November was certainly a month to remember on the Unruly Viral Video Chart. Thanks to ageing action stars doing the splits between two moving trucks, motor-racing legends performing seemingly impossible stunts and men playing Jingle Bells with their (ahem) stocking fillers, this month’s chart is one which will linger in the memory for a long time. Not satisfied pushing the creativity of their advertising agencies to the limit, it now seems they also want to push the limits of the human body.
Leading proudly from the front is Volvo’s “The Epic Split”, which proves there is simply nothing that Jean-Claude Van Damme cannot do. For years, 'The Muscles From Brussels' has shown the world how to rock a mullet hairstyle and denim on denim ensemble. And now at the age of 53, the 80s movie star has managed to pull off possibly the most impressive stunt of his life - performing the splits between two moving vehicles.
The latest stunt-based ad from Volvo Trucks begins with the Belgian folding his arms while balancing perfectly between two reversing trucks with his legs in a horizontal position. A voiceover from the man himself then kicks in, "I've had my ups and downs, my fair share of bumpy roads and heavy winds. That's what made me what I am today. Now I stand here before you. What you see is a body crafted to perfection. A pair of legs engineered to defy the laws of physics and a mindset to master the most epic of splits." It's a fantastic piece of creative, which performed some heroics of its own during November on the Unruly Viral Video Chart, amassing 2.7 million shares.
But the question everyone wants to know is: did he actually do the stunt, or was it just computer trickery? Well, according to Volvo, although some safety equipment was digitally removed, no computer trickery was involved on camera and the stunt is genuine. Good enough for me!
Bouncing along just behind is Kmart’s “Show Your Joe”. You can throw as many inspiring storylines, heartfelt songs or clever catchphrases into your marketing mix as you want, but apparently nothing quite says ‘Christmas ad’ than the sight of six men playing jingle bells with their baubles.
Well, that's one way you can look at the incredible success of Kmart's latest ad. The slightly childish but amusing commercial, once again created by Chicago agency draftfcb, racked up 1.4 million shares during November – making it the most shared Holiday ad of the year so far, one place ahead of John Lewis’s more traditional festive fare, “The Bear and The Hare”, and a six ahead of the NBA’s own unique take on the Christmas classic, “Jingle Hoops”. So what's the ad about? Well, to say Kmart's other ads, such as "Big Gas Savings" and "Ship My Pants", are more mature and sophisticated would be an understatement. Basically the retailer's crazy Christmas cross-promotion with Joe Boxer features six Kmart 'hunks', dressed in dinner jackets and pants, shaking their stuff in time to Jingle Bells. And that's about it! Oh, and obviously, every swing of the hips coincides with a chime of a bell. Otherwise that would just be embarrassing, right?!
A few car lengths back in sixth is the latest instalment of the most shared branded web series of all time – “Gymkhana 6”.
Social video legend Ken Block got back behind the wheel for the newest chapter of the hugely popular series - and it was as if he had never been away. Guys on Segways and a wrecking ball both feature, but, as with previous chapters, it’s Block’s ridiculous driving skills which once again steal the show. However, there’s one notable difference this time around – the brand sponsor. The last five have been for footwear brand DC Shoes, but this time Block put his skills to the test for popular videogame franchise, Need For Speed. It attracted 771,535 shares last month, a decent performance, but one which fails to hit the heights of previous episodes.
Down in 13th is a spot which takes action in a very different way. Asking the question, why bring a child into a world plagued by injustice, poverty and warfare?, Unilever’s video marks the launch of its sustainability programme Project Sunlight, which will help 2 million children across the world.
These include providing school meals through the World Food Programme, supporting Save the Children to provide clean, safe drinking water and improved hygiene through UNICEF. The video’s heartfelt message certainly resonated across the social web, attracting 206,419 shares last month.
Other new ads to appear in the top 20 is a teaser for the new series of Sherlock, an emotional reunion courtesy of Google, an inspirational time-lapse spot for a veterans’ charity and an extreme Brazilian prank to promote the new Curse of Chucky movie.
Top 20 Most Shared, Branded Video Ads During November 2013
1. Volvo Trucks: The Epic Split - Shares: 2.7 million
2. Kmart: Show Your Joe - Shares: 1.4million
3. John Lewis: The Bear and The Hare - Shares: 895,115
4. Google: Reunion - Shares: 883,919
5. Universal/ Program Silvio Santos: A Maldição de Chucky - Shares: 843,662
6. EA: Need for Speed – Gymkhana 6 - Shares: 771,535
7. Virgin America: Safety Video - Shares: 501,131
8. NBA: Jingle Hoops - Shares: 441,293
9. Degage Ministries: Homeless Veteran Timelapse Transformation - Shares: 278,915
10. Banco Sabadell: Som Sabadell Flashmob - Shares: 256,998
11. Activision: Call of Duty - Shares: 222,659
12. Pepsi Max: Uncle Drew 3 - Shares: 219,907
13. Unilever: Project Sunlight - Shares: 206,419
14. BBC One: Sherlock Lives - Shares: 198,719
15. Comedy Central: Who’s Better: Thor or Loki? - Shares: 182,093
16. PooPourri.com: Girls Don’t Poop - Shares: 144,484
17. Crest & Oral-B: Halloween Treats Gone Wrong - Shares: 125,171
18. MGM and Sony Pictures (Carrie): Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise - Shares: 115,570
19. Samsung: Messi joins as Captain of #GALAXY11 - Shares: 109,984
20. Geico: Hump Day - Shares: 106,598