Think nothing interesting ever happens in Belgium? Think again. TNT's Dramatic Surprise, filmed in a sleepy Belgian town to promote the launch of TV channel TNT, soared up Unruly’s Global Ads Chart last month. Not only did it take top spot during April, but it has also become the second most shared ad of all time.
Released on April 11, the experiential ad, created by agency Duval Guillaume Modem, racked up a staggering 3.14 million shares last month.
Only Volkswagen’s 2011 Super Bowl commercial, The Force, has been shared more (5.06 million).
However, looking at its current share rate, TNT’s Dramatic Surprise looks set to overtake the VW commercial within the next few months. The Force is not as strong as it used to be in the Passat advert and it does not feature in April’s top 20.
It is a huge win for Duval Guillaume Modem, who also had a lot of success with its superb experiential commercial for Carlsberg, Bikers In Cinema, last year.
The Antwerp agency placed a large red button in a Belgian town square where “nothing really happens” and invited passers-by to “Push to Add Drama”.
Doing so led to a flurry of activity, including a bicycle accident, a fist fight and the appearance of a woman clad in lingerie on a motorcycle.
But just why is it so popular? Well, it somehow manages to pack a lot of sharing triggers into a video less than two minutes long. As well as being surprising – offering a twist on the familiar flash-mob phenomenon – it’s spectacular, funny and smart.
Its tongue-in-cheek stockpiling of small-screen staples (punch-ups, gun fights and paramedic ‘fails’) strikes a chord with TNT’s target audience: TV buffs.
Sprinting in to take silver during April is Best Job – a sentimental Olympic spot from Proctor & Gamble directed by Babel helmer Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Part of P&G’s "Thank you, Mom" campaign – originally launched for the 2010 Winter Olympics but reborn for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London – the new spot is a moving tribute to parents around the world who have helped their children through the gruelling daily grind towards becoming an Olympic athlete.
The ad follows young gymnasts, swimmers, sprinters and volleyball players as they grow from sleepy children to medal-winning champions – all with the help of supportive mums.
Launched on April 11, the ad attracted 1.3 million shares last month, putting it second. However, while TNT and P&G took the top two slots, Google bagged an impressive five of the remaining 18 slots on the top 20.
The most shared of all these is a slick promo for Project Glass – a pair of augmented reality spectacles which feature a head-up display that flashes information directly into the wearer's field of vision.
One Day shows a day in the life of a Google Glass user, who sets reminders, searches directions and video chats through the headset.
There is still no hint as to when this product will hit the shelves or how much it will cost, but the promo attracted 542,846 shares during April, making it the third most popular spot last month.
Other Google spots to make the chart are the Self-Driving Car Test, plus the search engine giant’s April Fool’s Day joke promos for their 8-bit version of Google Maps, Gmail Tap – a Morse Code version of Gmail – and The YouTube Collection.
TNT’s Dramatic Surprise is not the only experiential ad to appear in the top 20. Tic-Tac’s brilliant ad, La Pire Haleine du Monde – or the ‘Worst Breath in the World’ – also enjoyed the sweet smell of success last month.
Set in the French town of Rouen and created by Ogilvy & Mather, Paris, the ad uses the town's residents as stooges to ambush innocent passers-by. The unwitting victim is asked for directions to the train station, but halfway through its helpful response the entire town seems to pass out.
Everyone in the square collapses and a large TV screen appears to show the rest of town rendered unconscious by a powerful but unseen force. The poor target is given a few seconds to react, leading some to run away panicked and others attempt to give first aid to the fallen, but all is soon revealed to the victim on the big screen: your bad breath has knocked out Rouen. The flash-mobbers come back to life and hand out Tic-Tacs to remedy the unpleasant odour.
[Video removed from YouTube]
The ad attracted 206,265 shares last month, putting in at number eight in the chart.
Duval Guillaume Modem’s brilliant experiential campaign for Stop The Traffik, an NGO aimed at stopping human trafficking worldwide, also made it on to the top 20.
Filmed in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, the advert features a slightly different window display to what we are used to.
Instead of pulling seductive poses and making erotic gestures, the girls in the window break out into a dance routine, much to the delight of the watching audience outside.
All is well and good until a sign above the building reveals the message, 'every year, thousands of women are promised a dance career in Western Europe – sadly, they end up here'.
Cue lots of looks of shock and embarrassment, as the men watching are opened to the harsh reality of sex trafficking. It’s a brilliant spot that attracted 57,797 shares last month.
Other ads to make it on to last month’s top 20 include Tipp-Ex’s brilliant follow-up to its highly-successful interactive ad, Hunter Shoots A Bear, a promo of the most highly-anticipated movie of the year, Prometheus, and a PSA warning seniors about the perils of not practising safe sex.
Top 20 Most Shared Video Ads for April
- TNT: Dramatic Surprise – 3,146,753 shares
- P&G London: Best Job – 1,305,794
- Google: Project Glass – One Day - 542,846
- Google: Google Maps 8-bit for NES - 486,687
- Nike: Make It Count - 416,615
- Dancesport Studio: Two-year-old Dancing The Jive - 395,148
- Tipp-Ex: Hunter and Bear’s 2012 Birthday Party - 231,974
- Tic-Tac: La Pire Haleine du Monde - 206,265
- Nike: I Would Run To You - 176,425
- Twentieth Century Fox (Prometheus): Happy Birthday David - 138,663
- Google: Introducing Gmail Tap - 122,950
- ESPN: Michael Jordan Commercial - 114,886
- Life Vest Inside – One Day - 61,477
- Stop The Traffik: Girls Going Wild In Red Light District - 57,797
- EDF Energy: Feel Better Energy - 55,313
- Cartier: L’Odyssee de Cartier - 51,698
- Safe Sex For Seniors - 47,222
- Trace Urban: The Most Amazing Beat Box Video Ever - 46,362
- The YouTube Collection – The Magic Of YouTube - 44,790
- Google: Self-Driving Car Test - 44,332