Jo Westwood

Social Media Manager

YouTube’s most viewed ads of 2011…

Ever since YouTube became a place where anyone could realistically become a celebrity, brands have been trying to figure out how and what makes a viral video.

What’s significant about this year’s top-viewed ads is the fact that they have more of a web presence on YouTube than on TV. It’s not surprising, since YouTube allows for instant sharing. Even if you saw a funny ad on TV and wanted to share it, you’d have to go through the web to do so.

Whether Volkswagen’s online debut of its Super Bowl TV ad, or smartwater’s incorporation of Internet pop culture, advertisers have proven there is equal importance between content and strategy.

Here are YouTube’s most-viewed advertisements of 2011. Which of these were your favorite, and did you see them on TV or the web first?

1. “The Force: Volkswagen Commercial” (Volkswagen)

The infamous Star Wars ad for Volkwagen’s 2012 Passsat was featured during the Super Bowl this year, and it became an instant viral hit. It’s no surprise the video has the most views in 2011 — it also held the highest number of shares.

2. “The T-Mobile Royal Wedding” (T-Mobile)

The T-Mobile ad was a great response to one of the most talked about events this year, the Royal Wedding. The ad used look-alikes to create “the wedding entrance dance to top all wedding entrance dances,” which was likely inspired by this dance that also went viral a few years ago.

3. “Imported From Detroit” (Chrysler)

The Super Bowl ad for the Chrysler 200 not only had Detroit buzzing, but everywhere else in the world too. The video, which features Eminem, leaves you looking at the city with a different perspective.

4. “Ken Block’s Gymkhana Four; The Hollywood Megamercial” (DC Shoes)

This nine-minute, action-packed short film/commercial was directed by Ben Conrad of Zombieland. The ad explains flesh-eating zombies, pyrotechnics and robotic sharks. Add the members of Epic Meal Time and you have a recipe for viral success.

5. “Jennifer Aniston Goes Viral” (smartwater)

Jennifer Aniston’s naivety about the Internet world makes for a hilarious ad, which asks, “What makes a video go viral?” In this video, apparently it takes Keenan Cahill, cute puppies, dancing babies and the double rainbow guy — oh, and of course, sex appeal.

6. “The Yellow Driver’s World Record Jump” (Team Hot Wheels)

The Yellow Driver of Team Hot Wheels, a group of four expert drivers who brought Hot Wheels to life, broke the world record for longest distance jumped in a four-wheeled vehicle. The driver soared 332 feet through the air at the Indy 500 this year. The real life Hot Wheels track was 90-feet long, and had a ten-story drop.

7. “Scent Vacation” (Old Spice)

Old Spice’s signature spokesman, played by former football plater Isaiah Mustafa, has been a viral sensation this year. In this video, he goes on an elaborate “scent vacation,” complete with beaches, mountaintops, fireworks and chocolate fondue.

— My personal favourite has to be the Old Spice ads, for their humour and universal appeal. They’ve brought an old fashioned brand right back into the modern consumers consciousness. If you’ve seen the TV ads and not spotted the brilliant Twitter Q&A videos on YouTube go and check them out. Evidence of a great marketing team exploiting a successful advertising strategy, using two major social networking platforms.

8. “Introducing Siri on iPhone 4S” (Apple)

Apple’s ad debuting Siri on iPhone 4S is a great example of how a product can become viral on its own. The commercial gives a rundown of how Siri is capable of using voice recognition.

9. “Unleash Your Fingers” (Samsung)

For the French launch of the Galaxy SII, Samsung had “Finger Tutting phenomenon” JayFunk perform some interesting choreography.

10. “D. Rose: adiZero Rose 2 — The Bull” (Adidas)

Adidas featured D. Rose from the Chicago Bulls “like you’ve never seen before” to unveil the company’s latest shoe. This scenic video features matadors in a bullring, circling around Rose as he tries to make a basket


Article courtesy of Christine Erickson via Mashable



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