Top 10: The Most Viral Video Ads of 2014

2014 is coming to a close, which means it’s time to look back to see what it has left us in terms of video advertising. Companies have really been improving their video ads year after year and 2014 wasn’t the exception. In fact, this year we saw the most-shared video ad of all time which, unsurprisingly, aired just in time to promote the World Cup and got nearly 6 million social media shares. However, that wasn’t the only one that made some noise – there were plenty more videos this year. So, it’s time to watch the best viral videos of 2014 again!

1. Activia – Shakira La La La

This year saw the rise to popularity of trackvertising, a current video trend where a brand associates with a musical artist to release a video that’s both a music video and an ad. Although it isn’t particularly new, this methodology proved to be the perfect fit for Activia, which sought Shakira’s collaboration for the video La La La. The company’s strategy couldn’t be more accurate: tying one of the most popular artists in the world with a social cause (via the World Food Programme) in the World Cup’s eve turned this video into the most shared video of all time.

2. Devil’s Due – Devil Baby Prank

Devil’s Due won’t be remembered as a classic or as an effective horror movie. In fact, it’s one of the poorest attempts in the horror genre we’ve seen in decades. However, and unlike the script writers, its marketing team did something many still remember: a funny prank that was the second most shared video of this year with 2,153,236 shares. Pranks, when properly executed, have proved to be an effective way to get attention. Devil’s Due did just that with a demonic baby and a remote-controlled stroller. Too bad that was the only good thing associated with that name.

3. Nike – The Last Game

The World Cup served as a major platform for companies to promote themselves and, of course, Nike wasn’t going to let the opportunity go away. As it already its tradition, the sports clothing company released The Last Game, a funny animated short starring some of the best players of the teams it sponsors. With appearances from cartoonish avatars from Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Ibrahimovic, the short underlines the importance of the human heart for soccer rather than a bunch of skills. Overall it’s a very entertaining short that was shared 2,151,148 times to become a close third. It’s a shame for Nike that none of the national team it clothes made it to the World Cup finals, but that’s another story.

4. Budweiser – Puppy Love

Years of romantic movies have taught us that love stories sell a lot. YouTube is the proof that people love to watch animals do adorable things. Budweiser just did the math and put one and one together and brought a cute Labrador Retriever puppy with a horse to serve as a bond in a hinted love story. The thing was a sure bet: the video was shared 1,976,253 times and it was the ideal companion for its #BestBuds social campaign.

5. Cardstore – World’s Toughest Job

Cardstore was very clever when it came down to promote its line of greeting cards for 2014 Mother’s day. They ‘invented’ a job opening ambiguously called director of operations, which was also labelled ‘The World Toughest Job’. They received various résumés and they even held some interviews for a job that sounded absolutely crazy. The video that resulted from those interviews was a perfect mix of humor and emotion that was rewarded 1,894,721 shares and the feeling that’s worth to watch over and over again.

6 – Wren – First Kiss

LA-based clothing company Wren really did something different with this ad. With the aid from director Tatia PIlieva and accompanied by the beautiful We Might be Dead Tomorrow by Soko, the brand asked 10 couple of strangers to kiss for the first time while being filmed. The whole ordeal was captured on video and we can see the uncomfortable first moments, the chitchat and, of course, the kisses. Nothing in the video gives away that this is an ad but after watching it for the first time, you’ll surely run off to google Wren – like the people that caught it for the first time when it was shared 1,548,628 times.

7. Always – #LikeAGirl

Another hashtag-focused campaign, Always’ #LikeAGirl is a smart clip even in its simplicity. The premise was simple: ask a bunch of people to do things ‘like a girl’. The results were as expected when the adults were faced to the tasks but things changed when the girls took the spot. The video is one of the best content marketing campaigns of the 2014 not because it was shared 1,482,633 times – but for the way it confronts the watcher with a well-established prejudice.

8. Nike – Winner Stays

With 1,431,422 shares, Nike was capable of putting another video in the Top 10 of most viral videos of 2014. The premise was the same as in video mentioned above, although this time the actual players shot the ad. Though the premise isn’t as strong as the animated ad, this video at least included two players that actually were in the World Cup finals: Higuaín (whose clear failed goal attempt in that match will be remembered by Argentinians for years to come) and Götze
(who actually made the goal that won the cup for Germany).

9. Thai Life Insurance – Unsung Hero

A video from a Thai insurance company is one of the unlikely ads to win a spot among the most viral videos of this year – but it surely deserves it. The inspiring story about the titular unsung hero shows how the little things we can do every day can have an impact on other lives. It certainly might seem simple and clichéd at first, but after watching the video you’re guaranteed to feel otherwise. As they used to say in times of yore, 1,289,592 shares can’t be wrong about it.

10. DTAC – The Power of Love

Another Thai ad closes the top 10 and adds another unlikely winner to this list. Mobile phone provider DTAC resorted to a simple but powerful message for this video: technology can’t replace love. Such conclusion turns the video into a very relatable ad, despite its promotional intentions and the fact that DTAC only operates in Thailand. That’s the primary reason why The Power of Love got 1,101,023 shares and ended up crowning a list of very creative videos.

Do you feel that Unruly’s cold numbers left out some amazing ads? Do you think that there were some viral videos that deserved to be watched again? Tell us which in the comments!