The variety of virals – most shared 2012

In 2011 it was Volkswagen’s mini Darth Vader, this year it’s Kony 2012: the most shared video ad of the year.

In 2011 it was Volkswagen’s mini Darth Vader, this year it’s Kony 2012: the most shared video ad of the year.

The not-for-profit video that kickstarted a global campaign to bring Ugandan militia leader Joseph Kony to justice was shared more than 10 million times since it launched on March 5 and tops Unruly Media‘s ‘the 20 most shared social video ads of 2012’ (excluding movie trailers or TV promos, and as measured across the social web, including Twitter, Facebook and blogs).

Even though the top spot is held by a 30-minute video of emotive content, driven by a comprehensive, well executed distribution strategy, the top five also includes big brands such as P&G and its ode to mothers.

Unsurprisingly, a staunch viral ad favourite – the live experience involving Joe Public – features prominently.  Three campaigns by Belgian agency Duval Guillaume Modem, ‘TNT: A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Square’ (second on the list with more than 4.3 million shares), ‘Febelfin: Amazing Mind Reader Reveals his Gift’ and ‘Coke: Unlock the 007 in You’, make it onto the list, as does a flashmob performance celebrating financial services company Banco Sabadell’s 130th birthday.

Another staple of viral sharing is the elaborate stunt, often pitting man against machine. ‘Gymkhana Five’ for DC Shoes (along with Red Bull and Volkswagen one of only three brands to feature both in 2011 and 2012), directed by Ben Conrad, stars professional rally driver Ken Block in a high octane 10-minute clip, in which he turns the streets of San Francisco into his own personal rally playground.

OK Go’s video for Needing/Getting, made in partnership with Chevrolet, uses a vast set-up of instruments over two miles in the California desert, which the band plays with a specially outfitted Chevy Sonic, and Red Bull: Athlete Machine brings chain-reaction mechanics together with extreme sports stars to create a huge domino-effect stunt bonanza.

The quirky also makes it onto the list. The recent Australian animated viral star ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ by McCann in Melbourne for the city’s Metro Trains is at number seven, and others include ‘Mister Rogers Remixed, Garden of Your Mind’ by Symphony of Science’s John D Boswell for PBS Studios (at number 10, it was shared more than 1.05 million times), and Volkswagen’s latest nod to the dark side in its ‘The Bark Side’ yelping version of the Darth Vader theme tune.


In this year of major sporting events, Nike Football features twice with ‘Mercurial Vapor III: Cristiano Ronaldo vs Rafa Nadal’ (shared more than 921,000 times) and ‘Nike: My Time is Now’ ( more than 902,000).

Finally, at number three on the list is this gratuitous, if tongue-in-cheek, torso-gazing from Abercrombie & Fitch, which has been shared more than 2.4 million times.

For the complete list, visit Unruly Media.


CR In print

In our December issue we look at why carpets are the latest medium of choice for designers and illustrators. Plus, Does it matter if design projects are presented using fake images created using LiveSurface and the like? Mark Sinclair looks in to the issue of mocking-up. We have an extract from Craig Ward’s upcoming book Popular Lies About Graphic Design and ask why advertising has been so poor at preserving its past. Illustrators’ agents share their tips for getting seen and we interview maverick director Tony Kaye by means of his unique way with email. In Crit, Guardian economics leader writer Aditya Chakrabortty review’s Kalle Lasn’s Meme Wars and Gordon Comstock pities brands’ long-suffering social media managers. In a new column on art direction, Paul Belford deconstructs a Levi’s ad that was so wrong it was very right, plus, in his brand identity column, Michael Evamy looks at the work of Barcelona-based Mario Eskenazi. And Daniel Benneworth-Gray tackles every freelancer’s dilemma – getting work.

Our Monograph this month, for subscribers only, features the EnsaïmadART project in which Astrid Stavro and Pablo Martin invited designers from around the world to create stickers to go on the packaging of special edition packaging for Majorca’s distinctive pastry, the ensaïmada, with all profits going to a charity on the island (full story here)

Please note, CR now has a limited presence on the newsstand at WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at train stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your WH Smith store or a local independent newsagent can order it for you. You can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, call us on 020 7970 4878 to buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 970 4878 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.

CR for the iPad

Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month. Try a free sample issue here

What's the story?

The Storytelling issue, Oct/Nov 2017, is out now.
We invited writers to respond to our cover image
this month: read their stories inside.
PLUS: Tom Gauld, Oliver Jeffers, Giphy & S-Town

Buy the issue

The Annual 2018

The Creative Review Annual is one of the most
respected and trusted awards for the creative
industry. We celebrate the best creative work from
the past year, those who create it and commission it.

Enter now


South East London


Burnley, Lancashire (GB)