Top Viral Videos – Feb. 2011

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unruly top 10 viral videos feb2011 mar11.thumbnail Top Viral Videos Feb. 2011Ads that originally aired during the 2011 Super Bowl and videos featuring autos were heavily featured in the list of the 10 most-shared online videos tracked by Unruly Media during February 2011. In addition, seven of the 10 videos featured some type of vehicle, making February the second straight month viewers felt a need for speed.

Three of the top 10 most-shared videos in February 2011 began as ads aired during the 2011 Super Bowl (Feb. 6, 2011). These include the top two videos, “Volkswagen Commercial: The Force” and “Chrysler Eminem Super Bowl Commercial: Imported from Detroit.”

Another Volkswagen Super Bowl ad, “Volkswagen Commercial: Black Beetle,” made the list at number seven. Interestingly, perennial Super Bowl advertiser Doritos scored the ninth spot on the list with “Doritos Crash the Super Bowl 2010 Finalist: House Rules,” originally aired during the 2010 Super Bowl.

Super Bowl ads are noted for their production values, humor and use of celebrities. The top video featured a little boy dressed as “Star Wars” villain Darth Vader and combined humor with feel-good cutesiness and pop culture. Volksagen’s other “Black Beetle” commercial offered top-notch stop-motion photography and the Chrysler commercial featured music from Eminem, one of the most popular musical performers of the past decade (and a Detroit native). The 2010 Doritos spot also offers a potent combination of humor and an adorable little kid.

Following a January when five of the top 10 videos featured a vehicle, February’s list included seven vehicular videos. These included three auto commercials (the two Volkswagen ads and the Chrysler ads), the two installments of the popular “Gymkhana” series of extreme stunt driving videos, a video of extreme biker Danny MacAskill performing daring deeds across Scotland, and the longtime favorite Evian video of rollerblading babies, proving once again cute little kids sell big.

For the second straight month, a video aimed at the Indian market cracked the top 10. Following an Indian McDonald’s ad which ranked in January, this month “Silent Indian National Anthem,” a patriotic video showing Indian schoolchildren standing and saluting while an instrumental version of the Indian national anthem plays in the background, was ranked number nine.

India is the world’s second-most-populous country and has a rapidly growing economy, making it a potentially lucrative market for viral videos.

1. Volkswagen – Commercial: The Force
2. Chrysler – Eminem Super Bowl Commercial: Imported from Detroit
3. DC Shoes – Ken Block’s Gymkhana Three, Part 2 – Ultimate Playground, L’Autodrome
4. Evian – Roller Babies
5. Trance Urban – The Most Amazing Beat Box Video Ever
6. Danny MacAskill – Way Back Home
7. Volkswagen – Commercial: Black Beetle
8. Silent Indian National Anthem
9. Doritos – Crash the Super Bowl 2010 Finalist: House Rules
10. DC Shoes – Ken Block’s Gymkhana Two, The Infomercial

The online video market continued to gain momentum in 2010, with an average of 179 million Americans watching video each month, according to a new white paper from comScore. “The 2010 US Digital Year in Review” indicates that engagement levels also rose during the year, with viewers watching online videos more frequently.

More than 88.6 million people watched online video on an average day in December 2010 (up 32% from December 2009), while viewing sessions totaled 5.8 billion for the month (up 13% year-over-year). Americans also spent about 12% more hours viewing online video in 2010 (14.2) compared the prior year (12.7) due to increased content consumption and more video ad streams. The average American streamed a record 201 videos in December 2010, up 8% from 187 a year earlier.

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Top Viral Videos – Jan. 2011

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Online video watchers were in a mood for motion in January 2010 as some type of vehicle was featured in four of the 10 most-shared online videos tracked by Unruly Media during January 2011. These included the top video: “Gymkhana Three, Part 2? from DC Shoes, as well as the number three video, “Motorcycle vs. Car Drift Battle,” from Icon Films.

If a cutesy video of roller blading babies from Evian is included in the vehicular category, then five of the top 10 most-shared online videos for January 2011 (and the top three) featured a vehicle, although this spot shares little in common with the jaw-dropping extreme stunts performed in the other four.

The Gymkhana series focuses on extreme auto racing stunts, and another video from the series, “Gymkhana Two The Infomercial,” placed at number eight. Coming in fourth was “Way Back Home” from extreme biker Danny MacAskill, who does not use a motor but is no less impressive for it.

In addition to showing a taste for vehicles, viral video viewers in January were also drawn to what can only be described as “quirky” videos. In addition to the aforementioned roller blading baby video, these included the number four video of French rapper Eklips beatboxing his way through hip-hop history for the British TV channel Trace Urban; as well as number six, Heineken “The Entrance,” featuring a suave young man making what can only be called the world’s greatest entrance to an elite cocktail party.

The number nine video from Lego, “The Brick Thief,” uses stop-motion photography to document an oddly-mustached man stealing Lego blocks from unaware children to assemble a robotic band. And rounding out the list at number 10 was T-Mobile “Welcome Back,” a recording of a presumably genuine ambush singalong performed for arriving travelers at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The number seven video, “BF&GF TVC” for McDonald’s, is a commercial aimed at the Indian market which is not in English. However, the scene of two (very) young lovers deciding to visit their local McDonald’s breaks language barriers and holds universal appeal.

1. DC Shoes – Ken Block’s Gymkhana Three, Part 2 – Ultimate Playground, L’Autodrome
2. Evian – Roller Babies
3. Icon Films – Motorcycle vs. Car Drift Battle”
4. Danny MacAskill – Way Back Home
5. Trance Urban – The Most Amazing Beat Box Video Ever
6. Heineken – The Entrance
7. McDonald’s – BF&GF TVC
8. DC Shoes – Ken Block’s Gymkhana Two, The Infomercial
9. Lego – The Brick Thief
10. T-Mobile – Welcome Back

More than eight in 10 (84.6%) of the US internet audience viewed online video in December 2010, according to comScore Media Metrix data. The duration of the average online content video was five minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes. Video ads accounted for 16.4% of all videos viewed and 1.6% of all minutes spent viewing video online.

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Top Viral Videos – Dec. 2010

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Sports, especially of the extreme variety, were prominently featured in four of the 10 most-shared online videos tracked by Unruly Media during December 2010. These included the top two videos: “Gymkhana Three, Part 2? from DC Shoes and “Way Back Home” from extreme biker Danny MacAskill. Physical feats have always transferred well to the screen, and this month, online video viewers were impressed enough with several videos featuring athletes and athletic accomplishments to make them among the 10 most-shared.

Leading the way was an installment in the “Gymkhana” series of stunt driving videos from professional rally racer Ken Block promoting DC Shoes. This video rose from number three in mid-November to the top spot this month.

Another installment in the Gymkhana series was shared enough to rank ninth on the list for December, proving the global popularity and visual excitement of motorsports.

The second-most-shared video featured extreme biker Danny MacAskill performing a variety of eye-popping feats as he travels across the rugged terrain and crowded cities of Scotland. In addition, the more mainstream sport of basketball is represented by the number five video from Nike Basketball, featuring legendary NBA icon Michael Jordan telling modern-day NBA star LeBron James to quit making excuses about his many public relations gaffes and play ball.

The remaining six videos on the top 10 list are a mixed bag of somber, silly and cute, with some crossing multiple lines. The number three video, celebrating 20 years of anti-drunk-driving ads from Australian government agency Transport Accident Commission (TAC), struck a serious tone about the deadly effects of driving while intoxicated.

Much lighter in tone were three videos making a repeat appearance from MarketingCharts’ last analysis of the Unruly Media most-shared video list in mid-November 2010. Evian “Roller Babies” features roller skating infants, T-Mobile “Welcome Back” is a recording of a presumably genuine ambush singalong performed for arriving travelers at London’s Heathrow Airport, and NSFW “A Hunter Shoots a Bear” is a slightly off-color satire of bear hunting.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola “Snow Globes” sets a heartwarming holiday tone with Santa Claus manipulating events in a city which exists as a snow globe on his desk. And the oddest entry this month, number 10 “The Entrance” from Heineken, is hard to categorize.

Combining humor, athletic feats, music and sex appeal, it features a suave young man making what can only be called the world’s greatest entrance to an elite cocktail party, exchanging numerous traditional greetings with people of different cultures, performing acrobatics, martial arts and magic, displaying some serious basketball skills, and heavily flirting with an attractive female singer. It is certainly eye-catching, which is really the effect any viral video ultimately aims to achieve.

1. DC Shoes – Ken Block’s Gymkhana Three, Part 2 – Ultimate Playground, L’Autodrome
2. Danny MacAskill – Way Back Home
3. TAC Campaign – 20-Year Anniversary Retrospective
4. Coca-Cola: Snow Globes: Coca-Cola 2010 Christmas Commercial
5. Nike Basketball: Michael Jordan’s Response to LeBron James What Should I Do Commercial
6. Evian – Roller Babies
7. T-Mobile – Welcome Back
8. NSFW – A Hunter Shoots A Bear
9. DC Shoes – Ken Block’s Gymkhana Two, The Infomercial
10. Heineken – The Entrance

Close to 80% of marketers using online video on their sites do so to increase visitor engagement, or time spent, according to a recent study from TubeMogul. This is by far the most popular reason. Another 60% use online video to strengthen their brand, and almost 60% use online video to increase overall visitors (more than one answer was permitted).

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Evian’s Viral Roller Babies Jump from YouTube to TV

The lovable Evian Roller Babies, which broke the world record for the most viewed online advertisement in history last year, have made the leap from YouTube to your television.

Evian’s wildly successful viral campaign has surpassed 100 million views across all of its many versions. It was one of the first YouTube-exclusive campaigns by a major brand: there were no TV commercials for the viral videos.

Now according to Social Times, the campaign has already made its debut on Los Angeles TV stations, and will run in New York sometime this summer. They are also airing in other countries, including France and the UK.

The Evian Roller Babies showed advertisers that viral videos have tremendous reach. Hopefully we’ll see more advertisers take their ads to the YouTube masses first before pushing them out on the far more expensive TV airwaves.

Top 10 Viral Videos – March 2010

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Continuing a trend established in January and February 2010, the videos selected by video-content distributor goviral for March 2010 were universally light in tone.

For the first time this year, goviral did not select any public service announcement videos. Four of the 10 videos selected for March centered on some form of athletic performance or achievement. These include the number one video, which demonstrates a possibly staged trick performed on a BMW motorcycle, as well as a Pepsi video featuring famous soccer players, a Nike ad highlighting the connection between athletes (both famous and unknown), and an Adidas ad with numerous athletic and non-athletic celebrities.

Two videos featured humor mocking other brands. Sony Playstation directly ridicules the controllers used by rival Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system, and SpecSavers directly parodies the sexist ads from men’s body spray Axe that suggest men who use Axe will have beautiful women in bikinis purse them.

In a return to a trend seen in January 2010, most of last month’s videos were global in theme and featured little or no language. Globally famous celebrities and/or simple yet powerful imagery made these videos easily consumed by viewers anywhere in the world. Most of February 2010’s videos required knowledge of the English language and US or UK popular culture and humor to fully appreciate, which partially reflects the inclusion of several commercials aired during the February 2010 Super Bowl telecast.

The top 10 picks for February, with links to view on YouTube:

1. BMW S1000RR – Dinner Table, agency: n/a
2. Pedigree – Dogs, agency: TBWA
3. Pepsi Max – ‘Oh Africa,’ agency: n/a
4. Nike – The Human Chain, agency: Wieden & Kennedy
5. Adidas Originals – Street Corner, agency: Sid Lee
6. Tropicana – Arctic Sun, agency: BBDO
7. Sprite – Spark, agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
8. Sony Playstation – Move, agency: Deutsch
9. Specsavers – ‘The Specs Effect,’ agency: Specsavers Creative
10. Natural Gas Belgium – Soft Heat, agency: TBWA

About the Rankings: goviral issues a monthly top-10 list of viral video rankings on its site, including additional commentary about the videos, their approaches and why the firm thinks they are viral or likely to become viral in the future.