April was always going to be a tough act to follow. Last month's record-breaking chart saw Dove's ‘Real Beauty Sketches’, Kmart's ‘Ship My Pants’ and Evian's ‘Baby & Me’ dominating talk across the social web – the first time ever that three commercials from the same month have also featured in the top 20 most shared ads of all time.
It was always going to be hard for new social video campaigns to break through during May. And so it proved, with the same trio taking up three of the top five spots in this month's list.
Created by Ogilvy Mather and attracting more than 738,000 shares during May, Dove's record-breaking "Sketches" campaign – now the most viewed and the third most shared ad of all time - retained its number one spot last month.
Evian's dancing toddlers are also showing no signs of fatigue, moving up one place to second, while Kmart's Ship My Pants' fifth spot – and the success of its follow-up campaign, ‘Big Gas Savings’ - proved people are not tired of hearing haulage-based puns...just yet.
However, some new campaigns made it on to May's top 20, including four for Samsung’s new smartphone, the S4.
The most popular video of the quartet promotes the new Sound & Shot feature, which brings a totally different meaning to the phrase, “a picture says a thousand words”. In fact, the S4 goes one better – by also being able to speak. Confused? Let me explain. You see, Sound & Shot allows you to record sounds with your photos.
So when you are traveling and you want to share your experiences with friends or family back home, they can now enjoy not only the sights but the sounds of your travel destination. Whether they plan to add smell to your pictures in the near future is unclear.
The ad brings this to life with a touching story of a mother and her globe-trekking son keeping in touch through this fun new product. It certainly did the trick, attracting 572,739 shares last month, making it the third most shared ad during May.
But it wasn’t just the Sound & Shot feature that had people talking about the new S4 last month.
In 14th position is a video which showcases another S4 feature, ‘Group Play’, which allows you to play your music on your friends' phones, while seven places above that is ‘Hands On’, a 13-minute walkthrough of all of the new S4 features and product specs.
Of course, it seems no Samsung Mobile launch is complete these days without at least one jab in the ribs of its biggest rival, Apple.
The South Korean tech giant did the same thing last year to help launch the S3. The Next Big Thing Is Already Here, created by 72AndSunny, was a hugely successful milestone campaign launched in September which brilliantly lampooned the cult of Apple, portraying its fans as mindless groupies.
Although not quite as popular, ‘Graduation Pool Party’ - in which the out-of-touch parents are the ones with what suspiciously looks like iPhones while the teens are the ones with the cool new S4s - is another biting attack on Samsung’s fiercest competitor.
The message of the video is summed up in one quote, uttered by the granddad. He says, "So what you are saying is some smartphones are smarter than others. So what are we doing with these phones?"
It’s a message that certainly resonated across the social web last month. The ad attracted more than 82,000 shares during May, putting it in 19th position.
Microsoft even got in on the act last month, releasing an ad for its new Windows phone, the Nokia Lumia, which attacked both Samsung and Apple fans. It was a bold move, but one which paid off, with the commercial managing more than 220,000 shares last month, putting it in 12th spot.
Another video to boldly go into the upper reaches of the Unruly Viral Video Chart last month was Audi’s ‘The Challenge’, which pitted two actors who have played Spock in Star Trek – Zachary Quinto and the legendary Leonard Nimoy – against each other in a battle over who can get to the golf club quicker.
Admittedly, driving to the golf course is not as exciting as say a fight over who has the better Vulcan death grip, but then two Spocks for the price of one - how could any self-respecting sci-fi fan resist? And so it proved – with the ad’s 566,013 shares last month putting it in fourth.
The ad also benefited hugely from being released when excitement around the release of the new Star Trek into Darkness movie was at its zenith.
However, the real success of this ad is that you don’t have to be a die-hard Trekkie to enjoy it. Sure, there are no doubt a number of in-jokes that whistled past my head faster than a spaceship in warp speed, but that didn’t matter.
The banter between the two very likeable and popular actors is very entertaining and the pay-off was worth sticking around for.
Other ads to feature in this month’s top 20 include a couple of Mother’s Day spots from P&G and Nivea, the ‘World’s Smallest Movie’, created by IBM, another hilarious local commercial from Rhett & Link and three videos promoting the most highly-anticipated video games of the year - Call of Duty: Ghosts and Grand Theft Auto 5.
Top 20 most shared ads during May 2013 (Facebook, Twitter and blogs)