As consumers watch more and more videos created by brands, marketers are thinking more critically about their video strategies. And key questions arise about when and how often to use “branded video content” and “video ads.” The findings indicate that consumers don’t see much of a difference at all, suggesting that marketers may be getting caught up in their own terminology.
1. KONY 2012
This short film created by Invisible Children is an example of how longer form content can still go viral. Shares from top celebrities and a massive existing email list earned this highly-produced video, which urges support for their organization’s mission in Africa, nearly 100 Million views on Youtube alone. The rebroadcast value from news organizations picking up the story made this spread across the world.
Kony was by far the most shared viral video
2. Dollar Shave Club
This $4,500 short and simple video took a new “shave tech” company and launched it out of the blocks like a rocket. With 8 million views in the 10 months since it first aired in March, 2012, the DollarShaveClub formula should not be ignored. Their budget may have been small, but the talent behind the video knew what they were doing with years of comedy improv and video production under their belts.
The results were 12,000 new members in the first 48 hours alone. And in November 2012,they raised almost $10 million in Series A funding, allowing them to expand the business internationally.
3. TNT – “Push for Drama”
In the quiet main street that is a dry day on the internet, viral videos bring a little mayhem in our lives. And so, in that same spirit, TNT Belgium put a “Push To Add Drama” button in a quiet town square. And since we all like buttons, everyone walks up, presses it, and instantly becomes part of a brilliant scene of chaos and crime and, well, drama.
4. The Popinator — Popcorn Indiana
Popcorn Indiana went to viral video shop ThinkModo to get a PR lift and they were not disappointed. You probably saw this new tech gadget called the Popinator on your local TV news, on Facebook, or even on CNN back in September 2012. The Popinator was a voice activated Popcorn delivery system that would launch a single kernel of popcorn at your mouth when you said the word “Pop.”
The video racked up a couple million views, but bigger than that, it got a ton of real world press mentions from Jimmy Fallon to Fox News to Engadget, and hundreds more. The gadget was not really a fully functional device. But the video was so successful the brand is said to be considering making it a reality.
5. Muscle Music – Old Spice
Old Spice viral videos have of course been viral before. This one is on the list more because of innovation than viral views. Old Spice took their current commercial campaign to Vimeo and created an interactive music video that is as addictive as it is entertaining. After the one minute video you can control the music. Press a key to play an instrument once, hold a key to let it repeat, press it again to stop.
6. Getty Images: From Love to Bingo
Stock image seller, Getty Images, pulled together over 800 images, all unrelated to one another, to tell the story of a couple meeting, loving, living, a loss, and more. Very clever and very well done.
7. Children’s Theatre Workshop: Cookie Monster, Call Me Maybe
The Call Me Maybe parody video was in full force this year. And Sesame Street could hardly refuse Cookie Monster when he asked if he could record his own unique version.
8. Melbourne Metro Trains: Dumb Ways to Die
What do you do if you want to remind the public how dangerous trains are? Easy, kill off a bunch of singing cartoon characters in a lighthearted and very dark song and dance number. 36 million views as of today. It is hard to get past how ODD this video is, but you have to think at least a few lives will be saved along the way.
9. Fiat: Motherhood
Fiat UK targeted hip moms everywhere with their ‘Motherhoo’ rap. The lyrics pull no punches and it is likely NSFW, but the entertainment quality is unquestionable.
10. Pepsi Max: Uncle Drew
A simple basketball court, where an unsuspecting pick-up game gets schooled by the older, grey-haired “Uncle Drew.” After missing a few shots, and some shots of the crowd enjoying their refreshing Pepsi Max, Uncle Drew begins to outplay everyone on the court. Of course Uncle Drew is really Cavs rookie Kyrie Irving with a lot of makeup, some padding, and a bit of limp added on for good measure.