This ad is one of the most viral web videos of the year. It's not short — at three and a half minutes, it dwarfs the attention span most advertisers assume their target audience has. It's not sexy — the raciest thing about the ad is some teen hand holding. It's not star-studded — the main characters in the ad are unrecognizable tweens presented unvarnished. Hell, it doesn't even show the product it purports to advertise — ice cream. But this short film has racked up 26 million views. And counting.

According to AdWeek, the wildly successful spot for Cornetto Ice Cream was released to the Turkish market as part of a pilot advertising program. Teens and young adults, the brand's marketing department reasons, aren't easily distracted web-bots incapable of paying attention. They appreciate art and love creativity. Hence, this.

The success of the Cornetto spot means that in the future, we'll probably see more ads like this — video "presented by" rather than "featuring" products. Not that I'm complaining. This is kind of sweet.

[AdWeek]