This has been an amazing year for advertising. While viral commercials are certainly nothing new, the predominance of heavily shared YouTube videos on this list only goes to show that marketers are getting better every year at integrating their campaigns online and offline.
So what are some of our favorites?
World’s Toughest Job
This viral video for Cardstore.com received over 22 million views on YouTube after pranking 24 job applicants. In a Skype interview, applicants were described a job that required “135 to unlimited hours” a week, on your feet of course. The applicants, already perturbed by the job’s ridiculous requirements, are then told the job pays no money. But, it was all for a good cause: appreciating your mother.
One smash success meant an unprecedented amount of publicity for small clothing company Wren. Strangers are just asked to kiss on camera. It’s not the actual kissing that makes this video amazing: it’s the incredibly awkward and heartwarming reticence exhibited by the participants. The genius of this approach is in its subtlety. There’s no spokespeople and no heavy come on to buy. The film’s budget of $1,300 proves you don’t need a lot to make a big marketing splash.
Derek Jeter Re2pect
After a 20-year career, tributes to Derek Jeter during his last season poured in, even overcoming some of baseball’s greatest rivalries. This touching Nike ad is no exception, and quickly spread across social media and the news. In the end, in racked up over 8 million views.
Budweiser always goes big for the Super Bowl, and this year was no exception. Telling the tale of a friendship between the famous Budweiser Clydesdale and a dog, this ad became an instant favorite.
Wall and Chain
Nothing makes great advertisement like touching stories of the impact your brand has made in the lives of others. This story, two Berlin Wall guards stationed on opposite sites during the Cold War are brought together after a daughter plans a trip to Berlin through AirBnb.
Share a Coke
It’s not the ad, although that is great too, that gets this campaign on the list: it’s the interactive component. Coke bottles across the nation were adorned with random names, encouraging consumers to get one for a friend.
Follow the Money
Ok, the ad isn’t great – but that’s exactly the point. Newcastle has been making an name for itself with campy, over-the-top ads with a knack for self-parody. They had a foul-mouthed Anna Kendrick complain about being cast in a Super Bowl ad they never made, as well as Keyshawn Johnson describing their aborted plains.
2014 was an unprecedented year of World Cup frenzy in the United States. McDonald’s got in on the fun with this series of amazing trick shots. And while I was initially convinced the shots were the result of computer trickery, the creator insists that they’re real shots from talent around the world.