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Unruly Unveils The Top 20 Most Shared Ads of 2014

Activia, Nike, John Lewis and Budweiser commercials all feature on list of most successful online video campaigns; ads created for World Cup dominate in record-breaking year  

November 20, 2014: Ads created around this year’s World Cup dominate a list of the top 20 most shared online ads of the year, released today by marketing technology company Unruly.

A fifth of this year’s Top 20 Global Social Video Ads Chart were either World Cup-themed or created by sponsors of the famous soccer spectacle, with Activia’s collaboration with Colombian pop princess Shakira for the video “La La La” claiming the number one spot.

The ad has attracted 5,819,822 shares across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere since its launch in May, making it not only 2014’s landslide winner ahead of 20th Century Fox’s “Devil Baby Attack” (2,153,236 shares), but also the most shared ad of all time. VW’s 2011 Super Bowl ad, “The Force” (5,278,399 shares) had previously held the record for more than three years.




Nike’s soccer adsThe Last Game (3rd) and Winner Stays (8th) also make it into the top 10, while sponsor Castrol’s “Footkhana: Neymar Jr. v Ken Block is 11th. Meanwhile, only one Super Bowl ad – Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” (4th) – and one commercial from this year’s Winter Olympics – P&G’s “Pick Them Back Up (19th) – feature in the top 20.

Others to make the cut include Cardstore’s World’s Toughest Job, Volkswagen’s Eyes On The Road”, Thai Life Insurance’s Unsung Hero and John Lewis’s Christmas Ad “#MontyThePenguin”.

“This year we saw a hat-trick of global sporting events. Advertisers responded by investing in powerful ads that conveyed the excitement, triumph and exhilaration of these global water cooler moments,” said Unruly’s EMEA MD Oliver Smith.

“With 300 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute and more than a billion video views on Facebook every day, consumers are inundated with content in their social feeds, so when a brand can create such a highly shareable video you know they’ve hit something special. Many of the most successful ads this year tied their social videos to a social cause and we saw a range of online video genres utilised by brands, from music videos and prankverts through epic love stories and playful sing-alongs.

“Activia’s collaboration with Shakira for the video ‘La La La’ rose to the top by capitalizing on World Cup fervour and the current trend for ‘trackvertising,’ where a brand and musical artist co-release a video which is both a musical track and an ad. Musical choice can play a critical part in success or failure because it offers a shortcut to emotional engagement with the viewer and eliciting an intense emotional response is the best way to generate social shares. Releasing the spot with Shakira – who this summer became the first person to reach 100 million Facebook likes – and tying the campaign to a social cause by partnering with the World Food Programme all contributed to the success of this record-breaking video.”

“Another milestone hit in 2014 with the speed of sharing nearly doubling year over year. We saw 42% of shares occur in the first three days following campaign launch – up from 25% in 2013. With such a change in pace, it’s more vital than ever that brands  support their social videos with paid media in this critical launch phase or they risk losing out on potential online buzz,” added Smith.

To find out more about the social video trends of 2014, click here to download Unruly’s latest white paper.



Unruly’s rankings are based on the number of shares – as opposed to views – across Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere. As such, they are a measure of the ad’s online buzz or virality, ranking ads by the volume of active pass-on rather than the passive, paid metric of video viewership.

Data was collected from January 1, 2014 to November 19, 2014. Data points were collected using Unruly Analytics™ and the Unruly Viral Video Chart™.

UNRULY, UNRULY ANALYTICS, UNRULY VIRAL VIDEO CHART and logos and associated marks are trademarks of Unruly Group. Other marks are owned by their respective owners.

We are Unruly

Marketing technology company Unruly is the leading programmatic platform for social video advertising. With 3 out of every 4 video views now taking place outside of YouTube, 83% of Ad Age 100 brands use Unruly’s proprietary technology to reach and engage super-sharers across the Open Web. We’ve delivered 4.69 billion views across 9,200+ campaigns to a global audience of 1.27 billion monthly unique users.  Our super power is our predictive tech and unique data. Our secret weapon is our team of passionate people on a mission to #DeliverWow.

Founded in 2006, Unruly employs 160 people across 13 offices in 10 countries, with regional HQs in London, New York and Singapore. As well as a number of accolades recognizing our technical innovation and product excellence (Digiday, Sunday Times, Braves),  the company has won ‘Best Companies to Work For’ (Sunday Times), ‘Best Digital Ad Ops Team’ (AOP) and has been named as the UK’s #2 Fastest Growing Tech Company (Deloitte).

Powered by a unique data set comprising 521 billion video views and analyzing 24 million shares per day, Unruly’s technology enables advertisers to algorithmically predict content shareability and programmatically target super-sharers across In-Page, In-Feed and In-Stream ad formats, with guaranteed viewability, shareability and brand safety across desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

To find out more, visit www.unruly2018.staging.wpengine.com