The 10 Best Viral Ads of 2013

Viral Ads, Everyone’s Doing It

The goal of any internet video is to go viral. Although there is no number to define when a video is considered viral, it is generally agreed that it happens when a video reaches 3-5 million views within a few days. It’s considered gold, not just for ad revenue on YouTube, but also for the poster who most often enters into a revenue sharing contract with the video sharing site. But what happens when the viral video is an ad itself?

Viral ads are the new endgame of advertisers everywhere. Just ask Soda Stream whose ad was banned by CBS from the 2013 Super Bowl because it mocked Pepsi and Coca-Cola (Super Bowl sponsors). They did release another generic version of the ad that did not call the two soda behemoths out by name.

But they also released the original version on YouTube to the tune of 5 million views. That’s a large audience to reach without the expense of air time. But there’s another benefit. Viral videos are valuable because of their shared nature. Because they get shared via social media, and email, and text links, they essentially come from friends. This ups their trust barometer substantially.

Okay, so you may be saying, “I’m trying to hash out some digital marketing in Santa Barbara. Who’s got the money to create that content”? Good question. The answer is, it doesn’t have to cost that much. With the advent of Vine and Cinematic, low quality hi value content is just as effective. Many of these ad campaigns were made by multinational companies who spent – true. But what matters is the successful message – that you hit pop culture markers and create either humor or a sentiment that your audience will want to consume. In fact, two of the campaigns on this list are vine videos that were produced at a negligible cost. Social media is your vehicle for visibility. The more you engage, the bigger your voice.

So without further ado, our 10 favorite ads that went viral in 2013:

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