News & Views

Global Ads Chart / August 2016

by Contagious Contributor
While you might have expected an Olympic sweep for August’s most-shared ads, the real champion is rather surprising, writes Unrulys global head of content, David Waterhouse.



Despite a strong showing from the world’s biggest and toughest sports brands, Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 7 dominates this month’s chart, muscling out the competition with three top ten ads.

For the moment, It’s Samsung’s world; we’re just living in it.

All of these spots, as their rather descriptive titles suggest, are supporting the brand’s new Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. We have Introducing The Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy Note 7: More Everything and, last but not least, the Official Unboxing, all shared a total of 600,000 shares, an impressive figure for what amounts to a product launch.

On the face of it, it’s not immediately obvious why Samsung’s videos have shared so well, but there’s no quibbling with those figures. Obviously, the brand has built up enough interest and goodwill that fans will click in their droves to see just how big, waterproof and capable of scanning retinas the new Samsung model is.

Despite Samsung’s considerable lead, August did offer some intriguing competition. Several major sporting brands did come out to play for the Olympics, notably Nike, whose Unlimited campaign represents one of its boldest efforts in recent years.

Led by flagship film Unlimited You, at the number five spot, the ads begin in traditional aspirational sports ad fashion. A chirpy narrator (the indefatigably cool Oscar Isaacs) encourages fledgling athletes to achieve their wildest dreams, until suddenly they surpass his expectations and run rampant. As ambitious children race sprinters and amateurs somersault into the sea, the spot’s arguable zenith comes when a gymnast literally smashes Nike’s iconic ‘Just Do It’ slogan.

Now, this kind of meta-winking is nothing new for advertising, but there’s no denying how all-out fun Unlimited You is. With a combination of Isaacs’ comic timing, bombastic editing and a silly concept taken to its logical limit, it’s the rare kind of ad that warrants rewatching so you can catch all the gags.



Unlimited Youth, at number two, extends the joke in a different direction. This time, Isaacs meets Sister Madonna Buder, an 86 year old nun, and is quickly astonished by her ability to marathon, cycle and swim long into her old age. It’s the same gag as last time, but a welcome one. Frankly, it seems as if the brand could get a lot of mileage out of this concept.

Another striking sports ad to make this month’s chart is Under Armour’s beautiful, slightly disturbing tribute to Michael Phelps. While the US swim team hasn’t made a great name for itself recently, Rule Yourself is a tribute to perseverance and endurance. Returning to the same image of Phelps swimming along a seemingly endless lap pool, it’s certainly a bleaker vision than Nike’s happy-go-lucky Unlimited. For those who can’t be bothered with going outside, Sony is on hand at number 6 with the latest gaming innovations.

Even odder is adidas’ hilariously upbeat collaboration with Stormzy to celebrate French football upstart Paul Pogba. Pogba x Stormzy has been shared over 100,000 times and it’s pretty obvious why – it’s bloody catchy. United AirlinesOlympic effort is a little more old school, featuring a bunch of grinning athletes sprinting, jumping and rowing their way through an airport terminal, presumably much to the chagrin of the other passengers.

Finally, a cheeky sideswipe at social media from Ikea, who serve up a barbed historical parody of everyone’s friend who can’t help but Instagram every meal. While its relevance to Ikea isn’t immediately clear, we can’t help but be excited that brands seem to be getting into the sketch comedy game.

Most Shared Ads Of August 2016

1. Samsung – Introducing The Galaxy Note 7
346,393 shares



2. Nike – Unlimited Youth
180,903 shares



3. Samsung – Galaxy Note7: More Everything
168,719 shares



4. Under Armour – Rule Yourself: Michael Phelps
160,900 shares



5. Nike – Unlimited You
155,893 shares



6. Playstation – Games Preview Summer 2016
136,439 shares



7. Samsung – Galaxy Note7 Official Hands-on Unboxing & Design
120,033 shares



8. Adidas – Pogba x Stormzy
115,227 shares



9. United Airline – One Journey, Two Teams
113,473 shares



10. Ikea – Let’s Relax
92,487 shares