It looks like rumors of the death of prankvertising have been greatly exaggerated. There were fears the biggest social video trend of 2013 had played its last prank; that the joke simply wasn't funny anymore. But you only need to look at this month’s chart to see it’s still alive and kicking – and throwing up on innocent bystanders. That’s right. Despite the Winter Olympics being just around the corner and the dust just settling on the Super Bowl, this month’s chart is surprisingly not led by an ad from one of the these two great sporting events, but an ad for a new horror movie.
“Devil Baby Attack” is the latest campaign from the dastardly minds at agency Thinkmodo - who last October scored a major viral hit with another prankvert for a horror film – “Telekinetic Surprise”. The new video, which promotes Twentieth Century Fox horror movie ‘Devil’s Due’, shows what can only be described as a demon baby scaring well-meaning New Yorkers out of their wits. Anyone nice enough to check on the crying baby in the pushchair is soon left to regret it as it bolts upright and starts screaming looking like something out of The Exorcist. Of course, it's not a real baby, rather an incredibly realistic robot that could well haunt your dreams for the next few days. You have been warned.
Mind you, plenty have watched the ad already and were evil enough to share it with their friends and peers during January. The two-minute ad was shared almost 2 million times last month, putting it well ahead of Budweiser’s cute Super Bowl spot, “Puppy Love”, in second spot.
Of course, January would not be January without the usual barrage of Super Bowl ads ahead of the big game. For brands these days, it’s no longer just about being the talk of the Monday water-cooler, it’s also about being the talk of the web before, during and long after the trophy has been won. So it’s no surprise that advertisers release teasers and their big game ads in the build-up to Super Bowl Sunday. Leading the pack in the build-up to kick-off was Budweiser’s tale of an unlikely friendship between a puppy and a horse.
Released on January 29, Bud’s Big Game spot quickly mustered 701,268 shares in just over 48 hours to put it ahead of Axe’s Super Bowl spot “Make Love, Not War”, in 11th.
Budweiser’s 2013 Super Bowl hit, “Brotherhood” also returned to the top 20 last month, no doubt powered by the success of Puppy Love, while Duracell’s “Trust Your Power”, featuring Derrick Coleman, who plays for Super Bowl winners Seattle Seahawks, was the sixth most shared ad last month. ESPN’s “Long Week”, which celebrates the rivalry between sports fans ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, appears in 13th position.
But the Super Bowl did not have it all its own way during January by a long way. In third spot is P&G’s Olympics emotional spot “Pick Them Back Up”. The FMCG brand’s follow-up to its hugely successful 2012 Olympics, “Best Job”, is possibly even more poignant than its predecessor, capable of melting hearts colder than a harsh Russian winter. Like its predecessor, instead of focusing on the athletes themselves, it looks at the loving, unwavering support of their mums. Sure, the Olympic hopefuls fall and stumble along their way to the podiums, but once again Mum is there to pick them back up. It even uses the same music as the original. And it certainly did the trick, attracting 540,802 shares last month, making it the most shared ad Winter Games ad of all time.
Arnold Schwarzenegger also muscled his way into the top 5 with a video for After-School All-Stars, an initiative which aims to provide guidance and support to disadvantaged children. In the two-and-a-half minute clip, the former California governor returns to the famous Gold’s Gym wearing possibly the worst disguise ever created. Masquerading as personal trainer ‘Howard’, he offers offering body-building advice to a clutch of bemused patrons. Although Arnie is not going to win any Oscars for his performance any time soon, the video certainly has its amusing moments. It attracted 407,763 shares last month, putting it in fourth position.
Other new ads to appear in the top 20 include Old Spice’s rather creepy musical hit “Momsong”, a startling road safety video from The New Zealand Transport Agency and a Volvo ad which stats Swedish soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimović.
Top 20 Most Shared, Branded Video Ads During January 2014
1. 20th Century Fox - Devil’s Due: Devil Baby Attack: Shares -1.95 million
2. Budweiser: Puppy Love: Shares: 701,268
3. P&G: Mom – Pick Them Back Up: Shares: 540,802
4. Omaze: Arnold Works At Gold’s Gym: Shares: 407,763
5. Old Spice: Mom Song: Shares: 370,460
6. Duracell: Trust Your Power, NFL’s Derrick Coleman, Seattle Seahawks: Shares: 318,387
7. The New Zealand Transport Agency: Mistakes: Shares: 295,669
8. GoPro: Lions – The New Endangered Species? : Shares: 263,694
9. Learn For Life: Set Yourself Free: Shares: 227,993
10. Volvo: Volvo XC70 – Made In Sweden: Shares: 200,968
11. Axe: Axe Peace - Make Love Not War: Shares: 126,629
12. Mercedes-Benz: Chicken: Shares: 126,605
13. ESPN: This is SportsCenter – Broncos & Seahawks’ Long Week: Shares: 110,829
14. Cinesite: Beans: Shares: 93,765
15. Budweiser: Brotherhood: Shares: 90,214
16. Melbourne Metro: Dumb Ways To Die: Shares: 80,754
17. PooPourri: Girls Don’t Poop: Shares: 79,728
18. Evian: Baby & Me: Shares: 77,109
19. Som Sabadell: Flash Mob: Shares: 75,477
20. Disney (Frozen): Let It Go: Shares: 72,489