NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- While many big marketers are keeping fingers crossed for viral buzz to follow their Super Bowl spots, which will air Sunday before an estimated 100 million eager viewers, a few brands are getting a head start in the viral video space -- one with big payoffs.
Doritos' "Crash the Super Bowl" campaign, in which viewer-submitted spots are voted on and judged for cash prizes and a coveted spot during the game, placed first on the Viral Video Chart with 1.4 million views last week. The most-viewed of the sleekly (and independently) produced Doritos spots was the "Pug Attack," a frontrunner in the online contest. In its third year, the "Crash the Super Bowl" contest has become a fixture around the game, but it also appears to have benefited from some paid placements last week.
The Doritos' spot is the first of a deluge of Super Bowl that will storm the chart starting next week. Some are using paid placements to get a head start on the game. "When you buy a Super Bowl spot and distribute it online beforehand you are buying the reach and getting the frequency. You're also building buzz around it," said Jason Krebs , senior VP at video ad network Tremor Media, which is working with E-Trade, Chevrolet and Bridgestone (but not Doritos).
Krebs cites Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign, which, by its premiere the day after last year's Super Bowl, had already achieved significant buzz online. "Everyone in the industry knew about that campaign before it even peaked. The campaign itself became news. That's what Doritos is doing," he said.
A Doritos rep could not be reached Wednesday to confirm whether any of the "Crash the Super Bowl" spots had received paid media distribution, but measurements estimate a dramatic increase in views for the campaign's noted "Pug Attack" spot -- from around 4,100 on Jan. 15 to approximately 40,000 on Jan. 16. "It's a telling indication, but we can't make that call," said James O' Connor, product marketing analyst for Visible Measures.
At least some of Doritos' recent buzz is earned, however. The brand received some publicity last month when media outlets reported on two controversial gay-themed spots that were submissions in the "Crash the Super Bowl" contest. Though those spots weren't official and didn't even make it as finalists in the contest, the controversy still elevated campaign's visibility, and that of Doritos' Super Bowl plans.
Also placing this week for the first time were campaigns from Mercedes-Benz, which is touting a new Twitter-based contest around several of its assets and the Super Bowl, but also triggered a mini Twitterstorm of complaints, including Bloomberg BusinessWeek columnist and director of media planning at Mediaassociates.com, Ben Kunz, who's fed up with the tweets: "Not a fan of the Mercedes spray-your-followers-with-hashtags bit. Sorry."
Also new is Apple's "Two Is Better Than One" spot which shows the tech marketer taking a decidedly neutral stance in the battle for iPhone customers heating up between Verizon and AT&T.
|Last Week||Brand||Campaign||Agency||Current Week Views*||% Change in Views**||Watch the Spot|
|1||New||Doritos||Crash the Super Bowl 2011||Goodby Silverstein & Partners||1,438,867||New|
|3||Back on Chart||Nike||LeBron Rise||Wieden & Kennedy||1,097,529||Back on Chart|
|4||2||Evian||Live Young||BETC Euro RSCG||1,071,715||-1%|
|5||Back on Chart||LG & YouTube||Life in a Day||Mindshare||825,873||Back on Chart|
|6||4||DC Shoes||Gymkhana Three||In-house||785,279||-5%|
|7||3||Blendtec||Will it Blend?||In-House||667,406||-21%|
|8||New||Apple||Two is Better Than One||TBWA/Media Arts Lab||538,387||New|
|9||Back on Chart||Old Spice||Responses||Wieden & Kennedy||529,431||Back on Chart|
|10||9||DC Shoes||Gymkhana Two||In-house||474,487||-3%|
Source: Visible Measures
*The Visible Measures Top 10 Viral Video Ad Campaigns Chart focuses on brand-driven viral video ads that appear on online-video-sharing destinations. Each campaign is measured on a True Reach basis, which includes viewership of both brand-syndicated video clips and viewer-driven social video placements. The data are compiled using the Visible Measures Viral Reach Database, a constantly growing repository of analytic data on more than 100 million internet videos across more than 150 video-sharing destinations.
Note: This analysis does not include Visible Measures' paid-placement (i.e., overlays, pre-/mid-/post-roll) performance data or video views on private sites. This chart does not include movie trailers, video-game campaigns, TV show or media network promotions, or public service announcements. View-count results are incremental by week.
**Indicates percent change in views compared with the same period the week before.
To notify Visible Measures of an upcoming video ad campaign, or for an end-to-end assessment of your campaign's overall performance, please contact Visible Measures directly.