The YouTube video of a berserk bride cutting off her tresses, which has become an international sensation, has been revealed as a teaser for an advertising campaign.
The Toronto production agency behind the "bride wigout" video calls the YouTube film a "net seed" and says more such ad-related material will soon be appearing on the popular video-sharing website.
'You plant your seed on the net, you nurture it, you watch it grow' —Producer Robbie McNamara
"You plant your seed on the net, you nurture it, you watch it grow and then, hopefully, you watch it become a phenomenon that everyone's talking about, which is exactly what happened with the wigout video," said producer Robbie McNamara of Burnout Productions.
"It's what we like to call a net seed — it's our way of interactively advertising. It's more interesting, it's more entertaining, and it allows people out there to get involved."
The video, entitled Bride Has Massive Hair Wig Out, shows a bride-to-be reacting in horror to her hairstyle in the hours before her wedding, screaming and hacking off the hair as her bridesmaids try to stop her.
Initial speculation about the six-minute video, posted two weeks ago on YouTube, centred on whetherit was real. It has drawn close to three million viewers so far.
The video was featured on the Canadian and U.S. talk-show circuits, including The Today Show and Good Morning America.
When the "bride" involved turned out to be22-year-old aspiring actress and university student Jodi Behan from Toronto, she won acclaim for her sterling performance.
Now the video has been revealed as a non-branded internet commercial for hair products ordered by Capital C Communications of Toronto.
The ad firm wanted to highlight the word "wigout" with the video — a word that will be used in a later more traditional ad campaign for Sunsilk hair products.
'It didn't matter to us whether people believed it or didn't believe it' —Director John Griffith
"It's a precursor to the advertising," saidMcNamara, 31. "They wanted to get the word 'wigout' to the masses."
Director John Griffith said he and McNamara spent a few days developing the idea, shot it in a couple of hours and spent only minutes to upload it to YouTube.com.
They sent it initially to about 20 people via the internet, but the video was so popular it has been forwarded around the world.
"It didn't matter to us whether people believed it or didn't believe it— just as long as they were watching it, sharing it with their friends and talking about it," Griffith said.
When Google bought YouTube last October, users feared there would be less opportunity for homemade videos as corporate users and advertisers move onto the website.
Griffith and McNamara warn more videos in the same vein as Bride Wig Out are coming.Offers are pouring in to Burnout.
"It's the future of advertising, and the future of entertainment in general, to allow the general population to be involved and to be interactive," McNamara says.
"It's the power of the new age media, where people pick and choose what they watch and what they want their friends to see."