First Kiss Viral Short FilmGaining 30 million views in just a couple days, this record-breaking filmvertisement directed by Tatia Pilieva features 20 seemingly random couples engaging in a first kiss on camera. Is this heartwarming display of love and innocence an authentic one, or just another example of well executed viral marketing? Read on to watch the film and get all the details:

First, check out the 3 minute piece here:

“Action was never called, so a lot of these people didn’t necessarily know if they were being filmed or not, so you see these real moments.”

Dhani Mau gives us some numbers:

It’s become an overnight YouTube hit, racking up over 7,000,000 hits since it was posted around 2 p.m. Monday — an unprecedented feat for a fashion film.

First Kiss Viral Video a Hoax?

As of writing this post the film has racked up over 30 million views, up 10 million from when I checked it on Tuesday night.

Fstoppers writer Anastasia Page asks the question: "Is it a hoax?" The fact that the participants in the videos are actors and models seems to be rubbing some people the wrong way, though "hoax" might be a bit dramatic. It's an advertisement, and maybe one we can learn something from. Though it doesn't try to draw much attention to the fact that it's trying to sell a clothing line -- which is where some of the skepticism is coming from -- I consider that more of an asset than anything. The film was produced by WREN, a Los Angeles based womenswear brand founded in 2007 by Melissa Coker.

Wren Studio behind First Kiss Viral Video

Slate writer Amanda Hess adds her skepticism to the pile:

I’m betting that if Pilieva had filmed the video with a more diverse cast of all the people in the world who constitute “strangers,” the result would have been more unsettlingly comedic than searchingly romantic. It would also have been more interesting, if infinitely less sharable.

WREN founder Melissa Coker explains that she only paired up people who did not know each other.

We make these fashion films every season,” Coker said. “I strive to make them an interesting film that exists on its own rather than something that feels like a commercial, and it seems to be touching people — not only people who are in fashion and would see this, but also random guys who aren’t connected at all. I emailed a bunch of people I know, though my personal life, through Wren. I tried to be diverse. Some of them are musicians. The guy with the tattoos actually works at Wren.

Okay, good-looking people kissing isn't necessarily an earth-shattering idea. What makes it feel authentic to me is that fact that "action" was never called, and Coker never tried to reverse-engineer this as a "Viral" video -- it just started from good intentions:

The most exciting thing is the comments I’ve heard, [like people saying] they watch it over and over, that this renewed their belief in love, it’s heartwarming. Soko [the musician who appeared in the film and whose song 'We Might be Dead Tomorrow' plays during it] apparently sold a million copies today on iTunes.

Director Tatia Pilieva says in a CNN breakdown video:


The most interesting moment was before and after the kiss. It's almost more intimate and awkward. The world seemed like a kinder place just seeing people be so sweet.


We're all tired of being advertised at, but when it can be done in a non-invasive way like with First Kiss, I only see it as more opportunity for all filmmakers to get their ideas out there.

What do you think of the video and it's overnight success? Join the discussion below.