10 of our favourite viral videos of 2012

Hands up if you’re surprised that the Mayans were wrong; better yet, hands up if, like me, you took their prediction as an excuse to spend way too much on wine to ‘prepare’ for the imminent apocalypse. But then again, the day’s not over so we might still face zombies, Horsemen or the Second Coming, wine in hand. Either way, 2012 is on its way out, and while we wait for whatever may happen, we can reminisce over the year that’s been with some of the best and most popular viral videos of the past twelve months.

Kony 2012

Who can forget the massive impact this video had on the world’s population back in March?

The video aimed to bring worldwide attention to Joseph Kony and bring him, and his Lord’s Resistance Army, to book for their use of child soldiers in Africa. Unfortunately, Kony 2012 will probably be remembered more for director Jason Russell’s psychotic break when he was found wandering naked in the streets of San Diego than for effecting any real change.

Share it maybe

Whether you loved it or hated it, Carly Rae Jepson’s Call Me Maybe was one of the most popular songs of 2012. Incredibly it spawned a number of video covers, including one featuring Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale, but possibly the most entertaining is Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster with his own, Share It Maybe.

Demi Lovato got burned on X-Factor

Nothing is more entertaining than watching a semi-celebrity and Disney Channel darling brought back down to earth by a wannabe star. This video had the world laughing, and celebrating, when X-Factor contestant Shawn Armenta told Lovato off for using Autotune to help augment her singing voice. And if that wasn’t enough, watching ex-Disney princess Britney come to her defence, after Lovato was left speechless, is extra reason to mark it as one of the best videos of 2012.

Felix Baumgartner freefall

Possibly one of the most outrageous and brilliant marketing plans ever assembled was when Red Bull agreed to sponsor Felix Baumgartner’s 128 000 feet freefall from the stratosphere back to earth. And if the world does end later today, at least we can say that we’ve proven what really happens when a man plummets back down to earth.

Grumpy cat

So technically, this wasn’t one of the most exciting videos of the year, but it did create a meme storm of Grumpy Cat quips and images. From Stars Wars to Christmas, nothing is safe from the scorn of Grumpy Cat. And for that reason, it has to be down as one of the most influential videos of 2012.

Second cheapest wine commercial

No list is complete without wine, and this Australian public service commercial pokes fun at wine connoisseurs everywhere, proving that wine can be enjoyed just for the sake of it (except box wine; if you’re drinking box wine, you should be eaten by zombies).

Dramatic surprise

Let’s put a giant button in the middle of a town square and tell people to push it.  Enough said.

Extremely scary ghost elevator prank

Only three weeks old and this video has already garnered more than 50-million views on YouTube. Coming out of Brazil, it shows unsuspecting victims enter an elevator with some freaky secrets hidden inside.

The Queen & James Bond’s Olympic opening

What would a list of 2012 be without some reference to the Olympics?  And while there were many memorable moments, such as Mr Bean’s rendition of Chariots of Fire, Bert le Clos’ emotional pride, or the Spice Girls’ one night reunion at the closing ceremony, nothing could beat the entrance made by Her Majesty the Queen and 007 at the official opening.

Gangnam Style

No surprises for guessing the last video on this list.  Psy’s Gangnam Style toppled Justin Bieber as the most viewed video on YouTube, and for that reason alone, 2012 (and maybe the world) is ending on a fabulous note.



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