News & Views

Global Ads Chart / January 2015

by Contagious Contributor
January is fairly uninspiring as months go. The holidays have been and gone, the weather is miserable and it’s likely your New Year’s resolutions have been thrown out with the fairy lights. Crying out for something to believe in, the world of social video is only too happy to provide, according to Unruly’s Global Ads Chart, writes David Waterhouse, head of content at Unruly.

This month’s top 20 ads find inspiration in the unconventional and unexpected. This is certainly true of What Happens When You Put A Boy In Front Of A Girl And Ask Him To Slap Her, from online Italian newspaper, which receives double honours for top spot and wordiest title. In documentary footage, the spot finds Italian boys asked to interact with a young girl: compliment her, stroke her, make a funny face at her. When the narrator asks that the boys slap her, the spot becomes an unusual and heartwarming piece about attitudes towards domestic violence.

Following the emotional beats of ads like 2014 hits #LikeAGirl, 10 Hours Walking In NYC As A Woman and Potty-Mouthed Princesses, these spots reflect a trend of social consciousness (and particularly, gender consciousness) in social video. Last year Unruly explored the growth of these ads, which turn serious issues into uplifting content, in depth but the popularity of “What Happens When…” shows the trend is showing no signs of slowing down. The spot has received an impressive 2,190,783 shares since its release on January 5th.

There’s a similarly gooey warmth to Budweiser’s Lost Dog at number 2, but the real story is the ad itself. Charting the most shares of any Super Bowl ad for the third year running, it’s safe to say the beer brand has done it again. Following gameday blockbusters like Brotherhood and Puppy Love was always a tough ask, but Budweiser’s tale of adversity, companionship and adorable puppies is further evidence that they’ve cracked the viral code. I mean, even its Super Bowl teaser Don’t Disappoint A Clydesdale cantered in to nab Unruly’s number 9 spot.

Another curious twist to this month’s round-up is the battle of the platforms going on behind the scenes. Both new leaders What Happens When… and Lost Dog have been shared primarily through Facebook’s video player rather than YouTube’s, along with number 3 People Being Awesome, which has been a round-up mainstay since its release last November. Over the past nine months, the social media giant’s video offering has jumped from 9% to 18% of all video views, already beating YouTube for desktop viewing, whose share of voice has slumped from 46.5% in January 2012 down to just 21.1% by the end of 2014 (source: comScore). A viral hat-trick indicates a strong start to the year for the upstart platform.

A different kind of inspiration follows at number 4, with Microsoft unveiling a far-reaching glimpse at future tech. You’d be forgiven for mistaking the brand’s HoloLens spot for a science-fiction trailer, but the peek into potential uses for interactive holograms is totally eye-opening and deserving of its 223,987 shares so far. With floating Skype screens and your living room transformed into a MineCraft playground, Microsoft looks set to bring out the Tony Stark in us all.

Speaking of the playground, January saw an unexpectedly charming and charmingly informative PSA catch some viral glory. #TheChokeables, from St John’s Ambulance, aims to teach viewers how to prevent their baby from choking on small objects, with a little help from a gang of Pixaresque toys. It may sound surreal but the spot’s high production values and sharp writing carry it through to the number 5 position. The same underdog status applies to Sport England’s This Girl Can, which shuns body consciousness in favour of slogans like I Jiggle Therefore I Am and a Missy Elliott-backed athletic montage.

Returning to the Super Bowl, Snickers’ hilarious The Brady Bunch spot proves that funny can still ride high, especially when it’s as weird as this. Almost certainly brewed in the same cauldron as Adult Swim’s Too Many Cooks, the ad features character actor Danny Trejo (and a surprise guest star) transported into the paisley-shirted world of 1970s sitcoms. It’ll never be as popular as Clydesdales and puppies, but kudos to Snickers for taking the road less travelled. Meanwhile, in case you’d forgotten other sports exist, adidas gathered a few of the world’s most successful footballers to tell you that they don’t care if you hate them. There Will Be Haters, apparently, but with over 156,000 shares I can’t imagine they’re too fussed.

Rounding out our Super Bowl coverage, efforts from Bud Light, Skittles, Victoria’s Secret and McDonald’s all make it into the top 20. Best of all, No More’s creative and deeply powerful PSA on domestic violence spot at number 12 shows that important messages can break through on a day typically associated with big stars and bigger spectacle. Other new ads in this month’s top 20 include a spot from Mexican biscuit brand Emperador, M&M’s pun-happy Fans and fancy footwork from Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla.

Top 20 Most Shared Ads of January 2015

1. What Happens When You Put A Boy In Front Of A Girl And Ask Him To Slap Her  

2. Budweiser: Lost Dog

3. Animals Australia: People Being Awesome

4. Microsoft HoloLens: Transform Your World With Holograms

5. St John’s Ambulance: #TheChokeables

6. Sport England: This Girl Can

7. Snickers: The Brady Bunch

8. adidas: There Will Be Haters

9. Budweiser: Don’t Disappoint A Clydesdale

10. Chanel: Spring/Summer Haute Couture 2015

11. Bud Light: Real Life Pacman

12. No More: Super Bowl PSA

13. Arsenal: This Is What Happens When You Put Santi On The Spot

14. Skittles: Marshawn Lynch Press Conference

15. Disney: ‘Let It Go’ Sing-Along

16. Victoria’s Secret: Don’t Drop The Ball

17. McDonald’s: This Super Bowl, We Can’t Wait To Show You What A Little Lovin’ Can Do

18. Emperador: Carmen Salinas

19. M&M’s: Fans

20. UPS: Driver For A Day