2013 has been a big year for online video ads — from branded videos on Vine and Instagram to Facebook’s testing auto-play video ads in its news feeds.
Here is a list of the most-shared online ads of 2013, based on the amount of times content is shared on Facebook, Twitter and in the blogosphere. The rankings, as well as the Facebook and blog post data, are from Unruly Media.
Geico: Hump Day Camel Commercial
Geico’s ad features a hump-day camel rousing an office full of lifeless workers. The ad may be silly, but that’s one likeable camel. The video displays a banner linking to a Hump Day t-shirt at GeicoStore.com. Viewers can download Hump Day ringtones, subscribe to the Geico channel, or get a car insurance quote.
3.9 million shares in 2013, 19.1 million total views.
Dove: Real Beauty Sketches
Dove’s ad features Gil Zamora, an FBI-trained forensic artist, as he blindly draws women describing themselves, and then draws the same subjects as described by other women. The video demonstrates the need to celebrate one’s own beauty. Dove expands the conversation with the hashtag #WeAreBeautiful and invites viewers to watch the entire experience at Dove.com/realbeautysketches.
3.9 million shares in 2013, 60.8 million total views.
This ad for Evian water uses dancing babies to promote its “live young” theme. City pedestrians are confronted with reflections of themselves as babies. Then subjects and their baby counterparts break into dance together. The video emphasizes the benefits of a youthful attitude — it also demonstrates that people love to watch dancing babies.
3.4 million shares in 2013, 68.3 million total views.
Volvo Trucks: The Epic Split Feat, Van Damme
This ad for Volvo’s trucks features action film actor Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two moving trucks. The short has a voice-over of Van Damme, who has experienced his share of “up and downs, bumpy roads and heavy winds.” The stunt is entertaining, hair-raising, and strangely moving.
2.7 million shares in 2013, 60.9 million total views.
Kmart: Ship My Pants
This ad from Kmart features quick cuts to customers extolling the virtues of Kmart’s easy shipping. The humor comes from what is known as an “eggcorn,” a phrase that sounds similar to another phrase and introduces new meaning.
2.7 million shares in 2013, 20.3 million total views.
Budweiser: Super Bowl Ad 2013 – The Clydesdales Brotherhood
This ad from Budweiser for the 2013 Super Bowl centers on a Clydesdale and a rancher who are separated and then reunited. The ad ends with a request that viewers help name the baby Clydesdale seen in the commercial by tweeting names using the hashtag #Clydesdales.
2.4 million shares in 2013, 15.4 million total views.
Cornetto: Yalın – Keyfi Yolunda, Aşkı Sonunda
This ad from Unilever’s Cornetto ice cream brand is part of its series of teenage love films. For the Turkish market, this film is a short romance of two teenagers pursuing Parisian love, set to the music of pop singer Yalin. There is no appearance of ice cream in the video. This short is a great example of the online market as global.
2.4 million shares in 2013, 27.1 million total views.
Pepsi Max and Jeff Gordon: Test Drive
This is a hidden-camera ad from Pepsi and racing driver Jeff Gordon. Disguised as a minivan-driving customer, Gordon takes an unsuspecting car salesman on the test drive of his life. The ad is promoted with the hashtag #GordonTestDrive.
2.4 million shares in 2013, 39.8 million total views.
Carrie: Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise
Another hidden-camera ad, this ad promotes the theatrical release of the movie Carrie, a story about a girl with telekinetic powers gone awry. In this short, a coffee shop is rigged to give the appearance that one patron has telekinetic powers, sending unsuspecting customers scurrying. The short ends with the hashtag #FlexLikeCarrie, along with the theatrical release date.
2 million shares in 2013, 51.3 million total views.
WestJet: Christmas Miracle – Real-time Giving
This ad from WestJet uses a Santa and a team of shoppers to deliver holiday wishes to a flight of WestJet passengers. Along with the hashtag #WestJetChristmas, the ad offers viewers a chance to win airfare for two by sharing the video on Twitter. The video also contains links to a bloopers reel and a short of its 2012 Christmas flash mob.
1.6 million shares in 2013, 29.9 million total views.
Kmart: Show Your Joe
This ad from Kmart features a line of men in festive Joe Boxer shorts, ringing in the holidays. The ad ends with links to Joe Boxer shorts, Kmart’s viral hits, and shopping catalogs.
1.6 million shares in 2013, 16.6 million total views.
Metro Trains Melbourne: Dumb Ways to Die
This ad by Metro Trains Melbourne is an animated musical short featuring adorably dumb creatures coming to goofy and unfortunate ends. The ad promotes being safe around trains. Viewers can download a mobile game app of the creatures, the song, or even the karaoke version of the song.
1.5 million shares in 2013, 66.9 million total views.