AdAge, one of the most respected marketing and advertising publications in the world, has just updated their list of the top 10 viral video ads of all time. The list is ordered based on total view counts, and while new branded online videos have scored major hits in the last year, several "classic" viral video ads remain in the top ten.

The article announcing the new top 10 viral video ads spends a good deal of time talking about earned media--when a video becomes popular enough to propel its own future success and the brand can just sit back and watch the views roll in.

Here's a chart they share, from Visible Measures, on the "earned media threshold":

Ad Age Publishes New Top 10 Viral Video Ads Of All Time earned media 606x306 Many brands are able to get high view counts and find marketing success with viral videos. But the brands that ride the earned media wave go into the next stratosphere of viral fame.

Top 10 Viral Video Ads Of All Time

Ad Age's list is a tiny bit misleading in places. For instance, Blendtec has the top spot, with over 173 million views. But that's over the entire "Will It Blend" campaign, not just one video. The Volkswagen "The Force" ad is 4th on the list with over 58 million views for just that one video. But then they separate out the original Old Spice Man videos from the "response" videos portion of that campaign. So there's definitely some subjective decisions being made here.

With that in mind, here now are Ad Age's top 10 viral video ads of all time:

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1. Blendtec - Will It Blend


2. Evian - Live Young


3. Old Spice - Responses


4. Volkswagen - The Force


5. DC Shoes - Gymkhana Two


6. Microsoft - Xbox Project Natal


7. Pepsi - Gladiator


8. Old Spice - Odor Blocker


9. Old Spice - The Man Your Man Could Smell Like


10. Doritos - Crash The Super Bowl 2010



  • Jason Lancaster

    I was just going to write how much I thought that Pepsi gladiator video sucked, but then I thought it was me, but then I saw Jock's comment and now I feel great.

    It was slow to develop, and were it not for the famous pretty girls it doesn't get a look. In my book, that means it's bad.

  • Jock Mirow

    In regards to the top 10 viral videos - I think it speaks well of the ability for creativity to trump budget when the number 1 video has 173 million views and is as simple a concept as blending an iPad (made MY day). The Pepsi "Gladiator" (starring that loveable ex-mouseketteer Brittany) was an excercise in poor taste, budget excess and dealt a serious blow to the memory of one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded.