The Slow Mo Guys are shifting into the fast lane.
As part of YouTube's ongoing effort to introduce its popular channel stars to a wider audience, Gavin Free and Dan Gruchy are appearing in a multimedia push that includes TV, print, billboard and online ads. The campaign, breaking now in the U.K., is tagged "You make every second epic," and also highlights Vice News and beauty vlog Zoella. (In the U.S., YouTubers like Bethany Mota and Michelle Phan starred in similar ads earlier this year.)
"YouTube stars are not only entertaining us through their quirky videos and updates, but building long-lasting relationships with their fans," says Ben McOwen Wilson, who oversees partnerships for the Google-owned service.
The 30-second Slow Mo Guys teaser shows highlights from some of their nearly 100 videos shot at 10,000 frames per second. Watermelons and paintballs explode in plumes of color, and a teacup tossed through the air disgorges its contents in caramel cascades. This sampling merely hints at the channel's treasure trove of dazzling footage, which has garnered almost 430 million total views and 4.5 million subscribers in the past four years.
It feels right that the Slow Mo Guys were chosen to take part in YouTube's mainstream crossover push, because their oeuvre encompasses elements of old and new media. Free and Gruchy condense the frantic, silly vibe of shows like You Can't Do That on Television and America's Funniest Home Videos into highly shareable bites. They add dashes of Bill Nye-style scientific curiosity and genuine artistry (some of their slow-motion work is amazing). Even their goofy Brit-bro personalities are in sync with the times, reminding viewers that these are average Joes using technology to create amazing stuff.
At times, the guys present serious, brand-centric material, including a couple of clips that showcase General Electric's cutting-edge tech. Such efforts are informative and boast hypnotic imagery, but the real fun comes from their sillier escapades. You'll gasp at the epic cuteness of dogs and cats frozen in mid-air, striking impossible ballet poses. You'll cringe as milky puke sluggishly slithers from Gruchy's twisted, lactose-tortured lips. You'll jump in your seat when dozens of mousetraps dance in an insanely prolonged (and painful) chain reaction.
These are awesome time wasters. No matter how slow the antics, the minutes fly by.