News & Views

Global Ads Chart / September 2016

by Contagious Contributor
An inventive month for online video advertising, September’s most-shared spots run the gamut from moving documentaries to surreal sketches, product launches to surprising team-ups, writes Unrulys head of content, David Waterhouse. While no month in Adland is ever exactly the same, this is undeniably the most varied bunch in a good while.

Chief among these is our number one, Audi’s The Comeback (above), a bizarre but hilarious story of triumph and redemption infused with Jurassic Park. The Comeback stars a CGI Tyrannosaur Rex, once feared as the deadliest predator on Earth but now terribly humiliated since a YouTube clip mocking its tiny arms went viral online.

Yes, this is an ad for a car company.

Presented as a mock documentary, our inexplicably Irish T-Rex explains how this embarrassment weighed on him until he discovered a life-changing technology: Audi’s piloted driving. Though really only tenuously connected to the central product, The Comeback is a delightful winner from agency Razorfish.

This is not the car brand’s only strong showing this month, appearing at number 8 with a surprising collaboration with AirBnB. Desolation is a similarly humorous spot about a family so enamoured with driving they choose to live in the middle of nowhere. While we wouldn’t have previously associated Audi with funnies, we’re glad to see it’s embraced their silly side.

The only other brand to appear twice on September’s chart will come as no surprise, given Apple’s firm hold on pop culture. Indeed, the brand’s product launch, Introducing iPhone 7, comes in at a comfortable number 2, highlighting the new handset’s larger screen, added camera and controversial lack of headphone jack. If you can’t spare those 2 minutes and 15 seconds, Apple has handily provided a sprightly 107-second summary, landing here at number 9.

Other intriguing launches include H&M’s stellar Autumn Collection spot, which follows the trend of big brands addressing larger social issues. The issue presented here is femininity, or rather, what it means to be a woman. Set to a cover of Tom Jones’ She’s A Lady, we see a parade of models of different sizes, gender definitions and races, all joyously celebrating their differences. Contrast this to the rather more conventional school of modelling, with Natalie Portman’s support of Dior’s latest lipstick at number 4.

This month’s award for quietly putting out excellent work goes to Starbuck’s Upstanders series, whose second episode A Warrior’s Workout (above) is a moving treat. A series of documentary shorts devoted to generous individuals and community action, this instalment follows a former NFL player who decided to put his energies into rehabilitating and training injured veterans. The trainer, David Vobora, puts an emphasis on treating his clients like any other gym-goer and the spot embodies the same utterly humane ideal.

Closing out this month’s chart, we have Johnson and Johnson’s ode to sleepless parents, in which a desperate mum and dad devise a new way to get Junior to doze off. Presenting a very different kind of family, Airbus shows off its full fleet of aircraft flying in unison, which is presumably of interest to people who are really into planes. Finally, HP’s latest device – a Bluetooth printer for smartphones – is likely to inspire nostalgia in millennials who fondly remember the Nintendo Gameboy’s optional printer attachment. Those were the days.

That’s all for this month – see you in November!

Most shared ads of September 2016
1. Audi – The Comeback

2. Apple – Introducing iPhone 7

3. Starbucks – Upstanders: A Warrior’s Workout

4. Dior – The New Rouge Dior

5. Airbus – Airbus Family Flight

6. Johnson’s Baby – How We Sleep

7. Audi R8 and Airbnb Commercial – Desolation

8. H&M – H&M New Autumn Collection 2016

9. Apple – iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 107 seconds

10. HP – HP Sprocket