News & Views

Global Ads Chart / September 2015

by Contagious Contributor

A showcase of shiny gadgets and escapist fun defines this month’s round-up from video ad tech company Unruly, with users in September flocking to share videos which highlight the best, brightest and, occasionally, blingiest spots the internet has to offer. Unruly Media's head of content, David Waterhouse unpicks the leading ads from the last month.

While the early summer seemed primarily concerned with earnest, socially-conscious public service announcements, the tail end of the summer has seemingly left the viral web craving sugar-sweet fun.

Case in point, September’s top-sharing spot from the great bastion of ‘90’s nostalgia, Pokémon. You may remember Japan’s generation-defining export as either a trippy cartoon, an uproariously addictive videogame or just a drain on parents’ finances. However, the franchise is set to regenerate once more, this time in the thoroughly modern guise of an augmented reality smartphone game.

Pokemon Go allows players to catch, train and battle virtual monsters they encounter as they explore the real world, and the promotional spot sells its concept as compulsively fun. Beginning with lone users following the GPS trail of various Pokemon, the ad culminates with a massive multiplayer battle, as a frenzied crowd of iPhone-wielders assault Mewtwo in New York’s Times Square. Even for those who have no idea what Mewtwo is, the ad’s all-purpose fun has catapulted it to over 600,000 shares.

In second place, we have the only culture-unifying event capable of coming close to rivalling Pokemon’s mighty grasp. That’s right, it’s a global lunar event! While many prepared for the much-anticipated supermoon lunar eclipse on September 27th, NASA released a handy animated guide to the astrological event of the year. For those of you who couldn’t be bothered to wake up at 5am, consider this a refresher course. It’s easily the best moon-based ad since Corona pulled off this lunacy.

Further down the list, humour is a real trend. At number 4 we find Britain’s homegrown hero, Pot Noodle, producing a gender-bending sketch that’s taken social media by storm. Beginning with a macho training montage straight out of Rocky, the ad’s surprise conclusion is equal parts sweet and subversive. There’s also reliable laughs from Unruly Viral Video Chart mainstay, United Healthcare’s Our Song at number 15.

Another British icon playing it for laughs this month was David Beckham. Continuing a successful brand relationship with H&M, the Modern Essentials campaign finds the star puncturing his usual model seriousness with the help of American comic Kevin Hart. Supposedly researching a part in a Beckham biopic, Hart’s pesky hanger-on provides some hilarious moments as the former athlete tries to shake him off. Given the ad’s success online, studios must be planning the feature-length spin off.

Looking at the number of ads represented on September’s rankings, the overall winner is clearly Apple. Having announced a ream of new products and services this month, the tech giant’s domination isn’t that surprising. Similarly, the style of its new ads is unlikely to make headlines, maintaining the same slick, airbrushed quality the company helped establish as de facto cool branding.

However, with ads for the iPhone 6S and the new Apple pencil racking up nearly 150,000 shares between them, it clearly hasn’t made a difference. Meanwhile, Google’s rose-tinted announcement of a font change also performed well, coming in at the number 8 spot.

Other new spots to make this month’s rankings include a Spanish-language crisps advert starring a very persistent Enrique Iglesias, the likely news-prompted return of Save The Children’s haunting PSA and charity Sanctuary’s moving appeal to vulnerable women everywhere.

And because any round-up of internet advertising wouldn’t be complete without them: yes, the puppies are still hanging on.

Top 20 most shared ads of September 2015 – data compiled by Unruly

1. The Pokémon Company – Discover Pokémon In The Real World
Shares: 618,801

2. NASA – Supermoon Lunar Eclipse
Shares: 241, 157

3. Budweiser – Clydesdales 9/11 Tribute
Shares: 220, 447

4. Pot Noodle – The Ring
Shares: 210,002

5. Kleenex – Unlikely Best Friends
Shares: 99,978

6. Apple – iPhone 6s: The Only Thing That’s Changed Is Everything
Shares: 90,455

7. Purina – Puppyhood
Shares: 74,731

8. Google – Google, evolved
Shares: 73, 333

9. Sanctuary – Relax, Breathe and #LetGo
Shares: 64,948

10. Patagonia – Denali
Shares: 64, 615

11. H&M – Close The Loop
Shares: 62, 976


12. DC Shoes – Robbie Madison’s Pipe Dream
Shares: 61, 312

13. ROC – Cristiano Ronaldo In Disguise
Shares: 56, 588

14. Apple – Introducing Apple Pencil
Shares: 50, 146

15. United Healthcare – Our Song
Shares: 49, 707

16. H&M – Modern Essentials selected by David Beckham featuring Kevin Hart
Shares: 46, 518

17. Android – Friends Furever
Shares: 45, 912

18. Sabritas – Enrique Iglesias
Shares: 35, 996

19. Save The Children – Most Shocking 30 Second A Day Video
Shares: 35, 969

20. Pepsi – Pepsi’s Unlikely Spokesman, Marshawn Lynch
Shares: 33, 908