News & Views

Global Ads Chart / May 2015

by Contagious Contributor

The words 'comedy gold' certainly don’t spring to mind when you think of controversial TV show Game of Thrones or moody rockers Coldplay. But look at the top of this month’s Global Ads Chart and you may have to think again.

The hit HBO show and the UK rock band teamed up in May for the US version of Red Nose Day to film Game of Thrones: The Musical - and the results from the 12-minute skit have been something truly staggering.

Winter may well be coming to Westeros, but the partnership has brought nothing but joy for the many charities and institutions involved. A week after it was aired on NBC, the clip had helped to generate $21m in donations.

The video, which was added to Coldplay’s YouTube Channel after broadcast, has also attracted a lot of attention online, generating 765,286 shares since it was uploaded, making it easily the most shared branded video during May.

And for good reason. Admittedly, if you are not a fan of the show, a lot of the jokes may fall flat, but for those who do love the show (and there are a lot of them), it’s a real treat. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) all get their own tracks to perform, but our personal favourite is Kit Harington (Jon Snow).

Jon Snow may know nothing, but he certainly knows how to get the crowd going while perfoming ‘Wildling’ to the tune of ‘Wild Thing’.

However, Game of Thrones: The Musical was not the only heartwarming, socially-conscious ad that had us tapping our toes last month, with brands addressing topics from musical inspiration to unconventional nuptials and compassion in conflict.

While some old favourites rose to the top of the pack, including the welcome return of an age-old rivalry, this month’s crop of ads shows in particular how recent viral successes are informing brand’s online strategies.

One brand clearly learning the lessons of highly-shared ads is Turkish Airlines. With three new spots breaking the top 20, and each entry both varied and creatively-compelling, the airline clearly won the month. Turkish Airlines’ success demonstrates how brands can benefit from diversifying their social output.

The Insider, the highest ranked new entry this month, supports Turkish Airlines’ role as main sponsor of the Euroleague, Europe’s premier professional basketball league. While investing in sports is never strictly a bad idea, The Insider has racked up nearly 100,000 shares thanks to a nifty hook. By sticking a first-person camera on the ref for exclusive access, the brand has cleverly placed itself at the centre of the action.

The spot #DelightfulStories couldn’t be more different, coming in at number 8, with 95,040 shares. A documentary spot of the sort we’ve discussed extensively recently, the ad brings us a story from DCR Congo, where polio is still rife to this day.

#DelightfulStories documents how energetic band Staff Benda Belili, many of whose members have polio, use their music to inspire the local population (and even a couple European festivals). It’s a tremendously charming clip that is compelling all the way through its five minute running time.

Speaking of musical inspiration, May also marked the spirited return of the ‘trackvert’, everyone’s favourite cocktail of music videos and marketing. While Cornetto’s collaborations with Turkish artist Yalin continue to light up the chart (coming in at number 6), this month also sees new efforts from Coca-Cola and Volvo, with the latter acting as a kind of gritty superhero reboot for Swedish EDM sensation Avicii. They come in at 12th and 17th place respectively.

While there’s rarely a lack of sentimentality in online advertising, May was a particularly rough time to be a crier. With your heartstrings plucked first by Huggies’ adorable prenatal drama Meeting Murilo, you’ll be a blubbering mess by the time you get to the The Man & The Dog, an Argentinian PSA supporting organ donation. While we won’t spoil the outcome of the ad, anyone who remembers this episode of Futurama is already welling up.

However, the tearjerker of the month award undoubtedly goes to Compassion is True Communication, an impressively emotional short from Thai telecommunications brand TrueMove. Based on an American daughter investigating her father’s time as a prisoner of war, it’s a shockingly visceral look at inhumanity, suffering but, ultimately, compassion. Clearly inspired by the emotional fireworks of MetLife’s hugely successful My Dad’s Story (even the score sounds similar), TrueMove has garnered over 69,000 shares so far.

While clearly not a bumper month for humorous ads, a few spots of comedy shine through. With a clear, silly concept and familiar tone, Pizza Hut’s excellent mock PSA The Dangers of Selfie Sticks performed well at number 10. Parodying the oh-so-familiar tropes of the PSA genre, the spot finds the brand poking fun at tech-enabled narcissism.

Meanwhile, American Mother’s Day was feted by pushing CardStore’s 2014 World’s Toughest Job, Samsung showed off its new gadget, while EA’s decision to include female players in the latest installment of its highly popular videogame franchise FIFA is attracting a lot of attention online.


Most shared ads during May 2015

1. Red Nose Day - Coldplay’s Game of Thrones
Shares: 765,286

2. Samsung Mobile - Galaxy S6 Edge Iron Man Limited Edition
Shares: 513,653



3. CardStore - World’s Toughest Job
Shares: 158,550



4. Castrol - Neymar Jr v Ken Block Castrol Footkhana
Shares: 148,874



5. Fundacion Argentina de Transplante Hepatico - The Man and the Dog
Shares: 117,691



6. Cornetto - Yalin: Benimki
Shares: 117,012



7. Turkish Airlines - The Insider
Shares: 98,874



8. Turkish Airlines - #DelightfulStories
Shares: 95,040



9. FIFA 2016 - Women’s National Teams are IN THE GAME
Shares: 93,810



10. Pizza Hut - The Dangers of Selfie Sticks PSA
Shares: 93,808



11. Fashion Revolution - The 2 Euro T-Shirt
Shares: 89,514



12. Coca-Cola - Ac Bir
Shares: 86,485



13. Castrol - Castrol EDGE Titanium Strong Virtual Drift
Shares: 79,749



14. Pandora - The Unique Connection
Shares: 73,196



15. TrueMove - Compassion Is True Communication
Shares: 69,641



16. Huggies - Meeting Murilo
Shares: 66,991



17. Volvo - Avicii: Feeling Good
Shares: 61,691



18. Animals Australia - People Being Awesome
Shares: 60,261



19. Turkish Airlines - Wedding Above The Clouds
Shares: 57,327



20. True Detective - Season 2 Trailer
Shares: 52,836