What do human flea collars, cats singing classic 80s hits and Germans smoking sausages all have in common? Well, it may sound like a dream you once had after eating too much cheese before bed, but in fact they all feature in this month’s round-up of the Unruly Global Ads Chart. From the sublime to the completely ridiculous, the shortest month saw a lot of new brands walking tall in the top 20.
However, leading the way at number one is an-all-too-familiar sight – a Budweiser Super Bowl ad. Edged out of top spot during January by Thinkmodo’s prankvert “Devil Baby Attack”, the alcohol brand’s cute Clydesdale campaign “Puppy Love” took the number one position at a canter during February thanks to a storming performance during Super Bowl Sunday.
The ad, featuring an unlikely friendship between a horse and a dog, added more than 1.16 million shares last month, securing the February title ahead of Learn For Life’s controversial PSA “Set Yourself Free” by a lot more than a long nose. It also helped Budweiser overtake Volkswagen to become the most successful social video brand in Super Bowl history. Other Super Bowl spots to make into February’s top 20 include GoPro’s exhilarating “Red Bull Stratos”, Bud Light’s “Ian Up For Whatever”, Kia’s “The Truth”, Jaguar’s star-studded “Rendez-Vous” and Coca-Cola’s controversial “America Is Beautiful”.
Meanwhile, it’s not often that advertising campaigns make you feel better about the world. However, charity SOS Mayday’s “Would You Give Your Jacket To Johannes?”, in third spot with 456,769 shares last month, will do just that. Advertising based around hidden cameras is usually obsessed with tripping people up. Whether it’s catching people out or just plain terrifying them, it’s not often that this popular sub-genre ever tries to be humanity-affirming. Sure, the sentimental appeals of this video are plain to see, but this simple spot works so well because it makes a tangible relation between philanthropy and everyday acts of kindness. Few people could watch this ad without wondering how they would act in that situation (or even have acted in the past).
Hair product brand Schwarzkopf also attracted a lot of love with its schmaltzy spot for Valentine’s Day, “A Declaration of Love”. Narrated by a loving boyfriend, the ad begins with montage of relationship highlights and lowlights (unsurprisingly, quite a few of these involve hair). If, like me, you watch too many films like “Blue Valentine” or “Her”, you’re just waiting for this domestic bliss to go horribly wrong. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. No, proving romantic optimists everywhere right, all’s well that ends well. Even though Schwarzkopf’s closing tag pitches it as a kind of ‘anti-Valentine’ ad, it’s a pretty thin pose. This is an ad that has love-hearts doodled all over its journal.
Two places further down the chart is mobile network Three’s “#SingItKitty” – a brilliant follow-up to its highly-successful campaign “#DancePonyDance”. If you haven’t heard Starship’s rousing ‘We Built This City’ in a while, then prepare to be almost overfamiliar with it. Wieden+Kennedy has produced a comic fantasy in which, not only does a young girl know all the lyrics to a hair metal ballad, she’s happy to cycle around the neighbourhood with her singing cat belting it out too. With 262,680 shares since its launch on February 20, ‘#SingItKitty’ could well go the distance to eclipse Three’s iconic moonwalking pony.
But if you thought that was a little odd, just wait till you see “Supergeil” – a spot from German supermarket chain EDEKA and with 252,790 shares, the 10th most popular ad last month. Now, I’d never heard of the German brand or performance artist Friedrich Liechtenstein before watching this spot, and now I wonder where they’ve been all my life. In a baffling mash-up of salesmanship and The Lonely Island-style crooning, this ad has all the makings of a viral hit. It’s weird. It’s catchy, even if you don’t speak the language (Gangnam, anyone). And its star is a self-described ‘flaneur’. What more could you want from three minutes? If you’re a fan of musical comedy and/or people smoking hot dogs as if they’re cigars, then you’re a cool person and we should hang. But most importantly, watch this ad.
Two places in eighth is an ad in which Coca-Cola tries to save us from ourselves with a world-changing invention. That’s right, you guessed it – it’s a red plastic cone. Well, that’s what it looks like at least, but the humanists at Coke have loftier ambitions. Despite looking suspiciously close to the contraptions used to stop your dog from scratching stitches or fleas, this new spot reliably informs us the cone is actually a ‘Social Media Guard’. What’s a ‘Social Media Guard’, you ask? Well it’s a handy device to stop your screen-frazzled, attention-deficit mind from casually checking Twitter during quality time with your friends and family. I’m not convinced the idea will catch on, but thankfully the cone could double-up as a hands-free Coca Cola funnel. Coincidence? I think not.
Other new spots to make it into the top 20 include a controversial Winter Olympics spot from the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion, Pepsi’s brilliant follow-up to its highly-successful “Test Drive” campaign and a Valentine’s message from the unfortunate cartoon blobs that brought you “Dumb Ways To Die”.
Top 20 Most Shared, Branded Video Ads During February 2014
- Budweiser: Puppy Love – 1.16 million shares
- Learn for Life: Set Yourself Free – 540,887 shares
- SOS Mayday: Would You Give Your Jacket To Johannes – 456,769 shares
- GoPro: Red Bull Stratos – The Full Story – 401,394 shares
- Schwarzkopf: You – 335,099 shares
- Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion: Luge – 310,857 shares
- Three: Sing It Kitty – 262,680 shares
- Coca-Cola: Social Media Guard – 255,026 shares
- Budweiser: A Hero’s Welcome – 253,431 shares
- EDEKA: Supergeil – 252,790 shares
- Sesame Street: Benedict Cumberbatch – 249,791 shares
- Coca-Cola: America Is Beautiful – 225,682 shares
- Bud Light: Ian Up For Whatever – 196,781 shares
- Melbourne Metro: Dumb Ways To Valentine – 174,922 shares
- Pepsi Max: Test Drive 2 – 156,037 shares
- GoPro: Lions – The New Endangered Species – 145,407 shares
- Vivo and Samsung: Metamorfose Ambulante – 144,837 shares
- Audi: Doberhuahua – 135,520 shares
- Jaguar: RendezVous – 130,672 shares
- 20. Kia: The Truth – 129,489 shares
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