A good year for pranksters, singers and soppy beer commercials on YouTube, which turned nine years old in 2014.
Appealing to the twin pleasures of animal videos and practical jokes, Polish actor and director S.A. Wardega took the top spot with more than 113 million views since he uploaded it in September. In the hidden camera video it, he dresses his otherwise cute dog up in a special eight-legged spider costume and unleashes it on unsuspecting members of the public, with hilarious results.
The number 2 spot was taken by a Nike advert ahead of the 2014 soccer World Cup, which featured stars like Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo. In third place was a slightly controversial video called ‘First Kiss’, which sold itself as a social experiment in which total strangers were invited to kiss each other. Later, it was revealed to have been commissioned by a small clothing brand called Wren Studio, with the strangers in reality posed by models.
Elsewhere in the list of ten, the much talked-about PR storm for Apple that was “iPhone 6 Plus Bend Test” was the fifth most watched video. The sappy Budweiser “Puppy Love”, debuted during this year’s Super Bowl, came in seventh.
Another prank video, “Devil Baby Attack’, was eighth; the ‘epic rap battle’ “Goku vs. Superman” was ninth; and propping up the list was an eye-opening video by an anti-harassment group called Hollaback. In it, a woman in casual clothes was filmed walking around in New York and being shouted at by men commenting, often aggressively, on her appearance.
The two other spots on the list were taken from reality TV shows. Singing nuns from the Italian version of ‘The Voice’ came fourth, and rapping teenagers from UK Cowell vehicle ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ came sixth.
His new album Underneath It All is out now.