It has been an action-packed month for branded viral video on the global ads chart. After the melancholic commercials and PSAs of May, the pace quickened and the mood lifted in June, with stunt driving, a lightsaber duel and even giant birds being fired out of huge catapults on to exploding pigs.
Best Branded Viral Video Ads for June 2011
Yep, the cult game Angry Birds was brought to life in Barcelona in a new ad for T-Mobile. Renowned for their flash mobs, the telecommunications company opted for a rather more stage-managed affair for the latest episode in their highly-successful Life's For Sharing campaign.
It certainly did the trick, with Angry Birds fans and those like me who were just curious to see what the game would look like in real life sharing it in their droves, easily making the most popular ad of the month.
However, T-Mobile's ad risks looking like a soporific Sunday spent in the park when compared to BMW's exhilarating and death-defying new commercial, Walls.
Following in the footsteps of DC Shoes's incredibly successful Ultimate Playground (still in the chart at number 16 despite being released back in September 2010), the Walls ad features one incredibly brave (or stupid!) stunt driver playing a high-risk game of Hole In The Wall at around 150mph:
The video certainly quickened the pulses of motor fans and non-motor fans alike across the web throughout June, making it the fifth most shared ad over the last 30 days.
Samsung also pulled their finger out to promote their Samsung S II phone. The Korean electronics corporation recently launched a competition to find the hottest new talent on YouTube, but will be hard pressed to find anyone who can match LA's JayFunk, the star of Unleash Your Fingers.
Samsung's hands-on approach appears to have done the trick, with Unleash Your Fingers attracting well over 100,000 shares across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere during June, putting it fourth in the chart, while handset sales have hit 3 million.
Certainly the most controversial ad of the month comes from Greenpeace. To show their opposition to Volkswagen's alleged opposition to European climate laws, the environmental activists created The Dark Side of the Force, a parody of the German car manufacturer's record-breaking commercial, The Force (still in the chart at number 17).
The ad has certainly attracted its fair share of interest, thanks largely to the universal appeal of Star Wars, a clever PR stunt involving Stormtroopers invading London and its controversial depiction of the Death Star with a VW logo on it giving Earth the Alderaan treatment. The ad has since been pulled after Lucasfilm raised copyright concerns.
However, there were no such issues with another Star Wars-themed commercial for Disney Parks. Launched to celebrate the opening of the new Star Tours attraction, Darth Vader Goes To Disneyland sees the Dark Lord of the Sith visiting a resort in Anaheim, California, accompanied by two Stormtroopers:
It attracted widespread coverage during June, notably on Mashable, helping to make it the 10th most shared ad of the month.
Babies also make an appearance on the chart, with two ads making it into the top six. At number two is the E-Trade Baby in a popular commercial launched back in February during the Super Bowl, and given a new lease of life thanks to a major Father's Day promotion.
The second baby in June's chart is a budding guitar super hero. Supposed to look like a user-generated content, it is, of course, a fake and was created by Ubisoft to promote its upcoming music video game, Rocksmith. I am still not 100 per cent sure how they did it.
It is not the only sneaky stealth ad to make it into the top 20. At first glance, a seagull stealing someone's video camera may appear like a funny holiday video in Cannes, France. But then why would you go out of your way to keep mentioning the maker of the camera, Go Pro?
The filmmaker has since gone public on Mashable, insisting the video was genuine, and not an ad. But we will let you make your own minds up.
Other ads to make their mark last month included a thought-provoking video by the English National Opera, two ads for Google+ (one of them featuring the ubiquitous Justin Bieber) and three games trailers from the E3 expo.
Top 20 Global Online Branded Viral Video Ads For June 2011
- T-Mobile –Angry Birds Live
- E-Trade –Superbowl Commercial w/baby
- David Cornfield Melanoma Fund –Dear 16-year-old Me
- Samsung –Unleash Your Fingers
- BMW -BMW 1M - Walls - MPowered Performance Part 1
- Ubisoft -Guitar Baby!
- Ubisoft -Assassins Creed Revelations E3 2011 Trailer [HD]
- English National Opera –Can I be your friend?
- Disney Parks –Star Tours: Darth Vader goes to Disneyland
- Greenpeace –VW: The Dark Side
- Google –Google Chrome: Justin Bieber
- Google –The Google+ project: A quick look
- Nintendo –Nintendo Wii U Trailer (E3 2011)
- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema –Don't Talk - Angry Voicemail (Uncensored)
- 343 Industries -Halo 4 E3 2011 Debut Trailer [HD]
- DC Shoes -Ken Block's Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground
- Volkswagen –The Force: Volkswagen Commercial
- GoPro -Seagull stole GoPro
- Red Bull –Danny MacAskill - "Way Back Home"
- Evian –Evian Roller Babies international version