With winter finally loosening its icy grip, March brought the brands out to play. While typically a good portion of this monthly round-up is dedicated to emotion-wrenching, handkerchief-necessitating content, the spring sunshine appears to have brought out the hopeful side in the world of online video advertising.
Of course, there is no figure more hopeful than the original viral franchise star, Ken Block. You’re talking about a man who drives quickly around corners for a living, producing more acrid smoke in the process than Dickensian London. And while Block still rides for the forces of wasteful fuel consumption, his viral feats continue to partner him with new cities and new brands.
This time round, Block is paired up with Ford, who seem perfectly fine with him pushing their vehicle to the very limits of its recommended use. The backdrop to his escapades is Dubai, where he zips and slides beneath the mammoth skyline of the UAE metropolis. To be perfectly honest, ‘Gymkhana Eight’ feels a little underpowered compared to previous entries. That is, until a final, reasonably mind-blowing stunt involving a moving 747. It’s that brand of sheer madness that’s landed Block at this month’s number one spot, with 426,000 shares since release.
Moving on, there’s a notable humorous strain running through March’s adverts, not least of which can be seen Apple’s ‘Timer’. A brief sketch supporting the iPhone 6s, the ad finds Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster using Siri to prepare his favourite snack. For a brand which hasn’t routinely attempted funny adverts in recent memory, it’s a bold move and clearly one that’s paid off. ‘Timer’ has been shared nearly 250,000 times this month.
Apple wasn’t the only brand to draw people in with a lovable character during March. Since breaking advertising records with its unstoppable ‘Friends Furever’ (which appears at number nine), Android has been searching for a follow-up. This month’s ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ may not have the same instant appeal, but it’s a sweet effort nonetheless. An animated story about three unlikely friends coming together, the spot plays with the tropes of ‘80s high school films to charming effect. It’s certainly an easier sell than MTN Dew’s delirious ‘Puppymonkeybaby’ at number 5.
One brand undeniably reaching for Android’s cutesy crown is Amazon Prime. With ‘Lion’, the brand gets as adorable as possible, combining a lonely dog, a little baby and a lion costume. If human sweetness is more your thing, then ‘Orange Is The New Black’ is here to deliver. Netflix does not mess around when it comes to social media, and its latest OITNB spot cleverly crosses over with their other hit comedy, ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’. If you haven’t seen either, it won’t make a lick of sense, but it’s still pretty fun to see the cast having a good time.
One celebrity unquestionably having a good time is Lil’ Wayne in Samsung’s ‘Champagne Calls’. If someone had told him ten years ago that’d he go from being an internationally-celebrated pop musician to being a man who pours champagne on smartphones, Wayne might have been a little surprised. But he’s not the only person bending the rules on this month’s chart, which finds Aladdin skating through Tel Aviv, OK Go floating in space and a Swedish Jazz band recording the single most annoying ringtone I’ve ever heard.
Among these dreamers is Alex Thomson, a sailor and adventurer who has established a handy sideline in doing crazy things with boats. Think of him as the waterborne Ken Block. As ever supported by Hugo Boss, ‘The Skywalk’ finds him kitesurfing behind a gigantic yacht, while wearing a suit and generally looking like he’s trying to beat Tom Hiddleston to be the next James Bond.
So if you’re looking for something a little more wholesome, Microsoft’s International Women’s Day spot is a sweet, inspiring antidote to all the (admittedly fun) nonsense. Rounding out the chart, we have a fake-bearded Cristiano Ronaldo, a voyeuristic Calvin Klein ad from 2013 and Metlife’s classic “Wow I feel sad now” spot ‘Daddy Lies’.
Top 20 most shared ads of March 2016
2. Apple: ‘iPhone 6s – Timer’
3. Netflix: ‘Litchfield’s Tribute To A Masterpiece’
4. Calvin Klein: ‘Calvin Klein Concept 2013’
5. MTN Dew: ‘Puppymonkeybaby’
Shares: 50, 927
6. Samsung: ‘Champagne Calls’
7. Android: ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’
8. Metlife: ‘Daddy Lies’
9. Android: ‘Friends Furever’
10. S7 Airlines: ‘Upside Down & Inside Out’
11. Amazon Prime: ‘Lion’
12. Adidas: ‘How To Be No.1 With Navas’
- Coordown: ‘Dear Future Mom’
- Monster Headphones: ‘Cristiano Ronaldo In Disguise’
- Samsung Galaxy: ‘Over The Horizon 2016’
- Hugo Boss: ‘The Skywalk by Alex Thomson’
- Always: ‘#LikeAGirl’
- Stand With Us: ‘Aladdin Has Been Spotted On The Streets Of Tel Aviv’
- Burger King: ‘Burger King Reveals The End Of A McDonald’s Commercial’