Some things make the world a better place

Image Source: Matt Harding, el bailarín trotamundos de YouTube, en Madrid
This guy, Matt Harding, went travelling and shot video of himself doing a silly dance, that ended up on the internet. That ended up getting some chewing gum company’s attention, and they decided to fund him on a bigger trip around the world to do more dancing, which also ended up on the internet as “Where the Hell is Matt?”. Then he got lots of emails from people who wished they could have danced with them, so he asked the gum company to send him on another trip and they did. He ended up dancing with thousands of people, and this is the edited highlights video. (That’s a HD version, there’s a lower-res version that won’t use up quite so much bandwidth here).

You can read more about Matt here.

I don’t think the particular gum company’s product is sold in Australia, but I think they deserve a round of applause for deciding to go with this form of advertising. A lot of people enjoyed making it and even more are enjoying watching it.

So, open thread for things on the internet that brighten the world a little: what’s your favourite?

Categories: arts & entertainment, media, Sociology

Tags: , , , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. When I told a friend about Where the Hell is Matt, she referred me to I’m F*cking Matt Damon and the associated YouTube videos (Matt Damon gets really pissed off; I’m F*cking Ben Affleck; Matt Damon is still F*cking Sarah Silverman). I confess to finding them at least as uplifting as the dancing Matt, as studies of friendship and trust in the audience.
    Jonathan Shaws last blog post..Bookblog #24: Last drinks

  2. What brightens my world? The rumour Alan Jones is quitting radio today.

  3. O frabjous day if so, Amanda!
    Another uplifting link that I posted over at LP for Saturday Salon and neglected to post here: this ad for Discovery Channel, which inspired this xkcd webcomic panel.

  4. Ah yes, Miss Schlegel. I slobber over those libraries regularly.
    Jonathon Shaw – very interesting. I’m trying to piece together the narrative a bit, and I’ll provide links for others.
    Firstly: Matt Damon gets pissed off at Jimmy Kimmel on Kimmel’s show.
    Here’s an explanation of the above clip and what follows: [link] (Some more here)
    Then, Sarah Silverman (Kimmel’s girlfriend) takes up the meme:
    I’m F*cking Matt Damon
    Then Jimmy Kimmel replies with the stars-doing-cameos studded I’m F*cking Ben Affleck (includes transcript, scroll down for video)
    And finally, here’s Matt Damon at an interview still playing along with the story – I’m Still F*cking Sarah Silverman
    It’s sort of trolling their own fans, isn’t it? How many layers of meta upon meta is that?

  5. This is a story of two nudist, streaker, sausage dog owners who fell in love online but lived on opposite sides of the world. how they meet will either make you laugh or cry. or both.

  6. I have to nominate an entire category/genre/whatever: fanfiction.
    Sure, it’s frustrating at times, and there are moments when it makes me swear not only was Murphy an optimist, but so was Sturgeon (90% of everything is crap at the most generous estimate – the true value is probably much higher!), and yeah, there are times when I’ll be bewailing the immanent heat death of the English language. But then I’ll find something good, or stumble across an author who makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me collapse in a fit of giggles, and makes me want to pay them large sums of money so they can just sit at home and write fanfic all day.
    That Discovery Channel ad isn’t bad, either.
    Meg Thorntons last blog post..Review: Manga – "My Paranoid Next-Door Neighbour" by Kazuka Minami

  7. Y – that’s really something. I love the way that they were racing the security staff so they could actually meet in the middle.
    Zoe – I hadn’t seen that longer version of that footage. That’s fabulous.
    Meg – yes, fan-fiction is often fabulous. As Helen posted in another thread, here is some fan-fic that is very us (some spoilers for latest season of Torchwood).

  8. I neglected to mention one of my very favourite online things –

    The various Hoyden astrophotography posts can be found in the archives, and this is photo from the probe Cassini of Saturn eclipsing the Sun is still my favourite shot nearly 2 years later (and still my desktop wallpaper):

    click on picture for larger image at APOD
    That little bright dot near the rings in the background on the left? That’s us.

  9. The streaker thing is actually an ad campaign for an Australian clothes mob.
    ”The viral video released as ‘Streakers Love Story’ featured a news report about two nudist, streaker, sausage dog lovers who on opposite sides of the globe were introduced and subsequently fell in love online. The story culminated with them streaking from opposite sides of the field at a Hungarian Soccer Match and running into each others arms in front of a full stadium of people. The news report then promised viewers the opportunity to see their nude wedding at rare|wear’s website.
    Which, as Bruijn puts it, ”was a big fat lie. “

    Francis Xavier Holdens last blog on the ridiculous

  10. I was wondering about the choice to have the big romantic meet-up while streaking, and the way the timing of it worked. It seemed like just a few too many factors were working for them.
    That’s the sort of viral marketing I don’t like. Unlike the Stride Gum people who found Matt Harding doing something already and funded him to do it some more with their name attached – Yay! This clothing company made something up entirely. Boo!
    I’m sure that it can’t actually help their bottom line in the long run to do such a thing. People resent being sucked in. Doing all the filming and the set-up would have been way more expensive than what Stride did with Matt too – just gave him travelling expenses and a good camera.

  11. I haven’t looked into it to any degree but I can’t see how on earth the Streaker video connected to the clothing company.I didn’t see any branding or names. Maybe it was just a “proof of concept” thing for the admen.
    Matt’s videos are very charming – there’s something engaging about his “dance” – it’s unique and he doesn’t look tryhard like a lot of usa filmic “comedy” these days. He’s not trying for that self conscious look-at-me being-goofy-but-I’m-actually-cool role. It is actually his dance no one else seems to be able to do it the same.

  12. Gary Brolsma and Numa Numa. His story is very like Matt’s. He just posted a youtube video of himself lipsynching to an obscure Romanian pop song “Dragostei tin dei”. It went mental. It was no. 1 on Albinoblacksheep for about a year or more, I think, and the song was no. 1 in the European dance clubs. Unlike Matt though, the story wasn’t so happy, because apparently he got quite overwhelmed and became quite reclusive. But he’s got heaps of fan comments along the lines of “I love you Gary! You send me to my happy place.” He certainly does that for us.

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