The Story Behind the Skating Babies

According to a Pew survey, more than one out of five adult Americans still don't use the internet. What are they missing? Well, as CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports, they're missing the skating babies.

It's a simple formula. Take babies. Put 'em on skates. Add music. Watch the internet hits take off.

The latest viral ad sensation has become the talk of the water cooler crowd, which is just as well as it's for a French bottled water company.

Over six million hits since its release last weekend - almost three million in the U.S. alone. It's rolling toward rarified territory, the 20 million-plus hits that only the lucky few viral ads get to.

But in the viral ad business, you've got to be good to be lucky.

The babies could barely walk, let alone skate. They were placed in front of green screens and Ludo Fealy of the Motion Picture Company and his team in London did the rest, turning the baby-auditioners into roller-dancers.

"They would have rocked the baby gently backwards and forwards with that particular break dance move in mind," Fealy said.

Fealy and his team filmed a professional skater doing the moves, then programmed a computer-generated baby's body to replicate them. Then they added the heads of their baby models, attaching them to the dancing digital bodies. They put it all together over a park scene shot in Melbourne and made to look like Manhattan.

Yet even with this kind of technology, it doesn't always work.

"Its really only one in 50, one in 100 that has this kind of success as this ad's had," said Colin Marrs of Campaign Magazine.

"You can't get too attached to them," Fealy said of his dancing babies.

But the rest of the world already has.

  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips returned to the CBS News London bureau as a correspondent in 1993. He has covered many major stories since then, including the war in the Balkans, the death of Princess Diana and the weapons inspection conflicts in Iraq.

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