Wardrobe Swaps & Camera Drops: The Most Shared Ads Of May 2016

The most popular ads during May offered a taste of the emotional, the surreal and the technically ambitious, headlined by Nivea Germany’s rather unique ode to Mother’s Day Ein Teil von Dir, roughly translated as “A Part of You”.

Told from the perspective of an unborn child (given an adorably squeaky voice), the spot, launched at the end of April, cuts between shots of the expectant mother and the 3D-rendered foetus in a strangely charming throwback to P&G’s wildly popular ‘Thank You Mom’ ads. Just like that campaign, Nivea’s tribute hits just the right saccharine notes, attracting over 50,000 shares last month.

Technology loomed large in May, with GMC successfully taking its first steps into 360 video. As virtual reality and immersive video becomes increasingly central to the online video landscape, smart brands have been scoping out ways to best take advantage of this radical technology.

The American car brand took the no-nonsense approach and decided to throw a 360 degree camera out of an airplane. Enough said.

While the ad also showcases Transformers actor Josh Duhamel skydiving with two Gulf War veterans, the real focus is the 360 video itself. Allowing the viewer a panoramic view of the jump, it may be a little vertiginous for some, but it certainly suggests where this tech could go. Heaven help us once Red Bull (number 7 this month) get their hands on one.

GMC didn’t have the only high-sharing 360 video in May. At number 9, Facebook showed off its own toys with a surprisingly beautiful vignette based in New York’s iconic Grand Central Station. Scored to Nico’s ‘These Days’, the deceptively complex spot allows the viewer to drift in and out of the conversations of strangers.

Just as with real people-watching, there’s some genuine drama to be found, whether it’s a couple bickering or parents sending their daughter off to university.

While Facebook’s ad showcases the storytelling capabilities of a medium rather just revelling in a stunt, both spots are a good indication of where the industry is heading. Samsung certainly thinks so, lingering over the VR headset included with its slightly ludicrous Batman edition smartphone. Shot in the choppy style of a Zack Snyder film, the Facebook video is essentially an unboxing video with a blockbuster budget.

Elsewhere, Motorola celebrates its future by looking to the past. Seemingly teasing the return of Motorola’s classic Razr model, the spot gives a nostalgic snapshot of high school life, featuring all the familiar cliques. While it seems a little odd to be asking viewers to feel misty-eyed about a period less than a decade ago, Motorola are betting nostalgia will be enough to tear people away from their iPhones.

The sentimental route was a popular option in May, with McLaren and Southwest Airlines offering rose-tinted perspectives on their brand histories. McLaren’s is a rather straightforward montage of the company’s story, showing a century’s progression from fast cars to slightly faster cars.

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines uses a short documentary spot to tell the story of a World War 2 pilot who got a chance to relive his experiences in the cockpit of a Southwest flight.

Most heart-wrenching of all is pharmaceutical brand Biogesic’s short drama about a family separated.

Told from the point of view of a mother writing her husband who has left the Philippines to work in Korea, the ad bears some similarities to MetLife’s ‘My Dad’s Story’ in its use of perspective and an emotional twist to keep viewers on the verge of tears (particularly when Biogesic seems to suggest that the mother has some kind of terrible illness. Spoiler: she doesn’t).

If virtual reality nor emotional manipulation don’t appeal to you, then clothes brand C&A is here to provide something everyone can enjoy: gender-switching and partial nudity! Appearing on the chart twice in one month suggests C&A have a good handle on grabbing people’s attention.

Rounding out the chart, we find the return of Apple’s ever-popular Cookie Monster spot, the trailer for EA’s latest entry in the Battlefield franchise (confusingly called Battlefield 1) and Adobe’s charming parody of corporate life.

Most shared ads of May 2016

1.NiveaEin Teil Von Dir – 55,864 shares

2. Wacoal Thailand Bra Day – 51,290 

3. Cornettoİlk Öpücük Benden Olsun – 47,687

4. GMCTaking the virtual leap – 47,442

5. AppleTimer – 43,330

6. Samsung MobileBatman: Injustice – 41,017

7. Red BullHelicopter Tricks – 35,898

8. C&ADia dos Misturados – 32,397

9. FacebookGrand Central Station – 31,354

10. AdobeLife Gives You Lemons – 29,805

11. EABattlefield 1 Teaser Trailer – 27,800

12. SouthWest AirlinesLegend in the Captain’s Seat – 27,608

13. McLaren#ThisIsMcLaren – 25,848

14. MotorolaMoto 06.09.16 – 25,420

15. Chevrolet ArgentinaImaginare Vivir en una Meritocracia – 24,755

16. BiogesicIngat na Panghabambuhay – 22,741

17. C&AMisture, Ouse e Divirta-se – 21,863

18. American GreetingsWorld’s Toughest Job – 21,486

19. P&GThank You Mom – 21,425

20. Coca-ColaTaste The Feeling – 19,800