NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- What makes an ad go viral? Cute babies, furry animals, juvenile humor, implausible stunts, and, well, a real stunt from billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
Geico's "Lizard Ballad" is the only new addition to the list this week in what has to be the corniest ads to make the chart since we launched it a year ago. But! Since it stars Warren Buffett doing an impression of Guns N' Roses rocker Axl Rose, it makes the chart at No. 10 with 368,689 views across just three placements, two uploaded by Geico itself.
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway owns the insurance company known for its many other videos, such as this one with one of the earliest YouTube stars, the Numa Numa guy. Fun fact about that from the Martin Agency's Rad Tollett: the terrarium with the gecko in the background was actually in the original video that made Gary Brolsma web-famous; all they had to do to shoot the Geico ad was make it more visible, and of course, add a lizard.
Geico's Buffett ad comes in at 2:24 minutes (but who's counting?), which is about optimum length for the YouTube attention span. Even that will be too long for most of you, so if you just want to see Buffett rock out (he really sings), fast-forward to minute 1:30.
Other than Geico and Buffett, the chart is loaded with stalwarts such as Evian, Doritos, Old Spice, Microsoft and Pepsi with ongoing video campaigns racking up TV-sized audiences over weeks and months on the web. Programming note: We'll be honoring some of these campaigns -- along with YouTube and Visible Measures -- as part of Ad Age's Viral Video Awards in New York on April 13.
|Last Week||Brand||Campaign||Agency||Current Week Views*||% Change in Views**||Watch the Spot|
|2||2||Evian||Live Young||BETC Euro RSCG||1,083,921||+2%|
|3||4||Muscle Milk||Spring Break It Down||Pereira & O'Dell; Sharethrough||723,442||-16%|
|5||5||Old Spice||The Man Your Man Could Smell Like||Wieden & Kennedy||527,438||-21%|
|6||9||Microsoft||Xbox Project Natal||World Famous||486,134||+5%|
|7||10||Sussex Safer Roads Partnership||Embrace Life||Director: Daniel Cox||484,334||+9%|
|8||Back on Chart||Pepsi||Oh Africa||N/A||482,901||Back on Chart|
|9||8||Doritos||Crash the Super Bowl 2010||Goodby, Silverstein & Partners||382,004||-22%|
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.