In 2006, a cool commercial named “Evolution” got people talking about Dove soap. In the ad, a camera recorded a model from the moment she sat in the makeup chair to photo-retouching of the pictures shot during the photo shoot, and finally, to the ad that appeared on a billboard. The add supported the Dove Self-Esteem Fund and intended to show people that the women in ads aren’t accurate depictions of reality. That ad was a viral hit in 2006 with over 222,000 shares across the web. You can watch it below.
Fast forward five years and the 222,000 shares that the Dove “Evolution” ad received is a drop in the bucket. According to a great infographic from Unruly Media, the most shared ad that became the biggest viral sensation in 2011 was a Volkwsagen commercial which featured a young boy dressed as Darth Vader. Called “The Force,” the ad was shared nearly 5 million times in 2011. Check it out below.
The Volkswagen ad viral spread success wasn’t an isolated incident. Other ads spread to huge audiences across the social web in 2011. Brands like D.C. Shoes, T-Mobile, Angry Birds, and Kia launched ads that were shared approximately 2 million times.
Those numbers are increases from the top viral spreading ads in 2010 where D.C. Shoes took the top spot with just over 2.6 million shares. Budweiser, Nike, Old Spice, and Toyota followed with between 1 million to 2 million shares each.
The viral spread of ads has taken on significant importance to brand managers. Instead of simply looking at online video sharing as a nice extra to get some extra mileage out of an ad, brands are developing ads and related marketing campaigns with the intent to leverage online video sharing.
You can see the complete infographic below. Click on each image to open the ad video in a new window or tab. Hover your mouse over each image to bring it to life.
What do you think? Are you planning commercials with an online video push component included? Leave a comment and share your thoughts on the viral spread of video ads.
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