The outlook for the automobile industry in the United States for 2012 is remarkably optimistic -- which translates into a healthy prognosis for automobile advertising, if one is measuring the new year against the one just passing.
But 2011 has set the bar high in the creative category: dancing hamsters, an endearing miniature Darth Vader with all the right moves, a righteous Eminem cruising Detroit, a windblown Jennifer Lopez cruising the Bronx ... or what looked like the Bronx.
U.K.-based social media/auto-enthusiast site SkiddMark.com has ranked what it calls the 10 most successful social-media campaigns of 2011. The site says that , rather than base the list on numbers alone, it considered "how well each campaign contributed to the 'equity' of each brand -- the assets a brand is then able to use across its entire marketing mix."
But while the ranking is subjective, popularity is part of the measure as well. All of the spots were shown on YouTube, and the list notes the number of views and shares, with data compiled as of Dec. 15.
Volkswagen bookmarked the list, with its buzzworthy "The Force" ad from February's Super Bowl finishing far and away ahead in first place and the Black Beetle ad in tenth. Alas, the notorious J. Lo spot for Chrysler's Italian-flavored Fiat 500 did not place at all. But a series for DC Shoes that featured the Ford Fiesta made the top three different times with three different incarnations.
Here's Skiddmark's ranked list of the year's top auto videos, with the number of views and shares:
2. DC Shoes: Ken Block's Gymkhana Four, The Hollywood Megamercial -- 13.1 million views, 2,111,150 shares
5. DC Shoes: Ken Block's Gymkhana Three, The Ultimate Playground -- 39.1 million views, 733,112 shares
6. Chrysler Eminem Super Bowl Commercial: Imported From Detroit -- 15.4 million views, 436,016 shares
7. BMW 1M: Walls, M-Powered Performance Part 1 -- 3.0 million views, 407,505 shares (1,922 comments)
8. DC Shoes: Ken Block's Gymkhana Two, The Infomercial -- 30.1 million views, 341,980 shares
9. Team Hot Wheels: The Yellow Driver's World Record Jump -- 8.1 million views, 294,046 shares
10. Volkswagen : Black Beetle, 6.3 million views, 212,290 shares