For those of you who missed last year’s viral sensation – ‘A Dramatic Surprise On A Quiet Square’ – Belgium TV channel TNT has placed the button. Again. Somewhere in the Netherlands. And called it ‘A Dramatic Surprise On An Ice-Cold Day’.

The results are no less dramatic, although I must admit to a slight bias towards last year’s ad, which took us all by surprise.

How much of a surprise? Well, enough to generate 4.5 million shares, which is more than any other ad has achieved. Ever.

Just like the original, produced by Duval Guillaume Modem, it starts with the simple act of pushing ‘the button’ by an unsuspecting passer-by whose curiosity gets the better of them.

What happens next is perhaps the best example of advertising, ‘showing’ rather than telling you how much TNT Benelux understand drama by packing more into the next 90 seconds than most feature films do in 90 minutes.

Although clearly a media brand, the resulting ad depends on the adrenaline rush that only cars, motorbikes and trucks can provide (plus explosives, naked extras and plenty of gun-fire).

The ad was filmed in the quiet town of Dordrecht using innocent passers-by, who witness a shooting and are then bundled into a van marked Witness Protection Program. Once the button-pushing witness is dumped near an abandoned building, all hell breaks loose, turning the drama levels up to 11.

We’re waiting for some enterprising car maker to realise the potential of this meme by making their own commercial with a ‘push to add drama’ button, showing how their sportiest model can raise a driver (or passenger’s) pulse.

Oh, hold on, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned those kind of ads long ago..


Looks like we’ll just have to make do with these from TNT.

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Published: Jan 24, 2013  –  


They said: To launch TNT – a quality series and movies TV channel – in the Netherlands, we made a sequel to the viral hit video “A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Square”. On a cold winter’s day, we placed the famous red button somewhere in a Dutch shopping street. Are you ready? Discover here what happened this time.

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Published: Apr 11, 2012  –  


They said: To launch the high quality TV channel TNT in Belgium we placed a big red push button on an average Flemish square of an average Flemish town. A sign with the text “Push to add drama” invited people to use the button. And then we waited…

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