The Top 11 Branded Viral Videos of 2013


Top Viral Videos 2013

Last year we pulled together the top branded viral videos from 2012.

Be warned. This year’s top videos will play on every emotional heartstring you have.

From soap to burritos to soda to jets. Branded “viral” videos are becoming a highly coveted and more common tool of the big brand marketer.

Anyone can upload their TV commercial spots to Youtube and buy a few ads. But it takes a special commitment to design a viral video from scratch and attempt to spread it online.

Congrats to this year’s top videos. Let us know YOUR favorite branded viral video of the year in the comments.

1. Dove Real Beauty Sketches

In the video, a sketch artist draws portraits of women without seeing them, just using verbal descriptions. Of each woman, two sketches are shown side by side, one from her description and one from a stranger’s description of her. The latter portraits were more accurate and more kind.

The emotional message was well received and one month after Dove uploaded the commercial, it had already gained hundreds of millions of views across their multiple channels online.

The Dove video was a success because it connected a very emotional story between women. This was a risky video for Dove, but the final product showed a real understanding of their customer.

2. Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow”

This video was part of a larger campaign from Chipotle to promote a smartphone game app they created focused on their anti-factory farming efforts. The video and game can both stand alone as strong pieces of art and marketing.

As a short film alone, reminiscent of Tim Burton, The Scarecrow is engaging, entertaining and very artistic. The only branding is a logo screen at the end of the clip. Take that away and it could easily be a public service announcement by small farmers, a message that Chipotle is happy to align itself with.

Despite the message and marketing, it really is beautiful story telling at its best.

3. WestJet Christmas Miracle: Real-Time Giving

WestJet helped everyone close out 2013 with a great surprise and delight setup to celebrate the giving season.

As customers prepared to board their WestJet flights, they had the chance to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. Pretty nice touch on its own. But when their flights landed, WestJet upped the Christmas ante and delivered smiles all around.

4. Dégagé Ministries: Homeless Veteran Timelapse Transformation

You can’t really beat this before and after. Beyond the visual transformation, the video represents the potential to turn around the lives of homeless people. Dégagé Ministries and Rob Bliss Creative took an incredible cause and gave it a beautiful visual story.

Serving 400-500 individuals daily, Dégagé Ministries offers help and hope to homeless and disadvantaged individuals in our community. Responsive programming is designed to address immediate and long-term needs such as overnight respite for women in crisis, food, referral services and hygiene facilities.

Donate here.

5. Old Spice: Meet The Wolfdog

Meet Mr. Wolfdog. Sometimes you gotta eat people America. That’s how business is done.

Old Spice, with the help of Wieden + Kennedy, does it again.

That’s marketing that I just did to you.

6. GoPro: Fireman Saves Kitten

Cats and the internet go together like slow motion and GoPro. This video was captured during the response to a Fresno, California house fire. Firefighter Cory Kalanick’s GoPro on his helmet captured him finding and resuscitating a kitten that was unconscious from the smoke of the fire.

The original video was uploaded by the firefighter and went viral on its own. GoPro got access to the video, added some editing and music, and featured their product by featuring one of the powerful stories their product helps create.

7. “Carrie” Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise

When the viral video pros over at ThinkModo asked themselves one question when considering a video to promote the movie remake of “Carrie.”

What if telekinesis was real?

They setup their own evil teenage outcast in a coffee shop that had a few tricks built in. The results are a classic WTF moment for normal folks just trying to get their daily caffeine. We think they certainly left more awake.

8. Pepsi MAX & Jeff Gordon Present: “Test Drive”

This “reality” video is a fake and the car salesman is an actor. Just like a lot of “viral” branded videos out there, especially a lot from PepsiMax. However, even if you know it is fake, it still takes you for a ride. The guy is a pretty good actor. Jeff Gordon doesn’t do too bad either.

I suppose if it was real, the guy would be a millionaire now from suing for emotional stress. Oh well. We can dream, right?

9. Samsung: All Eyes On The S4

What’s better than giving away a free smartphone? Making your customers work for that smartphone.

Samsung wanted to see if fans could stare at their phone for 60 minutes without averting their eyes. And to mix things up, they threw in some screams, some fire, a motorcycle wreck and generally distractions at every corner to attempt to thwart their commitment to the S4.

10. Carlsberg Puts Friends To The Test

Your friend calls you in the middle of the night and needs money in a shady part of town. How good of a friend are you? Carlsberg put folks to the test and recorded their reactions.

11. Somersby Cider – The Somersby Store

Apple Stores are so successful and iconic, they are changing retail as we know it. Microsoft and Samsung have both borrowed the store’s ascetic, but this is the first non tech brand to take on the Apple Store style.


Who did we miss? Add it in the comments?


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