Going Viral: The biggest Video Ads of 2012

As 2012 comes to a close I take a look back at this years top performing video advertisements…

If I was asked to pick one of the main buzz words in marketing right now it would have to be Viral Videos (I know, I know-that’s two words!).

Everyone wants to watch them because let’s all face it, who wants to be last to know about “The man your man could smell like” and every marketer wants to create one. Why? Well some want to do it for the recognition from their boss but the clever ones want to do it to reach their audience and engage with them by showing the personality of their brand.

Being in the business of advertising we thought we would do our part and take a look back of some of our favourite viral adverts of 2012 to see what they have in common and what marketers and advertisers can take away and learn from these advertisements.

  1. Coke Zero: Unlock the 007 in you! In collaboration with the upcoming launch of the new James Bond movie, Sky Fall, the masterminds at Coca Cola devised a very clever video campaign. The seemingly normal vending machine has been transformed into a secret agent message portal prompting parched and innocent consumers to take on the 007 challenge. If the participant accepts the challenge they must then “fight” their way through challenges to reach the next level and win tickets to the Sky Fall film premiere. This ad works well because it provokes excitement and the possibility of becoming a real life Bond. However, nobody is fooled- we all know they’re actors!!
  2. Dollar Shave Club: Our blades are f***king great! A simple and extremely well made ad. The founder of Dollar Shave Club moves through various scenes and ridicules competitors and makes consumers re-think why they spend so much money for pointless razor features. It’s clear that the Dollar Shave Club know exactly who their audience is and have appealed to their sense of humour directly.
  3. Smart Water- Jennifer Anniston Security Tapes. A fantastic follow up to the previous Smart Water ad (How to make a Viral Video). The ad shows Jennifer Anniston in a variety of scenes that is supposedly “secret home footage”. We see Jennifer pregnant, filling her pool with Smart Water, encouraging her secret “children” to hide and then lastly taking off her infamous mane of hair to reveal it as a wig. This ad works so well because it pokes fun at Jennifer Anniston and what the audience recognise her for. Smart Water has also been very clever about showing their product in all the right places throughout the ad.
  4. Tipp Ex: Hunter and Bears 2012 Birthday Party-This ad received overwhelming success in going viral. The ad shows Hunter and Bear at a birthday party when a meteor appears zooming toward them. However it’s Tipp-Ex to the rescue as Hunter Tipp-Exs out the date and prompts you to type an alternative year. Based on the year you type in you will receive an alternate ending-everything from UFO’s to a Tron inspired, virtual reality world. It’s obvious that viewers love the fact that this ad is interactive and by having several different endings viewers are more likely to continue watching and experimenting with the video to play out all these endings which means increased brand engagement.
  5. Nike: Make it count. This ad plays on the lifestyle desire to be free and travel the world. This make it count ad appears free willed, inspiring and promotes spontaneity. The ad is even more pronounced in its encouragement to live life to the full by showing famous quotes from iconic legends like Mae West, Marilyn Monroe and Gandhi. What we like most about this ad is it only shows the product once the whole way through and yet it perfectly captures everything Nike stands for.

10 things to takeaway:

  1. Poke fun-mainly at yourself, your company, some celebrity or if you want to be daring…your competitors
  2. Don’t take it too seriously-Your audience wants to laugh, be entertained and be amazed-they won’t get that feeling if your video bores them to tears
  3. Spending more on an ad does not make it the best. Some of the most popular viral ads and videos are pretty low on quality and do not always have the biggest budget in the bank
  4. Be unique and do something different. There’s no point being second best to an already popular viral video ad which you want to copy.
  5. Throw in something random; having something or someone in a place they are not likely to be found is a key factor in creating a video people want to watch. We’re talking about outrageous things like a Giraffe in a car or a big scary guy getting a fluffy kitten tattooed on his face…you get the picture.
  6. This is an obvious one, but do make sure that your audience can share the video quickly and easily with social share buttons. Go one better and insert a hash-tag overlay on your video to prompt Twitter users to Tweet using that hash-tag.
  7. Keep your viral short-no longer than 3-4 minutes. You’re making an advert-not a movie!
  8. Don’t focus too much on your brand logo and instead “pulse” the brand every now and then throughout the video, Smart Water is a perfect example of this. The concept of your viral video is more about trying to convey the personality of your brand so that viewers can identify and buy into your company persona.
  9. Be interactive; make your video an experience for the viewer-case and point demonstrated by Tipp-Ex.
  10. If at first you don’t succeed try, try again-sometimes it’s the most unexpected and random videos which go viral.
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About Harriet Rees

Harriet is part of the communications team at Ad Spruce.

Posted on December 10, 2012, in Advertising and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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