Once upon a time, an advertiser made an ad and then had to pay someone to distribute it. You know, to help them sell their product. But then the internet came along, and someone else realized that if you make your ad funny enough, the masses will do the second part for you, for free. However, if you can manage to make your ad supremely funny, it will gather so much momentum, it will morph into a cultural touchstone all by itself, spawning parodies, imitations, and endless jokes — all while helping you sell your product.
Like these ads, the most-watched commercials on YouTube of the year. You've probably seen all of them, voluntarily, not because they were interrupting an episode of 30 Rock. The winner, surprisingly, is not Isaiah Mustafa's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" ad (though it did get a pretty impressive 24.2 million views), but the Evian ad with the roller-skating babies (45 million). Some of the best ones are below, and the full list is here.
And, no, this post was not paid for by crisp manliness-enhancing splendor that is Old Spice.