Three is the magic number in this month's Unruly Global Viral Video Chart. That's because for the first time in the chart's long history three ads launched in the same month also made it onto the top 20 most shared ads of all time.
But April was anything but normal, with three very different ads from brands with varying social video pedigrees totally dominating.
The number one spot instead went to Dove for its Real Beauty Sketches campaign. Launched on April 14, it attracted 3.1 million shares last month.
The three-minute video, created by Ogilvy Mather for the Unilever brand, shows that when it comes to their beauty, women really are their harshest critics.
The idea behind the commercial is simple: get seven women and ask a forensic artist to create two sketches of the each woman – one based purely on her own description of her own appearance and the other created from a complete stranger's description.
The result, of course, is two hugely different portraits, with the first being distinctly less flattering than the second (although it has to be said that as he is a forensic artist most of the pictures look like they have just committed a bank robbery).
Looking at the ad's performance so far, it’s also looking very good for Dove, which last scored a big social video hit back in 2006 with Dove Evolution. Just over two weeks since its launch, it is already the fourth most shared ad of all time, above established hits such as Budweiser’s Super Bowl smash Brotherhood and P&G’s Olympic hit, Best Job.
It’s not hard to see why. As well as eliciting a very strong emotional response from its target demographic, the video’s inspirational message has to be shared. Why? Because anything that will make the women in your life feel better about themselves is surely worth sharing.
Kmart makes an unlikely Unruly Global Chart debut in second spot with its one-joke wonder, Ship My Pants, created by agency Dratfcb.
Recent scientific and academic research has found that humour is not only the best medicine, but also the most powerful emotional sharing trigger for videos. It is also the hardest to get right. People, after all, find different things funny. One person's Seinfeld is another's Thin Blue Line, so to speak.
But that did not stop the retail brand's 30-second, pun-heavy commercial from making millions of people across the social web giggle into the heels of their hands last month like giddy school-kids.
In 2013, possibly due to the fact that there are no big events like the Olympics to fall back on, we are seeing more and more brands taking risks to get themselves noticed. And it certainly worked for Kmart.
Sure, the ad and its one sweary gag are as elegant and sophisticated as a…well, a Saturday afternoon trip to Kmart with the kids. But its simplicity – it's ability to make the 11-year-old in all of us laugh – is the secret behind its climb to the number 13 position among the most shared ads of all time.
The last of the trio is Evian's Baby&Me, created by BETC, Paris. Yep, love them or just a little bit creeped out by them, Evian's cheeky dancing babies made a successful return to the social video stage last month.
But this time the toe-tapping tots took off their roller-skates and instead were represented as reflections of Paris passers-by on a mirrored city building.
It has been quite a few years since the Roller Babies danced their way into the Guinness Record books. But they proved in April they have lost none of their charms, especially when the toothy toddlers dance to a remix of 1990s Ini Kamoze hit, “Here comes the Hotstepper” while wearing old women's clothes and sporting amusing facial hair.
The launch has also boosted the popularity of the original ad, which was also the 14th most shared ad last month.
Of course, there were other successful ads last month. Among the campaigns leading the chase was Beyonce's Mirrors ad for Pepsi. Following on from the incredible success of Test Drive in March (also among April’s most shared ads of the month, in 13th position) , the soft drink brand seems to have its fizz back, with Bey's tribute to her former music videos attracting 228,408 shares since its launch on April 3, making it the sixth most shared commercial last month.
Other ads to feature in April's top 20 include some April Fools' jokes from Google and YouTube, an attack ad for the Windows-based smartphone, the Nokia Lumia, by Microsoft, Vodafone’s beautifully-shot The Kiss, and another Beyonce music video masquerading as an ad, this time from H&M.
Top 20 Most Shared Branded Video Ads – April 2013
- Dove: Real Beauty Sketches – 3.1 million shares
- Kmart – Ship My Pants – 2.3 million
- Evian: Baby&Me – 2.0 million
- Daft Punk: Get Lucky – 490,148
- Google: Introducing Google Nose – 235,281
- Pepsi: Beyonce ‘Mirrors’ – 228,408
- Oakley: Bubba’s Hover – 210,456
- Microsoft: Switch To The Nokia Lumia – 173,353
- Neft Vodka: Bad Mother*****r – 136,123
- Samsung: Smart Camera NX300 Usain Bolt – 132,899
- Durex: Fundawear – 126,109
- YouTube: YouTube’s Ready To Select A Winner – 119, 045
- Pepsi: Test Drive – 119,001
- Evian: Roller Babies – 98,034
- H&M: Beyonce As Mrs Carter – 88,894
- Vodafone: The Kiss – 87,167
- Google: Introducing Gmail Blue – 86,120
- DC Shoes: Gymkhana 5 – 79,567
- Melbourne Metro: Dumb Ways To Die – 79,255
- Samsung: Introducing Galaxy S4 – 78,229