Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, but it's sure helping Abercrombie & Fitch sell jeans and T-shirts.
The New York-based clothing company is earning kudos, and no shortage of online attention for its parody of a viral music video called The Fox, recorded by the Norwegian comedy duo known as Ylvis.
Running three minutes and 45 seconds, the original video for The Fox featured brothers Bard and Vegard Ylvisaker dressed up in fox costumes and dancing madly in the woods while the song's nonsensical lyrics speculate on what sounds the omnivorous mammal might make.
A sampling: "Cow goes moo/Frog goes croak/And the elephant goes toot."
The song's chorus is reserved for possible sounds that the pair believe the fox might make, including, "Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!" and "Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow!"
Both the song and the video for The Fox give new meaning to the word absurdist, but the video has garnered more than 52-million views on YouTube since being released on Sept. 3.
Enter Abercrombie & Fitch, who were sharp enough to capitalize on the viral phenomenon by filming their take of The Fox music video, which, against all probable odds, is even weirder.
Filmed in rich, Fellini-esque black-and-white, the A&F version is titled What Does the Fox Say and runs slightly over one minute.
And instead of starring two goofy Norwegians, the cast is comprised of about two dozen male and female models cavorting and hopping about in the woods.
Some of the models are half-dressed, wearing jeans only. Some are wearing clip-on animal ears. One woman sports a baggy cow suit; another wears an elephant suit. Chiseled abs abound and everyone is drop-dead gorgeous.
The most audacious aspect of the A&F spot is that the music and lyrics are pretty much identical to the original (no word whether Ylvis received payment).
As per the original, the A&F spot repeatedly asks, "What does the fox say?" and repeats the irritating refrain "Gering-ding-ding-ding-Dingeringeding."
And for better or worse, the slick parody appears to be achieving its desired effect. The A&F video was posted on YouTube last Sunday and has already earned 600,000 views. In three days.
Shamelessly cashing in on a hot viral video trend? That's what the fox says.