Every week, Ad Age and Visible Measures bring you the top 10 most-viewed brand videos. But which are the best of the best? At Wednesday night's second annual Ad Age Viral Video Awards, brands ranging from Nike to Old Spice to Tipp-Ex were honored for being viewed as well as being social. Blendtec's "Will It Blend?" campaign alone had over 263,000 comments. Here's a list of who won and why.
Best Video-Only Campaign
Blendtec: "Will It Blend?"
Tom Dickson and his blender have scored nearly 160 million views to date by liquefying popular products like the iPad and Old Spice deodorant -- enough to become one of the most-watched campaigns across the web.
Geico is helping to set a new standard for the insurance industry by uploading new content that transcends its sometimes staid category. The company has become a Viral Video Chart stalwart by featuring the likes of Andres Cantor, Telemundo's (and formerly Univision's) legendary soccer commentator announcing a chess match or a battle between the pen and the sword.
Best Viral Mockumentary
Hi-Tec: "Liquid Mountaneering"
Look out, Jesus: Hi-Tec got some major traction by making a fake sport out of running on water. The campaign seemed so real that it was picked up as a news story by NBC's local affiliate in D.C. It has generated more than 10.5 million views.
Best Brand-Jacking of a Global Sporting Event
Nike: "Write the Future"
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy
Nike wasn't an official sponsor of the 2010 World Cup, but you would never have known it from its "Write the Future" campaign. The effort hit the web weeks before the event and quickly netted more 20 million views.
Best Viral Campaign
Old Spice: "Responses"
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy
Wieden & Kennedy's award-winning spots broke the mold for online video campaigns. Isaiah Mustafa and crew filmed more than 180 clips in response to questions coming from the social-media spectrum, nearly in real-time. The campaign captured the imagination of audiences and went on to score more than 35 million views in its first week.
Best Video Advertainment
Red Bull: "Way Back Home"
Red Bull teamed up with the skilled street biker Danny MacAskill for a country-wide bike tour of Scotland. Using the incredible natural sights of MacAskill's homeland as a backdrop, the campaign has mesmerized audiences in this branded short film, which drove more than 9 million views.
Best Viral Public Service Ad
Sussex Safer Roads Partnership: "Embrace Life"
Agency: Director: Daniel Cox
The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership captured audiences' interest with an emotionally powerful slow-motion mock crash, garnering 14 million views. The man's family provides him with metaphorical seat belt safety, making for the best viral public service ad.
Best Interactive Video Campaign
Tipp-Ex: "Hunter Shoots a Bear"
Tipp-Ex set the bar high with its interactive campaign drawing viewers into a choose-your-own-story-style video journey. The effort broke down the boundaries of the video player, utilizing the whole screen to exemplify the use of its white-out product.
Toyota created a brilliant mock music video acknowledging that while the minivan may not be the coolest vehicle on the road, it doesn't mean its drivers can't be cool too. "The Swagger Wagon" was a mainstay on the weekly Viral Video Ads Chart, ultimately racking up more than 19 million views.
Dozens of commercials were launched to varying levels of hype during this year's Super Bowl, but the buzz winner online by a long shot is Volkswagen. The German auto's "Force" campaign took the web by storm, generating 31 million views within the first week of its launch.