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We are only just over halfway through 2013, but we are already seeing some significant trends in the social video space.
It’s not surprising. If you thought a week was a long time in politics, it feels like a lifetime in social video. Every day we are seeing more and more brands setting out to create content that will engage the web.
The results have been simply staggering. Over the last few months we have seen brands, large and small, make a big impression online. Moonwalking ponies, dogs driving cars...even an unfashionable brand like Kmart enjoyed incredible social video success thanks to the kind of joke that would not look out of place on an 11-year-old’s social media profile.
And with good reason. Video consumption is rocketing, with Cisco even predicting that in less than four years’ time, video will be bigger than Facebook and Twitter, making up 69% of consumer internet traffic.
With such a huge rise in people now watching online, brands have been quick to follow. Online video advertising was the fastest growing category of ad spend in 2012, with 30% annual growth. Within three years, online video spend is expected to rise to $10B.
But what are the biggest trends we have seen this year?
1. Brands creating their own dramas
Let’s face it, 2012 – it was emotional. Hello ‘Empty13’. That's right, after being moved to Olympic-sized tears by P&G and inspired by Red Bull’s record-breaking space jump over the last 12 months, there hasn’t been a great deal on the calendar for 2013.
Last year offered up a wealth of opportunities for brands, which had their pick of awe-inspiring, headline-grabbing events to build social video campaigns around.
But this year there is has been no Olympics to inspire us, no election to bore us or even a Mayan apocalypse to not worry about.
Following a hectic year of global events, the global water cooler has been running a little dry. In fact, our diaries have been as bare as Mitt Romney’s of late.
So it’s no surprise brands have been creating their own dramas and events to build their campaigns around. Here are some examples of how brands have been filling up their content calendars.
Tango flexes its muscles, Red Bull releases a peregrine falcon and Adobe make bus stops a lot more interesting. Yep, it's just another week in Adland.
But which new ads have been gaining eyeballs on the Unruly Viral Video Chart over the last seven days? Which ads have been the talk of the online world this week? Well, here are our 5 choices for you to look at.
Drinking a can of Tango can be a very intense experience. Going on previous ads, it can feel like being slapped across the face by a fat, orange man or, worse still, being kissed by one.
Well, in the latest round of ads from the Britvic-owned brand - their first TV campaign in five years - it seems just a sip of the orange soft drink can transform anyone into muscle-bound Hulks capable of only communicating only in loud roars of ‘aargh!’.
It seems no one is immune...horny schoolboys, nosey schoolgirls - one Sikh shopkeeper is even transformed into a screaming black bodybuilder, which Tango insists is down to the fact the fizzy drink is made from whole orange, which gives it a "more intensely orange flavour". You would have thought they would turn orange, but still.
Simon Grove, senior brand manager at Tango, said: "The brand has been famous for its great advertising and we believe Tango Aargh brings Tango back to its irreverent best."
Created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Tango's Aargh! campaign, comprising of three 30-second spots - ‘Cornershop’, ‘Footie’ and ‘Swings’ - was launched on Saturday, but has yet to flex its considerable muscles on the Unruly Viral Video Chart.
April was always going to be a tough act to follow. Last month's record-breaking chart saw Dove's ‘Real Beauty Sketches’, Kmart's ‘Ship My Pants’ and Evian's ‘Baby & Me’ dominating talk across the social web – the first time ever that three commercials from the same month have also featured in the top 20 most shared ads of all time.
It was always going to be hard for new social video campaigns to break through during May. And so it proved, with the same trio taking up three of the top five spots in this month's list.
Created by Ogilvy Mather and attracting more than 738,000 shares during May, Dove's record-breaking Sketches campaign – now the most viewed and the third most shared ad of all time - retained its number one spot last month.
Evian's dancing toddlers are also showing no signs of fatigue, moving up one place to second, while Kmart's Ship My Pants' fifth spot – and the success of its follow-up campaign, ‘Big Gas Savings’ - proved people are not tired of hearing haulage-based puns...just yet.
However, some new campaigns made it on to May's top 20, including four for Samsung’s new smartphone, the S4.
The most popular video of the quartet promotes the new Sound & Shot feature, which brings a totally different meaning to the phrase, “a picture says a thousand words”. In fact, the S4 goes one better – by also being able to speak. Confused? Let me explain. You see, Sound & Shot allows you to record sounds with your photos.
So when you are travelling and you want to share your experiences with friends or family back home, they can now enjoy not only the sights but the sounds of your travel destination. Whether they plan to add smell to your pictures in the near future is unclear.
The ad brings this to life with a touching story of a mother and her globe-trekking son keeping in touch through this fun new product. It certainly did the trick, attracting 572,739 shares last month, making it the third most shared ad during May.
But it wasn’t just the Sound & Shot feature that had people talking about the new S4 last month.
In 14th position is a video which showcases another S4 feature, ‘Group Play’, which allows you to play your music on your friends' phones, while seven places above that is ‘Hands On’, a 13-minute walkthrough of all of the new S4 features and product specs.
Of course, it seems no Samsung Mobile launch is complete these days without at least one jab in the ribs of its biggest rival, Apple.
The South Korean tech giant did the same thing last year to help launch the S3. The Next Big Thing Is Already Here, created by 72AndSunny, was a hugely successful milestone campaign launched in September which brilliantly lampooned the cult of Apple, portraying its fans as mindless groupies.
Although not quite as popular, ‘Graduation Pool Party’ - in which the out-of-touch parents are the ones with what suspiciously looks like iPhones while the teens are the ones with the cool new S4s - is another biting attack on Samsung’s fiercest competitor.
The message of the video is summed up in one quote, uttered by the granddad. He says, "So what you are saying is some smartphones are smarter than others. So what are we doing with these phones?"
It’s a message that certainly resonated across the social web last month. The ad attracted more than 82,000 shares during May, putting it in 19th position.
Microsoft even got in on the act last month, releasing an ad for its new Windows phone, the Nokia Lumia, which attacked both Samsung and Apple fans. It was a bold move, but one which paid off, with the commercial managing more than 220,000 shares last month, putting it in 12th spot.
Another video to boldly go into the upper reaches of the Unruly Viral Video Chart last month was Audi’s ‘The Challenge’, which pitted two actors who have played Spock in Star Trek – Zack Quinto and the legendary Leonard Nimoy – against each other in a battle over who can get to the golf club quicker.
Admittedly, driving to the golf course is not as exciting as say a fight over who has the better Vulcan death grip, but then two Spocks for the price of one - how could any self-respecting sci-fi fan resist? And so it proved – with the ad’s 566,013 shares last month putting it in fourth.
The ad also benefitted hugely from being released when excitement around the release of the new Star Trek into Darkness movie was at its zenith.
However, the real success of this ad is that you don’t have to be a die-hard Trekkie to enjoy it. Sure, there are no doubt a number of in-jokes that whistled past my head faster than a spaceship in warp speed, but that didn’t matter.
The banter between the two very likeable and popular actors is very entertaining and the pay-off was worth sticking around for.
Other ads to feature in this month’s top 20 include a couple of Mother’s Day spots from P&G and Nivea, the ‘World’s Smallest Movie’, created by IBM, another hilarious local commercial from Rhett & Link and three videos promoting the most highly-anticipated videogames of the year - Call of Duty: Ghosts and Grand Theft Auto 5.
Top 20 most shared ads during May 2013 (Facebook, Twitter and blogs)
1. Dove: Real Beauty Sketches – 738,150
2. Evian: baby&me – 641,070
3. Samsung: Galaxy S4 - Sound & Shot – 572,739
4. Audi: Zachary Quinto vs Leonard Nimoy – The Challenge – 566,013
5. Kmart: Ship My Pants – 463,904
6. Activision: Call of Duty – Ghosts Reveal Trailer – 415,988
7. Samsung: Galaxy S4 – Hands-on – 304,422
8. Activision: Call of Duty – Ghost Masked Warriors – 297,044
9. Kmart: Big Gas Savings – 296,003
10. Nivea: Mama – 280,145
11. Samsung: Usain Bolt - 228,044
12. Microsoft: Switch To The Nokia Lumia – 220,765
13. Arlen’s Transmission Centre: Shift It - 215,836
14. Samsung: Group Play - 202,642
15. IBM: A Boy And His Atom - 177,455
16. Rockstar Games: Grand Theft Auto V – 176,903
17. Melbourne Metro: Dumb Ways To Die – 175,033
18. P&G: Maria & Eunice Shriver – The Gift My Mother Gave Me – 97,994
19.Samsung: S4 Graduation Pool Party – 82,237
20. Red Bull: Mad Mike – 75,232
For their 'Street Retouch Prank', the company first replaced a bus-stop advertisement in Stockholm, Sweden, with an LCD screen. With the help of a long-range camera and artist Erik Johansson, they then applied some liberal digital adjustment to the bemused bus-stop patrons.
One man is turned into a waggling genie in a bottle. Another gets the full 'Hulk' treatment as his photo transforms before his eyes into a bulging movie monster. Best of all, a confused man and woman are shrunk down to kiss atop a wedding cake. Thankfully, the couple share Johansson's sense of humour and no one gets slapped.
Adobe's prank has clearly hit a nerve, with 311,000 shares since its launch on June 7th. Like many trending 'prankverts', 'Street Retouch' has an inexpensive feel that focuses on the core mechanic of the product. This new breed of ads shows that flashiness is no longer necessary to excite viewers.
As the 'You've Been Framed'-aesthetic continues to dominate top-shared adverts, the playfulness of 'Photoshop Live' has us waiting to see where the merry pranksters will strike next.
Be vigilant: nowhere is safe from the stroke of the air-brush.
Until now, 'prankverts' have mostly exploited the format's comic potential: Coke Zero turned commuters into super-spies and Swisscom tested attention span with hilarious results. But Leo Burnett's arresting new spot pushes the trend to more dark and poignant territory.
Working with the Department of Transport's drink-driving campaign, THINK!, the ad uses fly-on-the-wall cameras to capture the inside of an average pub. Without background music or context, we see members of the public entering the toilet.
But first a disclaimer: we recommend watching the spot before reading too much about it, as its genius lies in its shock value. Viewers of a sensitive disposition might also find the ad slightly upsetting, but this feeds into its attention-grabbing message.
In any case, we'll say that 'Pub Loo Shocker' employs a special effect as ingenious as it is terrifying. With this card up its sleeve, the ad is an exercise in simplicity. Just a couple basic camera angles, a grisly noise and Leo Burnett let the participants' horrified faces do the rest.
There is a tradition of using horror-film tactics to deter drunk-driving, with THINK! regularly producing some of the most disturbing ads around. With 11,000 shares already since its launch on June 6, 'Pub Loo Shocker' definitely delivers the kind of jolt that gets people talking.
Terrifying pub-goers and viewers alike, this ad certainly has the potential for shocking the public out of complacency.
Brainwaves make beats, commuters get distracted and a Spanish waiter gets lost. Yep, it's just another week in Adland.
Following the viral success of 2012's 'Our Blades Are F***ing Great', Dollar Shave Club's Michael Dubin is back for some more sweary self-promotion.
His latest spot - 'Let's Talk About #2' - brings toilet humour to the fore with a new product: what Dubin charmingly calls "butt-wipes".
It has quite a way to go to match the success of Dollar Shave Club's hilarious first ad, which positioned the brand as a punk-rock alternative to conventional razors.
The original ad's lo-fi aesthetic and Will Ferrell-a-like leading man cemented its place as Gillette's cool, snarky little brother, attracting more than 344,000 shares since it launch back in March last year.
The new campaign certainly has a lot of the same ingredients and doesn't shy from recalling the original video. Again collaborating with agency Paulilu for the guide to bum-wiping, his assistant, Alejandra, pops in for a cameo, as does a giant bear costume. Hell, Dubin is even wearing the same lilac shirt-grey tie combo.
With 'Our Blades Are F***ing Great', DCS showed that an ad about razors could be as funny as the best Saturday Night Live sketches. Even more, the ad taught us that a tiny company could outmanoeuvre its giant competitor with clever viral marketing.
'Let's Talk About #2' is not quite as funny as the original and has so far not had that ad's massive impact, but it's still very early days.
Perhaps a toilet paper alternative is simply a less accessible product than affordable razors, or perhaps the freshness of the original ad has faded a little. Time will tell!
In any case, Dollar Shave Club continues their mission to service "your face, your a**, and everything in between". Everyday heroes, really.
So you're thinking of bringing in a famous star to help boost your new advertising campaign.
It makes sense, right? Sure, it’s not going to be cheap. Beyonce’s Pepsi deal was reportedly worth $50M to the singer, while Coca-Cola and Blackberry recently splashed out on multi-million dollar endorsements for pop stars Taylor Swift and Alicia Keys respectively.
But a bit of celebrity stardust can make any ad campaign sparkle, right? Stars such as Beyonce, Swift and Keys have millions of followers on Twitter and Facebook just itching to share their favourite star’s latest project - even if it is an advert.
Well, not as much as you might think actually. Sure, popular wisdom says celebrity endorsement is a tried-and-trusted way to maximise your marketing effectiveness.
But if you visit the Unruly Viral Video Chart and scan through the top 50 most shared ads of all time (rankings and stats from June 1, 2013) it’s a very different story. In fact, you’ll probably find more ‘stars’ on a trip out to a local Nando’s in Penge (it’s in south London). OK, I exaggerate, maybe a few more than that, but you may be surprised by how few ‘celebs’ you do find.
That's right folks. Coming to a town near you (if you live near Antwerp, Belgium) is a magical vending machine that doesn't want your dimes, pennies or euros, but your friendship - on Facebook that is.
Pepsi take technology and social media by the hand and combine the two into a 'Pepsi Like Machine'. It's pretty safe to say it does it excactly what it says on the tin.
Lucky fans at a Beyonce concert in Antwerp were the first to test out the latest marketing campaign from the combined efforts of Pepsi and TBWA Belgium. Pepsi claims the fans loved it, and judging by the footage in the video, plenty were more than happy to trade Facebook likes for a refreshing can of Pepsi.
This concept further embelishes the fact that 'social' is currency for top global brands, especially the likes of highly competitive Pepsi and Coca-Cola who have broad global product offerings.
However, the CPG giant takes a refreshing approach at learning more about their fans and rewarding them for their brand loyalty. Will we see more of this sort of thing in the future? We expect so. In a highly-contested market place, brands will look to take bigger, broader steps to stay ahead of the competition.
The video, which launched yesterday, is yet to reach the social video masses, with just 2,488 views and 481 shares at the time of writing, according to Unruly Viral Video Chart data.
Will this approach capture many new fans? Well, we certainly think it's a refreshing idea, but only time will tell. Watch this space.
Bradley Cooper finds out he is not as good as ice cream, Apple flashes us its watch and Microsoft takes a bite out of Apple. Yep, it's just another week in Adland.
Hollywood hunk Bradley Cooper may be one of the sexiest men alive, but he is not as good as ice cream.
Don't agree? Well, admittedly, it's a tough choice for any red-blooded woman, but don't blame me - blame Häagen-Dazs, whose new campaign sees supermodel Jana Perez seduce the Hangover 3 star just to get her hands on his tub.
In the ad, created by Saatchi & Saatchi NY, Cooper arrives suited and booted at a party hosted at 'The House of Häagen-Dazs' armed only with his baby blues, some ice cream and a spoon.
He soon catches the attention of Perez, who comes over to flirt with Cooper. But it is not his good looks and happy-go-lucky charm she's interested in - she's only in it for the Häagen-Dazs.
She flirts with him, before locking him in a room to steal his ice-cream. No spoon? Not a problem for this hungry lass!
I guess it's not really a surprise - she's a supermodel after all. Unlike the average woman, she's probably had more Hollywood hunks than ice creams in her life. The novelty is probably wearing off.
The ad was launched earlier this month but is only now starting to attract attention.
Growing up, I remember there was this guy at school who if he ever spotted you drinking a can of your favourite soft drink would always ask if he could have a 'sip'.
Being polite and partly because he was a lot bigger than me, I would always say yes, although I knew I would always regret it as soon as he got his sausage fingers on my can. First, he would tip half of the contents out, as he did not want my spit in his drink. He would then wrap his huge lips, stained almost orange by the sheer number of cheesy Wotsits he had eaten just before, around the top.
It's safe to say, I would always let him finish the rest of the can himself, but to this day I still wear the mental scars with me like an old sporting injury.
Thankfully, Coca-Cola has come up with a novel idea to make sure that never happens to anyone else. Now, I know what you are thinking - 'buy another can!' - and you would not be half wrong.
No, the soft drinks brand has come up with a can you can split in half so you can share it with friends and playground bullies alike. Hooray!!