Photography & Video

10 Viral Videos from Brands, for Inspiration

Video is big and getting bigger. According to a study from Cisco, by 2021 over 75 percent of global mobile data traffic will be video, and there will be more than 11.6 billion mobile connected devices. Mobile video will increase nine fold between 2016 and 2021, according to Cisco.

For brands, video is an opportunity to reach a large audience with shareable content. Here is a list of successful videos from brands, to inspire your video marketing efforts. Most of these videos were part of larger campaigns, which are ongoing or from recent years.

John Lewis: “Christmas Advert 2016”

This video is from British retailer John Lewis. The video is the story of a little girl called Bridget who loves to bounce. When her mom and dad buy her a trampoline for Christmas, they discover that she isn’t the only one with a passion for jumping. According to video ad tech company Unruly, this video was the most shared ad of 2016, based on the number of shares that ads on YouTube and Facebook attracted. Published in November 2016, the video has over 25 million views.

Red Bull: “Danny MacAskill’s Wee Day Out”

Red Bull is an example for any brand interested in creating viral video content. According to Unruly, Red Bull was the most shared video brand of 2016. Its YouTube channel has nearly 6 million subscribers, over 6 thousand videos with nearly 2 billion views.

“Wee Day Out” is the most recent video in a series with biking trickster Danny MacAskill. This video explores the rural landscape around Edinburgh, capturing the simple fun of a ride in the country, along with some spectacular tricks. It’s easy to see why these videos are viewed and shared — several videos in the series have over 40 million views. Published in October 2016, the video has over 7 million views.

Samsung Mobile: “This is a phone”

Samsung Mobile is another brand that’s worth monitoring for video content. According to Unruly, Samsung was the second most shared video brand of 2016.

“This is a phone” is a teaser video for the release of the Samsung Galaxy 8. Flashing an assortment of smart phone images (presumably directed at Apple’s iPhone), it postulates, “We all know what a phone looks like…or do we?” Published on February 26, 2017 for the March 29 product release, in a single month the video has generated nearly 41 million views.

Google Android: “Friends Furever”

“Friend Furever” from Google Android uses scenes of adorable animals playing with other animal species to promote an idea, “Be Together. Not the Same.” Some of the animals are cared for by a mix of non-profit organizations. Viewers can find out more about the organization through links or about the idea at According to Unruly, the video was the most shared video ad of 2015. It has nearly 29 million views.

Shell #makethefuture: “Best Day Of My Life”

The “Best Day of My Life” music video is from Shell #makethefuture. It features Jennifer Hudson, Steve Aoki, Pixie Lott, Luan Santana, Yemi Alade, and Tan WeiWei, teaming the musicians with energy innovations. Demonstrating the power of music (and celebrity musicians), it was the third most shared ad of 2016. Published in September, it has over 48 million views.

Knorr: #LoveAtFirstTaste

The #LoveAtFirstTaste campaign from soup brand Knorr combined this viral video with an interactive flavor profiler tool for followers to discover their taste compatibility with each other. Knorr asked 12,000 people in 12 countries what flavor means to them. Knorr found that roughly three in four people are more likely to be attracted to someone who enjoys the same flavors. The video shows what happens when strangers, matched by their flavor profiles, meet for a unique first date. Published on April 25 and receiving over 7 million views in a day, the video has over 60 million views. “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”

“Our Blades Are F***ing Great” is a video from Dollar Shave Club founder “Mike” that explains the razor delivery service. With simple no-budget in-camera gags, Mike and his employees show how to make the persuasive product video in a hilarious way. The video has over 24 million views.

Poo~Pourri: “Girls Don’t Poop”

“Girls Don’t Poop” is a video from Poo~Pourri. It’s the first in a series of product videos hosted by the socialite in a blue dress. This video was shot without green screens on location. It was filmed, edited and released in three weeks. The video also includes an overlay with a link to where shoppers can purchase the toilet spray. It has nearly 40 million views.

American Greetings: “World’s Toughest Job”

“World’s Toughest Job” is a Mother’s Day video from Cardstore by American Greetings. The company created a fake job, and posted it online and in newspapers. In unscripted sessions with job hopefuls, the interviewers runs down an impossible list of job requirements for a job with no pay. When the position is revealed as “mom,” applicants become emotional, recalling the tireless work of their own mothers. Viewers can click through to the Cardstore site to add to the conversation and to design a Mother’s Day card. The video has over 26 million views.

Dove: “Beauty on your own terms”

“Beauty on your own terms” is part of the #MyBeautyMySay campaign from Dove. The campaign features stories of women standing up for their own beauty. This campaign is part of Dove’s larger Real Beauty campaign, launched over a decade ago. Dove has found enormous success in generating dialogue on how women are perceived by others and how they perceive themselves. Another video, “Real Beauty Sketches,” has amassed over 67 million views. “Beauty on your own terms” has nearly 13 million views.

Sig Ueland
Sig Ueland
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