Viral videos. Who knows why they take off, and who knows why we love 'em? What we have learned, though, is that you never try to repeat them, and you never try to remake them.
So just what exactly is EE doing putting out “Fenton: 4GEE Remaster”, a glammed-up HD remake of that candidly captured moment of horror for Fenton the dog's owner when the labrador decided to try and round up the entire deer population of Richmond Park.
That original clip, now sitting on 7.3 million views on YouTube, was posted exactly a year ago today. Coincidence? I think not. Someone at EE obviously had a bright idea to remake the clip, which the company calls "the viral hit of 2011", a year down the line as a way of showing how EE's wonderful new 4G LTE service can stream even full HD video without a hitch.
And if you're going to remake the thing, why not get in the experts? And so multiple Emmy-winning wildlife/nature documentary maker David Allen was brought in as director, Fenton (or probably a more camera-friendly replacement) was given plenty of “hero” shots, and the dog's owner – or a well-chosen actor, anyway – also appears directly on camera this time, looking suitably exasperated.
The whole thing descends into farce when the herd of deer is pictured streaming past a standing vehicle having somehow picked up all sorts of other animals too, including a camel, an elephant, an ostrich and even a dinosaur. In Richmond Park. Who knew?
Each to their own and all that, but for me it's neither funny nor clever.
It also seems like a stupid concept in the first place. So the original (shot on a bog-standard phone) got 7.3m views. This one will be doing well to get even 5% of that. In what way can that be interpreted as saying something good about 4G?
In fact, all it really does is reinforce just how picky you're going to have to be with EE's 4G offering when it comes to streaming HD video.
The remastered 1080p "Fenton" clip comes in at 46.3MB, and while yes, EE's 4G service will indeed stream it without buffering issues, if you're on the base £36/month package, doing so just once will gobble up nearly 10% of your monthly 500MB data allowance.
Can't see too many people raising a smile at that.