Way back in 2000, I remember that we did an 89-second version of a TV ad, but we only did it for movie theatres. Back then, no one was doing them on-line that early so we figured we were revolutionaries. Now it’s fairly common to see 2 or 3 minute videos being shared on social media and now we are even seeing 4 minute videos.They are a great tool for story telling and using very high production values make them seem like mini-movies. But let’s be real, I’m only showing the best of the best on here. For all I know there could be an equal amount of crap being made, that I’m not even seeing. Thank goodness.
Viral ads must attract attention and be sharable
Even as you venture out into a different medium than you might be used to, the fundamentals of brand communication still apply. At Beloved Brands, we are always preaching the fundamentals. In this case, you want to make sure that your ad delivers on the ABC’S which means it attracts Attention, it’s about the Brand, it Communicates the brand story and Sticks in the consumers mind.
- Attention: You have to get noticed in a crowded world of advertising. Consumers see 6000 ads per day, and will likely only engage in a few. If your brand doesn’t draw attention naturally, then you’ll have to force it into the limelight. With a viral ad, you need to make sure that it is made with sharing in mind. In fact, sharing becomes the medium for you.
- Branding: Ads that tell the story of the relationship between the consumer and the brand will link best. Even more powerful are ads that are from the consumers view of the brand. It’s not how much branding there is, but how close the brand fits to the climax of the ad. With viral ads, you can step down on the amount of branding, but what you say creatively still has to fit what you say as a brand.
- Communication: Tapping into the truths of the consumer and the brand, helps you to tell the brand’s life story. Keep your story easy to understand. Communication is not just about what you say, but how you say it—because that says just as much. With viral ads, it’s all about story telling, that touches consumers in an emotional way. If the viewer feels inspired or they laugh or cry, it dials up the amount of sharing they will do.
- Stickiness: Sticky ads help to build a consistent brand/consumer experience over time. In the end, brands are really about “consistency” of the promise you want to own. Brands have to exist in the minds of the consumer. It’s essential with viral ads, that you own the idea. With a few highly shared ads, it’s strictly entertainment and a month from now, no one will remember.
Here are the best viral video ads of 2014
Since it’s was an Olympic year, we start with a lovely spot from P&G and the “Thank You Mom” campaign that was started back in 2012 London Games. This has generated 19.7 million views on Youtube.
This next ad by Duracell takes story telling to new heights, bringing a very inspiring story about a deaf athlete named Derrick Coleman for Seattle Seahawks. This ad has generated 22.7 million views.
To bring awareness to Down Syndrome, this beautiful “Dear Future Mom” ad had almost 6 million views this year.
Budweiser used the Super Bowl to showcase this puppy ad, very cute and heart-wrenching story and then pushed it through social media sharing to keep the momentum going. It generated 54 million views.
This is a beautiful ad from DTAC, a mobile phone company in Asia who tells a beautiful story of a dad, first wanting to use technology and then realizing that he should just pick up the baby. Well done, heart wrenching, cute, has managed to generate 17 million views.
John Lewis continues their amazing Christmas tradition with a nice story about a boy and his Penguin. It’s a nice throwback to the old days when there were no video games, netflix and instagram, but rather the use of your imagination.
But finally, the best viral ad of 2014 has to be the Always. Yes it borrows a little from Dove’s “real beauty” and a bit from Nike “if you let me play” but it’s so well done and on a brand no one would have expected a great viral campaign to come from. It’s certainly easier to do viral ads on beer or football, so here’s to the folks of P&G for making this one happen. They have generated over 54 million views. What’s amazing is that two of the best viral ads come from P&G. If you’re competing with them, are you missing something when you stick to your 30 second TV ad?
On behalf of Beloved Brands, I want to wish everyone who reads this blog a very Happy Holidays and best of luck for a prosperous 2015. As we moved past 3 years, we’ve now generated over 3 million views. We love what we do and we hope it shows.
Have a great 2015
At Beloved Brands, we run a Brand Leadership Center to train marketers in all aspects of marketing from strategic thinking, analysis, writing brand plans, creative briefs and reports, judging advertising and media. To see a workshop on HOW TO CREATE A BELOVED BRAND, click on the Powerpoint presentation below:
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