Nike Breaks Own Viral Record With World Cup Ad

YouTube Lands on Chart for 5-Year Birthday Spot

By Published on .

NEW YORK ( -- Nike isn't an official World Cup sponsor, but its three-minute "Write the Future" video broke the record for the biggest audience in the first week of a campaign with 7.8 million views. That record, incidentally, was by another Nike ad: the somber and strange "Earl and Tiger" ad, which debuted earlier this year with 6.3 million views in its first week.

Popularity of Nike's 'Write the Future' spot around the globe.
Popularity of Nike's 'Write the Future' spot around the globe.
Nike's World Cup ad started a cast of international soccer stars including Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Franck Ribery and Christiano Ronald. (Mr. Rooney is shown a future living in a trailer if he fails to catch Mr. Ribery steaming toward England's goal.) As the chart from Visible Measures shows, the video truly has international appeal.

Interestingly, Pepsi also is not an official World Cup sponsor, but its "Oh Africa" has spent seven weeks on the Viral Chart.

YouTube is the platform that makes video powerful for viral ads like Nike's, so fitting on the week of its 5th birthday, YouTube landed its own ad on the chart, "YouTube Turns Five." Seven of the entrants this week are chart veterans, including Toyota, Old Spice, Evian, Gillette and Microsoft.

No. 10 is another newcomer, Canada's Fortnight Lingerie, with an example of an ad you probably wouldn't see on TV. It's almost not-safe-for-work content is excused somewhat by a public service in the form of a refresher course on CPR.

Last Week Brand Campaign Agency Current Week Views* % Change in Views** Watch the Spot
1 New Nike Write the Future Wieden & Kennedy 7,823,459 New Nike: Write the Future
2 1 Toyota The Sienna Family Saatchi & Saatchi 1,633,628 +14% Toyota: The Sienna Family
3 3 Evian Live Young BETC Euro RSCG 1,040,002 -5% Evian: Live Young
4 7 Pepsi Oh Africa N/A 1,017,039 +31% Pepsi: Oh Africa
5 2 Gillette Uncut Greenlight Media & Marketing 903,844 -35% Gillette: Uncut
6 New YouTube YouTube Turns 5 N/A 599,434 New YouTube: YouTube Turns 5
7 5 Old Spice Odor Blocker Wieden & Kennedy 579,858 -34% Old Spice: Odor Blocker
8 Back on Chart Old Spice The Man Your Man Could Smell Like Wieden & Kennedy 471,835 Back on Chart Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
9 10 Microsoft Xbox Project Natal World Famous 471,311 -10% Microsoft: Xbox Project Natal
10 New Fortnight Lingerie Super Sexy CPR Red Urban 441,593 New Fortnight Lingerie: Super Sexy CPR
In this article:
Most Popular