2013’s Top Viral Video Ads

Written by Phil Birss: Group CEO.
· 4 minute read

Brands are really starting to up their game when it comes to video ads – all with the hope of causing a stir and going viral.

Of course viral marketing doesn’t have to come in video form – any strategy or idea that causes people to talk, spread the word and ultimately want to share the message in extremely high numbers is classed as a viral phenomenon.

2013 has seen some great examples of doing just that and we’ve taken a look at a few of our favourite video ads:

Carrie Movie Promotion – Over 52 million views

Everyone loves to watch a well executed prank, which is why this video quickly took off.

2013 saw the remake and release of 1976 classic horror movie Carrie – the story of a young troubled girl who unleashes her telekinetic powers onto her small home town.

In this piece of viral marketing for the movie, a New York café is transformed into a scene from the film when a seemingly normal customer suddenly appears to possess similar powers. Much to the shock of the rest of the room!

Poo Pourri – Over 21 million views

This video is full of toilet humour – not something you’d expect from lady?! That’s probably why this video shocked, amused and even sold the product – a spray that ‘eliminates bathroom odours’.

Great acting and a hilarious, unexpected script – a recipe for a viral video that works.

John Lewis: Bear and Hare – Over 11 million views

Love it or hate it, John Lewis certainly have a way of tugging on the heart strings at Christmas. This year saw a Disney inspired animated tale of a bear and hare who’ve formed an unusual friendship. Bear gets tired and goes for his winter sleep, and hare does everything he can to make sure his buddy doesn’t miss Christmas.

A sweet story and beautiful graphics accompanied by the obligatory Christmassy cover of a well loved song means John Lewis got it right again.


WestJet Christmas Miracle – Over 34 million views

This ad for Canadian airline WestJet got a phenomenal amount of views in a matter of days.

In a carefully constructed stunt, Santa asked passengers for a particular flight what they wanted for Christmas. When they land on the other side their wishes miraculously appear on the baggage carousel.

This ones a must watch, and we challenge you to keep a dry eye!

(Loving the guy who asks for new underwear..)

GEICO Hump Day – Over 19 million views

Insurance company GEICO are renown for successful ad campaigns, but this one took off particularly well due to it’s ‘day related trigger’. So what’s hump day? Wednesday – that day in the middle of the working week we all seem to struggle with.

This ad however shows a camel strolling through the office in high spirits on his favourite day of the week.

The spikes in shares unsurprisingly came around every 7 days. Every Wednesday became a reason to share the video; teachers even complained that the ad was disruptive, with kids cottoning on to the hump day phrase too.


Volvo’s Epic Split – Over 66 million views

Jean Claude Van Damme had been off the scene for a while, but made a pretty epic return in this advert for Volvo.

The ad involves the martial artist performing a fascinating stunt whereby he does the splits in the middle of 2 Volvo trucks running parallel to each other. It signs off with the line “This test was set up to demonstrate the stability and precision of Volvo Dynamic Steering” – and that it did!

Van Damme’s still got it.

These are just a few of our favourites… let us know what your most memorable ads of 2013 were!