Dentsu, Canon Go Viral for Video Cameras

NEW YORK The domestic video division of Canon is jumping into the viral world by enlisting some Internet auteurs for a campaign dubbed the “Battle of the Viral Video Superstars.”

The online effort from Dentsu in New York features notables such as Gary Brolsma, better known as the “Numa Numa” guy for his video of himself singing a Romanian pop song, and Ricky Stern, who is best known for his Web site

Eight “stars” were brought to New York and divided into two teams. Each team was given a Canon camcorder and told to make a short video of what its final post would be if the Internet were shutting down.

Users can now vote for their favorites, and the winner will be announced Nov. 15. Adweek is showing the Team Wolf submission, “Sexy Milk Jump.”

In the three-minute “Sexy Milk Jump,” Lazy Dork takes off his clothes in a park, Luke Barats attempts to drink a gallon of milk and Joe Bereta jumps over a series of random objects such as grass. (Joe and Luke are the team behind the comedy site

Dentsu initially compiled a list of 200 Web video stars to work on the project. “Some people said no because they didn’t want to be pegged as viral video stars,” said Bruno Corbo, a cd at Dentsu. “A lot of them didn’t want to do it because they have hopes of acting or directing and they thought this would negatively affect them.”

Canon’s cameras are seen in the trailer and are, of course, used to film all the videos. There is also a “battle supplies” section of the microsite that offers more details on the cameras used to make the shorts. Banners on sites such as, and are used to drive traffic to the

“We realized that reaching out to the video-sharing community, who are reliant on video capturing, was a no-brainer for a video camera division,” said Chris Cesarini, marketing manager at Canon in Lake Success, N.Y.

Canon is already expressing interest in doing something similar next year. “If the campaign continues to build on its early success we would consider doing an extension,” said Cesarini. “This is little more cutting edge than things we’ve done in the past.”

Added Dentsu’s Corbo: “As we approach the 2008 work and what we want to do, it [the viral site] increases the chances of doing something cool because they [Canon] know they can do something cool and get away with it.”

Separately, Canon found itself enmeshed in legal wrangling between Dentsu and a former agency creative director.