News & Views

Global Ads Chart / February 2015

by Contagious Team
The Super Bowl got the month off to a fist-pumping, Gatorade-guzzling start, but the real heroes in February's Unruly Viral Ads Chart were the cute and cuddly, writes David Waterhouse, Unruly's head of content 

As if it’s any surprise, it transpires the internet loves a fluffy animal, an adorable kid or a heartwarming message, even when there’s sports or Oscar nominees to catch up with.

Rivalling Budweiser’s Lost Dog for sweetness (and battering it for sheer animal count), second-placed Android’s Friends Furever (above) was the most-shared ad from February that didn’t play during the Super Bowl. That’s an impressive feat considering ads are to the Super Bowl as designer dresses are to awards ceremonies.

Featuring more adorable animal pairings than a well-shaken Noah’s ark, the spot perfectly communicates Android’s ethos: Be together. Not the same. Both an example of supremely clever branding and highly shareable content, Friends Furever shows that Android, and agency Droga5, have some very smart cookies on their side.

However, rather predictably, top spot went to a Super Bowl spot – Supercell’s Clash of Clans ad, Revenge.

Alongside Snicker’s brilliantly insane Brady Bunch at number seven, Supercell’s spot was undeniably the big comedic hit of Super Bowl XLIX. Both these ads, tapping into pop culture savvy and a post-Too Many Cooks sensibility, showed that brands could manoeuvre outside the expected game day playbook and still find viral success.

Of course, Supercell taking the top spot means last month’s frontrunner, Budweiser’s Lost Dog, dropped down to third place. Despite already being the most shared new ad of 2015 so far, and pulling American heart-strings like it was born to do it, the beer brand’s buzz on game day has not lasted the month. Nevertheless, mostly thanks to the brand’s masterful pre-game hyping, the ad is still the smash hit everyone sort of expected: nearly 580,000 shares this month.

Now to a very different breed of puppy, a little love must be given to Boston Dynamics for having brought man’s best friend into the 21st Century. Introducing Spot, impressive at number 14 considering it’s an in-house production, is a demonstration of the company’s latest robotics project and will either make you excited for the future or a bit confused and scared.

So, not a dissimilar reaction to the unwitting participants in Disney Parks’ shadowy prank, in fourth place. Turning a suburban mall into a place of magic and wonder is no mean feat, but the spot is very charming indeed, especially the kids’ reaction to the appearance of Mickey and co.

On the more harrowing end of family fun, we find MetLife’s My Dad’s Story. While Birdman and Boyhood publicly battled it out for awards season success, MetLife and BBDO Hong Kong produced this month’s sleeper hit, a spot so affecting it should come with a warning sticker.

The short deftly tells the story of a father and daughter, and the sacrifices he makes to fund her education. If its 315,000 shares doesn’t convince you, share it with your office and watch the tears roll as the music swells.

Sports brands served up a different breed of inspiration this month, mostly in the form of tough-guy platitudes and slick aesthetics. Reebok’s Super Bowl entry Freak Show is particularly gripping, reclaiming ‘fitness freak’ as a badge of honour as amateur athletes sweat, grunt and stumble their way to a healthier self. It’s a must-see for anyone who enjoys flipping tyres in their garden. Meanwhile, adidas told us all to Take It and a January favourite from Sports England hung around to remind us that This Girl Can.

Round out February’s top twenty we find a few more Super Bowl offerings, including Bud Light larger-than-life take on Pacman and NO MORE’s stunning PSA, alongside stalwarts #LikeAGirl and PEOPLE BEING AWESOME.

Top 20 most shared ads from February

1. Supercell: Revenge
Shares: 878,357

2. Android: Friends Furever
Shares: 759,787

3. Budweiser: Lost Dog
Shares: 580,943

4. Disney: Watch as some unsuspecting shoppers get the Disney surprise of their lives!
Shares: 579,949

5. MetLife: My Dad’s Story
Shares: 305,227

6. Always: #LikeAGirl
Shares: 278,603

7. Animals Australia: PEOPLE BEING AWESOME
Shares: 243,378

8. Snickers: The Brady Bunch
Shares: 167,235

9. Reebok: Freak Show
Shares: 149,940

10. adidas: Take It
Shares: 118,669

11. Ford: Speed Dating Prank
Shares: 106,575

12. Bud Light: Real-life Pacman
Shares: 100,434

13. NO MORE: Super Bowl Ad
Shares: 96,664

14. Boston Dynamics: Introducing Spot
Shares: 94,299

15. Mountain Dew: Come Alive
Shares: 85,291

16. UPS: Driver For A Day
Shares: 79,760

17. Always: #LikeAGirl SuperBowl
Shares: 76,089

18. NASA: SDO: 5 Years
Shares: 74,211

19. What happens when you put a boy in front of a girl...
Shares: 69,968

20. McDonald’s: Pay With Lovin
Shares: 69,718