These are the 20 most viral video ads of 2013

Above: We are all suckers for dancing babies.

Image Credit: Screenshot from Evian's Baby&Me

We’ve all see them, those eminently shareable video ads that sweep around the Internet like wildfire, inspiring discussion, laughter, amazement, and, of course, memes.

Video promotion company Unruly compiled a report on the top 20 most shared video ads of this year. Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” came in first with 114 million page views and 4.24 million shares, followed by Geico’s “hump day” ad with 4.03 million shares.

People really like watching videos. We watch billions online every month, and Cisco estimates that consumer Internet video traffic will be 69 percent of all such Internet traffic in 2017.  

Advertisers are increasingly shifting their dollars away from conventional television advertising and toward digital video. Consumers are 27 times more likely to clickthrough online video ads than standard banners, and native online video ads can generate 82 percent brand lift among those exposed to the ads.

Digital video is clearly a powerful advertising opportunity, and one that small startups and Fortune 500 corporations both use. Brands are becoming content creators and creating their own mini-dramas.

So, what does it take to make a video go viral?

In the case of Dove, it touched on an emotional issue — how we view ourselves compared to how others see us. It was a powerful message of self-awareness and acceptance that resonated with millions of people around the world, and thus it became the most watched video ad of all time.

Geico’s hump day ad has over 18 million views for one simple reason — the talking camel is funny and cute. Also, every single Wednesday (aka hump day), people are inspired to share it with their friends and coworkers.

Third on the list is Evian’s “Baby & Me,” which involves impossibly cute dancing babies that are impossible not to smile at. Literally impossible — I tried.

This ad has more total page views than Geico’s, but fewer shares, and so it is lower on Unruly’s ranking.

Kmart came in fourth place for poop jokes. 

Also on the list is Budweiser’s heartstring-tugging ad “Brotherhood,” Volvo’s badass Jean-Claude Van Damme “epic split” ad, the delightfully evil “telekinetic coffee shop surprise,” and GoPro’s actual footage of a fire fighter saving a kitten.

Unruly ranked the videos based on number of shares across Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere rather than number of views, because it said this is a greater measure of virality — by volume of “active pass-on” rather than passive consumption.

Check out the full list below.

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 1.13.29 PM


VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation. Chime in, and we’ll share the data.
0 comments