News & Views

Global Ads Chart / March 2015

by Contagious Contributor
Uplifting stories defined online video sharing in March, writes Unruly Media's head of content, David Waterhouse. Wherever you looked, it wasn’t hard to find an inspiring narrative, a worthy message or a cutesy ending. It’s as if someone gave the internet a thorough spring cleaning and it came out smelling like Upworthy.

In fact, the inspiring content purveyor is partially responsible for this month’s number one ad, The Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels.

By sharing the PSA via its Facebook channel, Upworthy participated in one of 2015’s genuine viral successes, accruing 1.4 million of its 2.6 million shares. That’s quite something for an ad featuring no famous faces by a more or less unknown brand, not supporting a product but simply race, gender and religious equality.

If you haven’t seen the spot yet, the conceit is superbly simple. In a live stunt performed to a crowd of spectators, a giant X-ray screen conceals the identities of couples standing behind it, displaying only skeletal outlines. It’s a fairly obvious but nonetheless effective metaphor for tolerance, and undoubtedly the most humanitarian use of a giant X-ray screen yet conceived.

Not content with saving the world, Iron Man himself shows up to do good on a micro scale in The Collective Project’s similarly big-hearted spot.

Of course, it’s actually Iron Man’s Hollywood-based alter ego Robert Downey Jr., and his mission to deliver a new bionic arm to a young boy is filled with genuine charm and surprise, helping the spot reach the runners-up spot for March. It’s not a far cry from UPS’s late 2014 favourite Driver For A Day, which sticks around at number 16.

Of course, leave it to Durex to give their own twist on the cheery trend with their parody PSA, #Connect. Directly lampooning viral hits like Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches, the clever spot finds couples eager to learn a technologically-advanced way to shake things up in the bedroom. Here’s a hint: it’s not Tinder and the eventual reveal is sweeter than you’d imagine.

United Healthcare’s Our Song – at number 3 – also shares the positive vibes of its charitable brethren. In it, we see a couple recreating the most famous scene from ‘80’s semi-classic Dirty Dancing. Except, unlike Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s interpretation from Crazy Stupid Love, things don’t go so well. A pop culture reference plus a silly, simple gag has translated to nearly 350,000 shares for the insurance brand this month.

Meanwhile, Knorr’s sentimental Taste of Home – in 15th place with more than 77,000 shares  had teary-eyed viewers calling their mothers.

Brands were also keen to capitalise on shared moments during March. Case in point, Body Shop’s excellent Mother’s Day ad, which purported to be home video footage celebrations at Buckingham Palace.

The combination of realistically shaky footage and a couple of prize Charles and Camilla stand-ins made for an inventive, well-executed campaign. Meanwhile, Tourism Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day spot, featuring Liam Neeson’s gravely vowels, clearly struck a chord with the festive crowd. Both ads were shared widely across Facebook’s Video player.

For the tech and gadget savvy, Toyoto’s Tokyo test drive of their futuristic i-Road vehicle proved a surprise hit, making it into 12th place. A cross between a normal car and an arcade motorbike, the i-Road looks about as comfortable on the road as Jeremy Lin looks delivering gags in Tag Heuer’s slightly awkward Challenge spot. If you’ve ever wanted to see a world-class basketball player identify watch mechanisms against the clock (roll on snare), then this is your lucky day.

Among the returning favourites this month, the passing of beloved actor Leonard Nimoy saw Audi’s fantastic Spock versus Spock make a happy return to the Unruly Viral Video Chart. Despite being almost a year old, a Ken Block ad for Castrol also saw a similar resurgence, as did efforts from Android, Levi’s and adidas. Finally, hanging around for the 15th month running, the continuing success of Disney’s Frozen Sing-along shows we’re still not ready to, ahem, let it go.

Top Shared Ads of March

1. The Ad Council: Love Has No Labels
Shares: 2,637,256

2. The Collective Project: Robert Downey Jr. Delivers A Real Bionic Arm
Shares: 2,025,499

3. United Healthcare: Our Song
Shares: 349,579

4. adidas: Take It
Shares: 272,177

5. Disney Parks: Disney Characters Surprise Shoppers
Shares: 213,876

6. Castrol Footkhana: Neymar Jr. v. Ken Block
Shares: 147,842

7. Android: Friends Furever
Shares: 139,903

8. Levi’s: Introducing Levi’s 501 CT Jeans
Shares: 130,553

9. Durex: #Connect
Shares: 113,375

10. Tourism Ireland: The World Goes Green On St. Patrick’s Day
Shares: 102,667

11. Samsung: Samsung Galaxy S6 Official Introduction
Shares: 85,562

12. Toyota: i-Road Test Drive In Tokyo
Shares: 84,759

13. Tag Heuer: Jeremy Lin Challenged By Maria Sharapova, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jean-Claude Biver
Shares: 76,923

14. The Body Shop: So This Is How The Queen Is Treated On Mother’s Day
Shares: 78,225

15. Knorr: Flavour of Home
Shares: 77,116

16. UPS: Driver For A Day
Shares: 60,314

17. Disney: Frozen - Let It Go Sing-Along
Shares: 57,234

18. Audi: Zachary Quinto v. Leonard Nimoy 
Shares: 53,134

19. Slap Her
Shares: 52,803

20. Pepsi: The New Pepsi Challenge Is On
Shares: 50,613