Any self-respecting agency creative would probably cringe at a brief that includes the word ‘viral’ in it. Yet, 2012 has proved that there is still huge power and possibility in creating a branded video that uses socially and digitally connected people as one of it’s primary media channels.
Below is a selection out of the top 20 most shared branded videos of the past twelve months as measured by Unruly Media. At first glance, it’s a very mixed bag – but ultimately each video successfully taps into something innate and very human:
– The desire to make a difference or to feel like you have the power to enact change.
– The rush of a surprise and seeing someone singled out in an incredible manner (‘imagine if that was me!’)
– A feeling of pride or amazement for the wider human race and their collective capabilities.
– The wish for pure entertainment for entertainments sake, to experience an escapist moment from everyday life.
There is also tipping point when something ‘goes viral’ which is separate from the videos content that needs to be taken into consideration. When enough buzz and mentions have been created that any viewer feels the confidence to share a clip with their friends as it’s already been validated by an existing view count and media coverage. While not strictly a reason to share something, it’s an integral part of why certain videos go viral when they do.
However, even the 94m Kony views are nowhere close to the 965.6m views received by the most viewed YouTube video of 2012 – and all time – released on July 15th of this year: Gangnam Style. By a different barometer even Gangnam Style could arguably be defined as a branded video, a means to promote a record label’s artist in a bid to increase album sales.
Without further ado, here is a selection of the stand-out clips from the past year. Feel free to share your thoughts and favourite videos in the comments.
Company: Invisible Children Number Of Views: 94,262,284 Number of Shares: 10,068,988
KONY’s single-minded and globally shared objective, emotional resonance and sense of empowerment meant that its virality wasn’t restricted to a localised audience. At 30 minutes ‘KONY’ is by far the longest video in round up and also features less-then-entertaining subject matter, defying what many would consider the mandatories for sharable content (short & entertaining). ‘KONY burnout’ experienced by the increase in ‘clicktivist’ campaigns that emerged in it’s wake will arguably prohibit a video of this theme and scale being as successful for a number of years.
TNT Benelux: A Dramatic Surprise On A Quiet Square
Company: TNT Benelux Agency: Duval Guillaume Number Of Views: 42,213,286 Number of Shares: 4,360,901
A stand-out example of the new type of branded video that creates drama, excitement and surprise at the intersection between highly-produced filmic style scenarios and an unwitting public. The scale of the production – something that clearly couldn’t be produced on a small budget – coupled with the honest and authentic reactions of a member of the public made this video a hit.
P&G: Thank You Mama – Best Job in the world
Company: P&G Agency: Wieden+Kennedy Number Of Views: 11,996,164 Number of Shares: 2,232,289
P&G’s emotional and touching video clearly resonated with a huge online audience – mothers. Balancing delicately on the right side of overly sentimental this high-quality epic hits all the right notes to create a viral hit, while defining a unique positioning for the brand’s association with the London Olympic Games.
Melbourne Metro: Dumb Ways To Die
Company: Melbourne Metro Agency: McCann Australia Number Of Views: 31,582,405 Number of Shares: 2,318,205
Add cute unique animations, a bit of Happy Tree Friends-esq gore, a disturbingly catchy tune and a PSA message hidden in the last 6th of a clip and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Google: One Day, Project Glass
Company: Google Number Of Views: 18,469,295 Number of Shares: 1,026,307
Google’s ambitious glimpse for the future ensures the company will be discussed in conversations also including mentions of “that touch screen from minority report”. Essentially a teaser video for an upcoming product in the not-too-distant future, the clip served to touch the futurologist geek in all of us and spark inspiring debate about the future of the web and the way we connect with each other.
SPC Ardmona recently launched two new products to hungry Australian consumers – the SPC BIG™ Bean Bar and SPC BIG™ Bean Pocket. Positioned as the perfect snack for on-the-go tradies and students, the new range represents just how versatile the humble baked bean can be – for the first time bringing SPC baked beans wrapped in golden, flaky pastry to bean lovers everywhere.
The campaign idea centres around the lost “art” of one-handed language, a communications method Australian blokes have practiced for ages but never really celebrated, until now. Central to the online experience is a series of videos (Directed by Clayton Jacobsen of “Kenny” fame) featuring personalities, Bryan “Strauchanie” Strauchan and ex AFL footballer, Warwick Capper in a number of suitably ‘deep’ scenarios from blokes that refuse to shut up even with their mouths full. There are over 40 shareable cards of Strauchanie where he teaches blokes via animated GIF the art of the one-handed language, perfect for sharing on social networks, and the campaign site is mobile and tablet optimised for the always-on and ever-connected target audience. To drive awareness of the new range, we also created a suite of mobile banners and produced video pre-roll advertising, leveraging our talented personalities.
With the campaign still fresh and in-market, results to date look promising – expect the new SPC BIG™ range to continue to grow market share.