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November was a dangerous month on the Unruly Global Ads Chart. Snowmen risked life and limb on dangerous quests, extreme sportsmen threw themselves in harm’s way and a gang of cartoon critters were horrifically mangled as a warning to others.
Latest Unruly/Ehrenberg-Bass research suggests online audiences are most likely to share videos which put a smile on their face and a spring in their step. So, it might seem a little odd that the most popular ad of last month focuses on cute creatures suffering painful deaths.
But, despite its premise, safety message-cum-music-video Dumb Ways To Die is a funny, warm and cute video (think Tom & Jerry) that gets its point across clearly, thanks largely to a very catchy tune. Released by Melbourne Metro to warn travellers about the dangers of rail travel, the clip showcases the many mind-bogglingly stupid ways to kick the bucket in an effort to teach viewers about rail safety.
The catchy tune sweetly details through a series of increasingly ridiculous demises as the animation plays out the lethal action. The Mr Men-like creatures set fire to themselves, get bitten by rattlesnakes and use their private parts as piranha bait, an animated gore-fest that has earned over 2 million shares.
Put together by McCann Melbourne, the clip sounds traumatic, but is quickly becoming one of the year’s most shared ads, thanks to a healthy dose of humour, smart animation and a song that you can’t stop humming.
With fewer decapitations and self-immolations, Red Bull’s Athlete Machine - starring extreme athletes from the energy drink’s stable of brand ambassadors - still set pulses racing during November in second spot.
While not as extreme as Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking space dive, the clip features skydivers, skaters, mountain bikers and off-road racers acting as adrenaline-fuelled cogs in a massive Rube Goldberg machine.
Attempting to avoid calamity, Air New Zealand released An Unexpected Briefing. Seemingly set on a flight from Auckland to Middle Earth, the safety briefing is given by hobbits, elves and mythical creatures from the Tolkien universe. Dwarves safely stow their tray tables, while Gollum prowls the aisle. Piggybacking on the buzz surrounding the release of The Hobbit, the briefing might not be the action-packed fantasy adventure expected to hit cinemas, but it did earn over 770,000 shares during November.
More firepower than fantasy, Black Ops 2 (Surprise), in fourth place, revels in murder and mayhem as the video game series Call of Duty comes to life with stars doing battle in a ruined cityscape. Prominent Vloggers and YouTube celebs swap gunfire and grenades with Robert Downey Jr. piloting a futuristic fighter jet into the melee and fourth spot this month.
He might hold the highest office in the land, but Barack Obama could only muster 373,000 shares this month with his Thank You message to his supporters, enough for fifth place on the chart. His opponent, Mitt Romney, also makes it onto the list with the last ad of his doomed campaign, though way down in 12th place.
Away from the world of smartly-pressed business suits, an undressed Marilyn Monroe earned nearly 300,000 shares. The starlet’s claim to wear only Chanel No.5 to bed has been recut into a timeless ad for the fragrance, using never-before-seen pictures of her.
As Marilyn relaxes in sixth place, an equally iconic - if much more tyrannical - figure sulks in seventh. To mark Disney’s acquisition of the rights to the Star Wars franchise, the animation empire re-released this footage of a depressed-looking Vader having a day out in Disney Land. The original clip, released in 2011, sees the galactic despot locked out of a newly-opened Star Wars ride, leaving him grumpily stomping around the rest of the park. Having edited out all mention of the ride, Vader is left looking less-than-happy about his new workplace.
Also trying out a new workplace last month is Justin Bieber, who now seems to be working in Macy’s. The Canadian pop prodigy sends shoppers into some sort of coma after performing his magical nod, wink, smile combo. The first of three appearances in the top 20, all promoting his new perfume, Bieber’s facial tics earned him eighth place, with 267,000 shares.
Another squeaky-voice pop performer to break into song this month is Pulcino Pio, a fluffy cartoon chick that sings a catchy ditty about tractors and nursery rhymes to promote a radio station in Rome. It might be high-pitched, fast-paced and all in Italian, but the little chick’s squawking gathered a sizable flock of 267,000 shares, earning it a roost in ninth.
A much smoother level of musical accompaniment can be found in 10th spot. Gabrielle Aplin’s heart-rending cover of The Power Of Love accompanies the story of a brave snowman battling across the countryside to buy the perfect Christmas present for his freezing fiancé. The latest in a long line of heart-warming ads for department store John Lewis, The Journey continues the festive tradition of the brand’s powerful, family-friendly ads.
Lingering further down the chart at 17th, October’s top performer, Unlock The 007 In You, for Coke Zero, still had budding Bonds tearing around Antwerp train station in a race against time to win tickets for the Skyfall premiere.
Equally cinematic, but with less chance of a car chase, Louis Vuitton’s first ever TV ad stars Keira Knightley and model Arizona Mode. The short film-cum-catwalk-show features the stars in a suspense thriller on the deserted streets of Paris. Earning 125,000 shares, the clip is sitting pretty in 18th.
Top 20 most shared social video ads during November 2012 (Facebook, Twitter and blogs)
1. Melbourne Metro – Dumb Ways To Die - 2,101,594 Shares
2. Red Bull – The Athlete Machine – 873,597
3. Air new Zealand – An Unexpected Briefing – 771,131
4. Activision: Call of Duty – Black Ops 2(Surprise) – 399,900
5. BarackObamadotcom – President Obama “I’m Really Proud Of All Of You” – 373,896
6. Chanel – Marilyn and No5 – Inside Chanel – 299,522
7. Disney – Darth Vader: what Are You Going To Do Next? – 295,214
8. Wink, Nod, Smile – Macy’s Presents “What’s in Store?” – 267,039
9. Radio Globo – Pulcino Pio – 258,380
10. John Lewis – The Journey – 255,754
11. GoPro – Hero 3 Black Edition – Smaller, Lighter and 2x More Powerful – 251,231
12. Mitt Romney – Revenge Or Love Of Country – 727,118
13. Actually.org – Don’t Let Mitt Romney Turn Back Time On Women – 207,107
14. DC Shoes – Ken Block’s Gymkhana Five: Ultimate Urban Playground: San Francisco – 202,374
15. Innovate Salone: Self Taught African Teen Wows M.I.T. – 180,921
16. Justin Bieber’s Girlfirend – Official Fragrance Commercial – 137,467
17. Coke Zero: Unlock the 007 In You. You Have 70 Seconds – 132,618
18. Louis Vuitton – L’Invitation Au Voyage – 125,689
19. Studie43 – 2 Year Old Dancing The Jive – 117,396
20. Justin Bieber’s Girlfirend – Official Fragrance Teaser – 112,781