Trending This Week on YouTube: Hangovers, World Cup Ads & More

June 13, 2014

On the Spotlight Channel, we obsessively follow what’s trending in the gripping world of viral video. In our inaugural weekly roundup, we take a closer look at a few of the past week's hits. See more of what's popping off in this playlist, and subscribe to Spotlight to stay au courant on all things YouTube (and the cultural universe at large).

PSY feat. Snoop Dogg - “The Hangover”

Puff Daddy, Coldplay, and even a posthumous hit from Michael Jackson: it’s been a big year for comebacks. Here at YouTube, it feels like PSY never really left ("Gangnam Style" just crossed a staggering 2 billion views), but he was back in a big way this week with his first new music video in over a year with “The Hangover.” This time he teamed up with Snoop Dogg for a raucous romp through South Korea.

Nike - “The Last Game”

As the world waits for the (soccer) games to begin, World Cup ads pour in, with the likes of Beats by Dre, Adidas, ESPN, and Powerade vying to create the most epic, star-studded spot. The top 10 World Cup 2014 ads have so far been seen more than 300M times. Nike’s second World Cup ad launched this week--a stunningly animated 5-minute short called “The Last Game”--and racked up over 20M views in its first two days on YouTube.

Baracksdubs - “Ellen Singing Birthday”

Fadi Saleh has made a brand out of making Obama sing such stately classics as “Call Me Maybe” and “Timber”--and has picked up more than 100M views in the meantime. This week, he turned his supercutting prowess to Ellen DeGeneres for an instant classic version of the Katy Perry hit “Birthday.” Here’s Ellen’s reaction (in short, she concurs that Fadi has too much time on his hands).

Last Week Tonight - "FIFA and the World Cup"

As far as the late night circuit goes, John Oliver is new in town: “Last Week Tonight” is only two months old. Yet he’s already found a niche--taking on topics like Ukraine, the death penalty, and (rather notably) net neutrality in his signature entertaining style (a hybrid explainer/takedown). His channel already has an impressive 200M views. We (and the rest of the web) eagerly await his next "viral rant."

--Claire Stapleton