Now this is how to do a dramatic viral ad

TNT in Belgium decides it needs to make its promise of drama, well, more dramatic. So it sets up the drama in a town square -- complete with shooting, bodies, and, um, football players.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

If there was a big red button in the middle of a town square that invited you to push it in order to "add drama," I am not sure I would be the first in line.

However, some people just cannot the resist the lure of the unknown. Just in case it offers them a little lift from their day.

So here was TNT, ready to launch in Belgium and wondering how to get the home of French fries and fine beer to pay attention. Enter the red button and the promise of drama.

What ensued was the equivalent of an episode of "24," distilled into less than 2 minutes.

The minute the button was pushed, what broke loose was less "all hell" and more "all the reasons that we so adore violence and mayhem on a daily basis."

Some might be enchanted by the sheer pace of the punch-ups. Others might merely admire the lady in lingerie on a motorbike.

However, once the shooting starts, a very curious thing happens. No one runs for cover. No one imagines that they might be struck with a stray bullet or a flying mallet. Not even when a bunch of (American) footballers emerge from a building to carry a body away.

This, naturally, raises one's suspicions that the button-pushers were ad agency employees or, perish the concept, actors.

One of the ad agency partners who concocted this delightful enterprise, Marc Wellens, told ABC Action News: "People are too flabbergasted to react or to run away or intervene."

One would love to believe him, even though, by the 11th that they pulled this stunt (yes, the video is edited from repeat performances), everyone in the town must have known what was going on.

Perhaps, though, given that this was supposedly a small Flemish town, the inhabitants were simply grateful to witness a little shooting and lingeried bikers.

The most important thing, though, was whether those confined to offices and difficult marriages have passed this video along in order to make it dramatically viral.

As I write this, more than 4 million people have viewed this fine work of live art since yesterday. It seems that TNT knows drama quite well.

 

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