Start-ups who want their advertisements to go viral should link their product or service to topical and/or timely events, an expert says, after YouTube announced the top ten viral ad hits of 2011.
This week, Google announced its first-ever annual Australian YouTube Viral Ad Zeitgeist, a list of the top 10 advertisements that received the most hits on YouTube in 2011.
“This year’s list is as diverse as the web, and just goes to show that the best way to make your marketing message heard is to create ads that people love to share,” Google said in a statement.
In April, the world was captivated by wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, prompting T-Mobile to create a spoof of the ceremony, with lookalike actors dancing down the aisle.
T-Mobile, a British phone company, said the ad was “a congratulatory message to William and Kate, as well as a way of capturing the nation’s celebratory mood.”
And it paid off – the advertisement received 3.5 million views on YouTube in just two days.
In second place was the trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, while Volkswagen came third with “The Force,” featuring a child clad in a Darth Vader costume.
This advertisement was released online ahead of the Super Bowl in the United States, attracting 12.5 million views globally before it was even broadcast on television.
The Variety Club Youth Choir of WA also made the list. In their fundraising advertisement, “I am Australian,” choir members flash mob a food court to sing a song in support of flood victims.
Karen Stocks, head of YouTube at Google Australia, says many of these advertisements are built on concepts and ideas pioneered on the internet, such as sharing your wedding dance with the world.
“The internet has become its own unique culture, and viewers reward advertisers who understand that. That’s why ads that embrace the spirit of the web do so well,” Stock says.
“When you make ads that people like, they’ll share them as naturally as any other video on YouTube. To go viral, you have to think viral.”
Stocks says the beauty of YouTube is that it is a global platform with local reach, giving advertisers scope to touch on international news or events, or hone in on Australian subjects.
“In ads as well as in art, whether using it to reach an international audience or build a national following, Australians have made YouTube their own,” she says.
The complete list includes: