Our Take: Top Viral Ads 2016
Dec 9, 2016
Unruly recently released the Top Viral Ads of 2016. As a marketing agency, we sometimes hear that “going viral” is a goal for the content we create. But, what does that actually mean anymore? Is that a reasonable goal to have?
We asked some Centerliners what they thought. Check out “our take” on what it takes to go viral, here:
“Doritos ‘Ultrasound’ is the top one on this list for me.
You love it, or hate it. The day after the Superbowl when talking with friends and colleagues – there wasn’t one person who didn’t remember this spot.
I laughed, due to my sophomoric sense of humor, and I loved it. I cringed at the end, and felt a phantom pain for mother’s everywhere.
Did it resonate with both male and female, yes.
Simple idea, simply executed, and simply genius.”
Tyler Dady, Associate Creative Director
“Damn you, John Lewis, you wrap my heart in a nostalgic tinsel-filled gift box every year.
Why wouldn’t this go viral? Great animation: check. Foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and squirrels frolicking on a trampoline: check. Sweet story of happiness, home and holiday: check. A gleeful dog and a cute girl: check.
The tie back to the product is a loose one, but it doesn’t matter. They’re selling emotion. They’re selling joy.
And it helps that people look forward to JL ads every year.”
Josh O’Dell, Associate Creative Director
“When you think of OK Go, you may think of a bunch of dudes doing weird tricks on treadmills – and that’s a valid thought. But their new collaboration with Morton Salt is destined to leave a different taste in your mouth; no pun intended. OK Go has been making viral videos for ten years. So it’s easy to say that they just get it. ‘The One Moment’ music video shows 4.2 seconds of chaos slowed down to 4 minutes showing over 325 choreographed events. As the explosions of color and art unravel, so does the message of Morton Salt’s #WalkHerWalk campaign. The message is simple, ‘It only takes one moment to make a difference.’
I think this video was such a huge success because they embodied the iconic symbol of the Morton Salt girl through dynamic art and music. I personally enjoyed it, because I felt like it connected with me on an emotional level before displaying the brand at the very end. More importantly, it has garnered tons of interest in the Walk Her Walk campaign.”
Courtney Walker, Marketing Coordinator – Graphic Designer
“A marketing video goes viral for the same reason that only one in a hundred actors gets a part: It’s different, it’s good, and it’s lucky. Facebook’s ‘Aquila’s First Flight’ video was lucky that everyone already knew Facebook intimately. That friendly familiarity with the brand produces an instantly low threshold for interest. Once the Facebook name got the audience’s attention, it took differentiation and good visual storytelling to give it true potential to go viral.
To differentiate it, the decision was made to put production resources into a story that focused on an unfamiliar side of the brand: research and development of a v-shaped solar plane beaming wi-fi down to the people of Earth. Facebook made a UFO? Say what? That’ll make you send a link to your friend Steve. Especially if there is a universal emotional pull in the form of global altruism and team achievement, which this video covered smoothly with minimalistic narration and natural-feeling celebration shots.
Of course, if it’s not just a video of a squirrel landing on someone’s head, stunning visuals can help a video go viral; and in this case, the cinematography was top-notch, maintaining a consistent, subdued beauty throughout shots that were both grand and intimate. Well done, Facebook, I guess there’s a reason you defeated Friendster.”
Mario Passera, Associate Creative Director
“As someone who unapologetically seeks out McDonalds in other countries, I continue to be impressed by their localization marketing campaigns (and customized menus). For a company that has stores in 119 countries, like many global brands, they use targeted localization initiatives to create stronger relationships with their international customers.
The ‘Tuloy Pa Rin’ video is no exception to their localized marketing strategy connecting with customers at a more micro level. Tuloy Pa Rin was a song originally written and performed by the Filipino vocal group Neocolours, loosely translating in to a bad break up song. With over 1.5 million plays on Spotify, McDonalds provoked that emotional connection that their Filipino customers have with the song, promoting their new McDo burger, and softly introducing the American tradition of comfort food. I think this ad is just another great example of one of the most iconic restaurants in the world successfully targeting their marketing initiatives.”
Brenna Mickey, Interactive Designer
“As a long time gamer (my first console was a Mattel Intellivision — look it up) I’m always interested when companies announce new hardware, especially the flagship consoles. Nintendo may have brought consoles back from he dead in the 80’s, but recently they’ve lost ground to Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. What Nintendo lacks in power and game library, the more than make up in cool factor, which I think they’ve done again with the switch. They combined high-end gaming with portability and made an all-in-one gaming console that is powerful enough to play at home and portable enough to take along.
The video combines vignettes of people using it with a happy, driving music track that delivers a perfect message: be yourself and try to have a good time.
So company known to do unique things, announces a product and shows it used in exciting new ways (not just in the living room), combined with a funky beat. Of course it went viral.”
Wally Hitchcock, Associate Creative Director