News & Views

Global Ads Chart / January 2016

by Contagious Contributor

Nostalgia gets to Unruly Media's head of content, David Waterhouse, as he rounds up the most viewed ads from January

As Mad Men’s Don Draper once astutely noted, nostalgia is a potent concept. While the human desire to look back to a better, more innocent time has fuelled everything from fine art to period dramas, to the movie 22 Jump Street, Millennial nostalgia has its focal points.

Chief among these is Pokemon. While parents likely remember the Japanese cartoon phenomenon as both a time-suck and a massive waste of money, the younger generation has fonder associations.
Perhaps this is why the brand’s latest spot, teasing its upcoming Super Bowl ad, is one of our most shared ads of the month.

Taking the second spot, Pokemon’s 20th birthday present to itself is a live action feast, playing more like a summer blockbuster than a tribute to a GameBoy game. The ad features precocious kids from all around the world gathered together by the magnetic power of the Pokemon universe.

However, fictional animals couldn’t quite cut the mustard alongside this month’s number one. A stalwart of the sharing charts since its release last February, Android’s Friends Furever surged ahead this month with a mighty 271,000 shares. This might be down to the spot’s recent announcement as the highest-sharing ad of all time, or the simple fact that no sane human can resist the sight of an orangutan and a puppy palling around.

If nothing else, this fact demonstrates the ‘long tail’ that excellent creative can have, especially when shared across platforms.

Elsewhere in the top 20, Pokemon’s Super Bowl spot is not the only ad this month to take childlike wonder as its focus. The NBA’s brilliant Hands, begins with a young basketball fan receiving a post-game high-five from Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala. Following this, he resolves to never wash that hand again. The whole spot plays like a charming comedy sketch.

Meanwhile, Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black continues its mastery of the social game with its Ya Heard? trailer teasing the upcoming season. Not a grand departure then, especially compared to Axe, who premiered an entirely new brand strategy this January. With Find Your Magic, the brand turned its product’s focus away from seducing women, and towards self-improvement. The result looks great, and has an upbeat charm that’s landed it at number 13 on this month’s chart.

On the slightly less charming side of things, ili’s spot for its new ‘wearable translator’ takes its place at number 16. Despite being a genuinely incredible little device, live translating the demonstrator’s words from English to Japanese, the ad itself does not quite hit the spot.

Revolving around a host attempting to get strangers to kiss him using the device, it’s a pointlessly leery way of showing off some legitimately exciting tech.

Finally, the last new ad to make the chart this January is H&M’s Ready, Set, Sportswear. If the January climate of drink-avoidance and gym-subscription hasn’t got to you already, then the clothing brand is here to remind you that fitness is everywhere, whether you like it or not.

As mentioned, a series of older ads fill out the rest of this month’s chart, led by Android’s viral behemoth Friends Furever. These include a classic IKEA tearjerker, Amazon’s Lonely Horse, Freshpet’s doggy feast and, yes that’s right, some Budweiser horses for good measure.

Top 20 most shared ads of January 2016

1. Android: Friends Furever
Shares: 271,076

2. Pokemon: #Pokemon20
Shares: 231,544

3. IKEA: The Other Letter
Shares: 113,631

4. NBA: Hands
Shares: 69,987

5. Amazon: A Lonely Little Horse
Shares: 48,600

6. Netflix: Orange Is The New Black – Ya Heard?
Shares: 43,001

7. GEICO: Spy: It’s What You Do
Shares: 38,872

8. EDEKA: #heimkommen
Shares: 36,489

9. John Lewis: #ManOnTheMoon
Shares: 35,986

10. Freshpet: Holiday Feast
Shares: 33,511

11. Budweiser: Horses In Love
Shares: 33,415

12. Monster Headphones: Cristiano Ronaldo In Disguise
Shares: 32,369

13. AXE: Find Your Magic
Shares: 29,933

14. Victoria’s Secret: Hands To Myself
Shares: 28,827

15. SmartWatch: Carl Froch Workout w/ Carly Rowena
Shares: 28,481

16. ili: Kisses In Tokyo
Shares: 25,852

17. DC Shoes: Robbie Madison’s Pipe Dream
Shares: 25,275

18. Google: Year In Search 2015
Shares: 24,608

19. MetLife: My Dad’s Story
Shares: 23,553

20. H&M: Ready, Set, Sportswear
Shares: 22,976