What do Darth Vader, a taxidermist from California, Kate and Will, a gun-toting ape, and singing hamsters and all have in common?
No, it’s not the start of a bad joke. They’re all featured in the 2011 Top 20 Global Social Video Ads Chart—an annual ranking of the year’s most socially-shared video ads, released yesterday by Unruly’s Viral Video Chart, in partnership with Mashable.
Volkswagen’s record-breaking mini Darth Vader ad, The Force, took top billing in the 2011 chart. The commercial, created by LA agency Deutsch, is the most shared branded video of all time, attracting an incredible 4.71 million social media shares and 46.05 million views since its release on February 2, just days prior to Super Bowl Sunday.
DC Shoes' Gymkhana Four, The Hollywood Megamercial, featuring Ken Block, finished second.
Jeff Taylor, VP of DC Marketing, said: "This is really exciting for DC. We knew Gymkhana FOUR was going to surpass the previous videos in the series, but to make top-5 of all time is epic. Our team is extremely proud of this considering all creative direction and marketing for GYM4 was done Ken Block and our internal team. Thanks go out to all our DC fans for making this video one of the best of 2011!"
Other brands appearing in the top 20 include T-Mobile, Kia, Nissan, Nestle, Carlsberg and Pepsi.
The final list was unveiled at the Social Video Showcase event hosted by Unruly at the IAB UK headquarters last night in London.
Here is the video.
One of the most significant trends to come out of the 2011 end-of-year data was the staggering increase in the number of social video shared online.
In 2011, the top 20 ads generated 25 million shares, a nearly five-fold increase from 2010 levels. However, the ratio of views to shares from 2011 to 2010 is even more interesting: In 2010, one in 39 people who viewed video content went on to share it online. This year, the ratio rose to 10 to one.
"The fact that the number one ranking video this year earned close to eight times more shares than last year’s winning ad is just further proof of the rise of the epic ad in 2011,” said Unruly COO Sarah Wood.
"More brands are realizing the potential of social video to build a high-impact, long-term emotional connection with their audience."
The full ranking* is as follows:
1. Volkswagen: The Force: Volkswagen Commercial - 4,713,179 shares
2. DC Shoes: Ken Block's Gymkhana Four; The Hollywood Megamercial - 2,028,238 shares
3. T-Mobile: Angry Birds Live - 1,783,607 shares
4. T-Mobile: Royal Wedding - 1,733,419 shares
5. Kia: Party Rock Anthem-Kia Soul Hamster Commercial - 1,424,110 shares
6. 20th Century Fox: Ape With A20K-47 - 1,132,201 shares
7. David Cornfield Melanoma Fund: Dear 16 Year Old - 1,072,004 shares
8. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Reveal Trailer - 1,062,829 shares
9. Nissan: Poneis Malditos - 956,661 shares
10. Nestle: Contrex - Ma Contrexperience -97s - 950,988 shares
11. Official Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - The Vet Vs The Noob - 922,218 shares
12. Carlsberg Stunt with Bikers in Cinema - 899,550 shares
13. Official Ojai Valley Taxidermy TV Commercial - 830,036 shares
14. Red Bull: The Art of FLIGHT - Snowboarding film trailer featuring Travis Rice - 810,453 shares
15. McDonald’s Philippines New Commercial 2011 "BFGF" - 756,141 shares
16. Channel 4: Danny MacAskill - Industrial Revolutions - 696,190 shares
17. Trace Urban: The most amazing beat box video ever! - 687,528 shares
18. Pepsi: Unbelievable David Beckham - 543,812 shares
19. Samsung: Unleash Your Fingers - 542,851 shares
20. Westfield Stratford City: 100 YEARS / STYLE / EAST LONDON - 529,832 shares
* Ranking is based on data collected through November 21, 2011
Rankings were based on the number of shares on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere as opposed to the number of views. As such, it is a measure of the ad’s virality, as opposed to a measure of eyeballs, ranking ads by the volume of active pass-on rather than the more passive metric of video consumption.
The list shows the extent to which some brands have already recognized video’s potential for brand advocacy and are successfully leveraging the viral potential of the social web.