Thursday, December 9, 2010

The 10 Most Innovative Viral Video Ads of 2010

viral video image

Josh Warner is president and founder
of Feed Company, which promotes and distributes brand videos, including campaigns such as Levi’s
“Backflip,” Ray-Ban’s “Catch” and Activision’s “Bike Hero.” In four years, Feed
has seeded more than 200 videos across the social web.

Everybody loves viral videos. That’s why they’re “viral.” Ad agencies have
been trying, in their own way, to replicate the success of viral videos to help
their campaigns get exposure and new fans. While some may miss the mark, there
are some truly great and innovative viral video ads out there.

For this year’s top innovative viral video ads, advertisers and ad agencies
split their goodness between web specific videos and great TV ads that did well
online. Regardless of origin, the top 10 videos share several traits worth
noting. Every creator knows his or her audience well and what executions appeal
to them most. The videos are also inclusive in tone, making you feel like you’re
a part of the brand’s message and experience.

This positive, inclusive tone and tight content/audience match make this
year’s social videos worth sharing. Let us know your favorites in the comments

1. NSFW. A Hunter Shoots A Bear!

Click HERE for the
full interactive experience.
Advertiser: Tipp-Ex

Ad Agency: Buzzman

Why It Works: What if you were a
hunter and had to choose between shooting a bear or dancing with it? With a
seemingly infinite number of responses to anything clever or dirty you might
think of, this video from Tipp-Ex, a white-out tape, takes
choose-your-own-adventure style videos to a whole new level. A distinctly
old-school product does something brand new on the YouTube platform.

2. Embrace Life

Advertiser: Sussex Safer Roads Partnership

Ad Agency: Alexander Commercials

Why It Works: One of the most innovative videos of the year
is a British PSA that encourages people to wear a seat belt. You expect it to be
boring, right? But it takes your breath away with simplicity and emotion. It is
a welcome respite from traditional scare-tactic PSA’s.

3. Guy Walks Across America

Advertiser: Levi Strauss & Co.

Ad Agency: Conscious Minds Productions

Why It Works: Walking across
America should take more than two minutes but this imaginative stop-motion-film
from Levi’s definitely makes you want it to last even longer. The 2,770 still
photos of a hipster footing it through America’s byways and landmarks clearly
strike patriotic chords for a country in search of good news. It even comes with
a Google map that traces the route of the filmmakers.

4. Old Spice Responses

Advertiser: Procter & Gamble

Ad Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

Why It Works: Not having this as our number one ad is the
same reason why you pick someone other than Arcade Fire as your favorite band.
It’s just too obvious. But Isaiah Mustafa is, hands-down, this year’s social
superstar along with W + K for the Old Spice response videos. All 200+ of

5. The Puma Hardchorus

Advertiser: Puma

Ad Agency: Droga5

Why It Works: Millions of men had to choose between soccer
and their loved one when major matches fell on Valentine’s Day this year. So
Puma put the toughest European footballers in a video to sing a romantic song
that would help soccer fans out of their scheduling jam — a brilliant example of
doing something nice for your customers. Take a look at the video comments on
YouTube for a peek into the psyche of European football.

6. Google Chrome Speed Tests

Advertiser: Google

Ad Agency: BBH

Why It Works: This video shows a race between Google Chrome
loading a web page and a potato getting shot through a gun on its way to
becoming a French fry. It’s a video for everyone that’s sick of waiting for web
pages to load in their browser, which is, well, everyone.

7. Swagger Wagon

Advertiser: Toyota Sienna

Ad Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi LA

Why It Works: One of the best ways to find an audience
online is to know exactly who you’re looking for — and then make them feel good.
Toyota and its ad agency did both with a video that makes any parent in search
of a minivan feel cool and hip.

8. There’s A Soldier In All Of Us

Advertiser: Activision

Ad Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day

Why It Works: Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel join us regular
folk (the concierge, short-order cook, businesswoman) in playing real-life
soldiers in this spot for Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops” video game. The
video’s inclusive message does a great job showing us the new game is for

9. Write the Future

Advertiser: Nike Football

Ad Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

Why It Works: This epic video takes you through
make-or-break moments of three soccer greats and how their lives change either
way. Shot by Mexican director Alejandro Inarritu (“Babel”), it got millions of
web views in its first week and was a great promotion for both the FIFA 2010
World Cup and Nike.

10. Master of Business Card Throwing

Advertiser: Samsung

Ad Agency: The Viral Factory

Why It Works: Viral video trick ads are dated, but this
execution for Samsung’s new digital camcorder makes you want to toss business
cards for a living. You can’t watch it without trying to do it yourself, or at
least film it. Hopefully with a Samsung Digital Camcorder H205.

Thanks to Matt Koskela for
research assistance.

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