News & Views

Global Ads Chart / March 2016

by Contagious Contributor

With winter finally loosening its icy grip, March brought the brands out to play. While typically a good portion of Unruly Media's monthly round-up is dedicated to emotion-wrenching, handkerchief-necessitating content, the spring sunshine appears to have brought out the hopeful side in the world of online video advertising.

Of course, there is no figure more hopeful than the original viral franchise star, Ken Block. You’re talking about a man who drives quickly around corners for a living, producing more acrid smoke in the process than Dickensian London. And while Block still rides for the forces of wasteful fuel consumption, his viral feats continue to partner him with new cities and new brands.

This time round, Block has paired up with Ford, who seem perfectly fine with him pushing their vehicle to the very limits of its recommended use. The backdrop to his escapades is Dubai, where he zips and slides beneath the mammoth skyline of the UAE metropolis. To be perfectly honest, Gymkhana Eight feels a little underpowered compared to previous entries. That is, until a final, reasonably mind-blowing stunt involving a moving 747. It’s that brand of sheer madness that’s landed Block at this month’s number one spot, with 426,000 shares since release.

Moving on, there’s a notable humorous strain running through March’s adverts, not least of which can be seen Apple’s Timer. A brief sketch supporting the iPhone 6s, the ad finds Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster using Siri to prepare his favourite snack. For a brand which hasn’t routinely attempted funny adverts in recent memory, it’s a bold move and clearly one that’s paid off. Timer has been shared nearly 250,000 times this month.

Apple wasn’t the only brand to draw people in with a lovable character during March. Since breaking advertising records with its unstoppable  (which appears at number nine), Android has been searching for a follow-up. This month’s Rock, Paper, Scissors may not have the same instant appeal, but it’s a sweet effort nonetheless. An animated story about three unlikely friends coming together, the spot plays with the tropes of ‘80s high school films to charming effect. It’s certainly an easier sell than MTN Dew’s delirious Puppymonkeybaby at number 5.

One brand undeniably reaching for Android’s cutesy crown is Amazon Prime. With Lion, the brand gets as adorable as possible, combining a lonely dog, a little baby and a lion costume. If human sweetness is more your thing, then Orange Is The New Black is here to deliver. Netflix does not mess around when it comes to social media, and its latest OITNB spot cleverly crosses over with their other hit comedy, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. If you haven’t seen either, it won’t make a lick of sense, but it’s still pretty fun to see the cast having a good time.

One celebrity unquestionably having a good time is Lil’ Wayne in Samsung’s Champagne Calls. If someone had told him ten years ago that’d he go from being an internationally-celebrated pop musician to being a man who pours champagne on smartphones, Wayne might have been a little surprised. But he’s not the only person bending the rules on this month’s chart, which finds Aladdin skating through Tel Aviv, OK Go floating in space and a Swedish Jazz band recording the single most annoying ringtone I’ve ever heard.

Among these dreamers is Alex Thomson, a sailor and adventurer who has established a handy sideline in doing crazy things with boats. Think of him as the waterborne Ken Block. As ever supported by Hugo Boss, The Skywalk finds him kitesurfing behind a gigantic yacht, while wearing a suit and generally looking like he’s trying to beat Tom Hiddlestone to be the next James Bond.

If that’s not macho enough for you, Burger King’s response to McDonald’s quite funny billboard campaign has all the tact and dignity of a schoolyard scrap.

So if you’re looking for something a little more wholesome, Microsoft’s International Women’s Day spot is a sweet, inspiring antidote to all the (admittedly fun) nonsense. Rounding out the chart, we have a fake-bearded Cristiano Ronaldo, a voyeuristic Calvin Klein ad from 2013 and Metlife’s classic Wow I feel sad now spot Daddy Lies.

Top 20 most shared ads of March 2016

1. Ford: Ken Block’s Gymkhana Eight
Shares: 425,775

2. Apple: iPhone 6s – Timer
Shares: 246,931

3. Netflix: Litchfield’s Tribute To A Masterpiece
Shares: 96,897

4. Calvin Klein: Calvin Klein Concept 2013
Shares: 57,141

5. MTN Dew: Puppymonkeybaby
Shares: 50, 927

6. Samsung: Champagne Calls
Shares: 39,893

7. Android: Rock, Paper, Scissors
Shares: 39,748

8. Metlife: Daddy Lies
Shares: 35,209

9. Android: Friends Furever
Shares: 34,881

10. S7 Airlines: Upside Down & Inside Out
Shares: 33,538

11. Amazon Prime: Lion
Shares: 33,526

12. Adidas: How To Be No.1 With Navas

Shares: 32,653

13. Microsoft: International Women’s Day – What Are You Going To Make?
Shares: 31,299

14. Coordown: Dear Future Mom
Shares: 30,734

15. Monster Headphones: Cristiano Ronaldo In Disguise
Shares: 29,765

16. Samsung Galaxy: Over The Horizon 2016
Shares: 25,128

17. Hugo Boss: The Skywalk by Alex Thomson
Shares: 24,375

18. Always: #LikeAGirl
Shares: 23,495

19. Stand With Us: Aladdin Has Been Spotted On The Streets Of Tel Aviv
Shares: 22,676

20. Burger King: Burger King Reveals The End Of A McDonald’s Commercial
Shares: 22,427