut of their latest fall collection. In many ways I think this is genius advertising. The video tugs on our heartstrings, many people can relate to it on some level (we’ve all experienced that awkward first kiss, be honest), and it is the best way to advertise because most of us went out of our way to watch it. I can’t name many other advertisements that can do that to me. It is sweet, different (both aesthetically and technically) and makes us want to click ‘replay’. At the end of the day, the advert really did the trick.

What do you think? Feel free to post your comments!