Is a Kiss Ever “Just a Kiss?”

The viral “First Kiss” video shown below has swept the nation via social media and alternative news outlets. Clocking in at just over 45 million views to date, this video shows several individuals who had never met each other before, and were in essence “strangers” interacting. The video producers requested that they introduce themselves and then, all be it awkwardly, share a first kiss. This video has been plastered everywhere, it is hard to find someone who has not seen or heard of it. From a personal standpoint, I noticed many of the individuals who shared this video had a positive reaction to it, reminding us of the positive impacts of kissing freely and expressing affection for others. Some noted the fact that the producers used “pretty” people in the video. Some even thought of this as a sexual equality campaign, as the video makers included in addition to male/female partners a homosexual pair of kissers as well. This video seemed to be very effective in evoking emotion from its audience. Although, not many recognize that this video is in fact an advertisement.

At a first glance, many individuals may not know why this video has been made at all. Social experiments are common among viral videos now, and do not always have an underlying message. However, it is no mistake that all of these “pretty” people were placed together. These stylish individuals were chosen for a reason. This video was created and implemented by the Los Angeles clothing company Wren. This subtle form of advertisement for Wren’s fall clothing collection has been viewed as more of an artistic short rather than a commercial, which reaches a broader audience. When people do not feel that they are being sold something, it is entirely possible that they would be more likely to act as consumers. It gives the viewers an opportunity to interpret the film as they will, either a documentation of belief in love, or a funny unsettling situation.

The key to making a company’s online presence successful (as taught by my New Media Campaigns professor David Kamerer), is to present the content in the form of an onion. The layers are different levels of information, and a user should be able to get as little or as much content as they would like. On the first level, what makes this type of advertisement successful is individuals can watch the video and enjoy it for itself, and not think of it any further. Or, someone can be intrigued when they see this and decide to understand why it was created, and what type of other content the creators have produced. This is an effective model and should be employed more often.

Wren is not the first company to use this subtle form of advertisement. An example from a previous blog post I wrote is the Chipotle “Scarecrow” short film. It again uses the same tactics, not showing brand names or telling you to purchase their product, but instead showing a story arc and creating a message for its brand. This is vital to the future success of a company, especially when consumers are relying heavily on content based websites and lifestyle brands as opposed to products.

What did you think about the video, would you shop at Wren after viewing it? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

5 thoughts on “Is a Kiss Ever “Just a Kiss?”

  1. Wow, I didn’t even know that this was an advertisement. My mind is sort of blown, major kudos to those responsible for this video. I adore this sort of subtle form of advertising because I think it forces viewers to pay more attention. The only complaint I have is, it’s almost too subtle! I seriously didn’t know this was an advertisement until now.


  2. I saw this video and I had no idea it was an ad! I think that it is successful in the fact that it went viral, but I think it is much too subtle. I am usually very aware of product placement, but I still missed it.


  3. I am overwhelmed by the view numbers they have. The video/ad has reached over 45millions views on Youtube within 4 days!!! It’s really crazy. I really think that this is beautiful. You can see, from a simple kiss, that there is a fire there. In some of these couples, they have a connection, a visable connection, but others don’t have that. I think its purely beautiful, because you can see that spark!!


  4. Totally didn’t realize it was a commercial! I have to say, I was admiring some of the clothing, though, and now that I know it was a commercial I kind of want to go check out the store…so I was totally suckered by the marketing. 🙂


  5. Same here, I had no clue it was an advertisement. I was actually a little disappointed to find out that they were actors. Now that I know that it’s an advertisement, I’d probably check it out again just to see “what they’re wearing” then. I’m open minded to the idea of subtle advertisements that tell a little story. It’s at least more pleasing to watch than being bombarded with brand BUY BUY BUY advertising.


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