Samsung Has a Love-Hate Relationship With Selfies: The Tale of Two Viral Campaigns

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Samsung celebrates selfies in one of its viral video campaigns this week. The other one has a very different tone.
Samsung celebrates selfies in one of its viral video campaigns this week. The other one has a very different tone. Credit: Samsung via YouTube

While many cultures see public selfie-taking as a distracting, albeit innocent, act, Indian authorities are treating the growing trend with caution — and for good reason.

According to one study, the country accounted for more than half of deaths worldwide related to taking selfies. Samsung has responded by creating a video campaign that garnered over 22 million views in the seven days through Sunday and landed atop the Viral Video Chart for the second straight week.

The "Samsung Cares for a Safe India" spot shows a bloodied man lying face-down on the pavement. Next to him, a cracked phone shows a selfie of him biking. "The moments you hold so dear can disappear with one silly selfie," the onscreen text warns. The country's Minister for Road Transport and Highways then pleads Indians to use their mobile phones responsibly.

Seventy-six Indians died in the span of two-and-a-half years while taking selfies, accounting for more than half of the 127 selfie-related deaths worldwide, according to a study from Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Delhi. Those numbers are alarming, and the findings have led to public warnings — including Samsung's ad — and even forced Mumbai police to mark off no-selfie zones after two people died in a selfie-related incident.

Other top video campaigns include Volvo Trucks' "The World's Largest Unboxing," which drew 7.6 million views, and 7UP's "Mix It Up a Little," featuring Sir Mix-a-Lot (of big butt lore), with nearly 7.3 million views. Our VCC, compiled by Visible Measures, includes both paid and organic views.

Samsung had a second spot, "Smart Switch," in the top ten, with just over 6 million views. The opening shot shows a woman taking a — you guessed it — selfie, while an upbeat song plays in the background. Eyes and mouth wide open, she leans toward the edge of a high-rise building, and the off-screen singer cheerfully declares, "For you, I nearly died."

In miniscule text across the bottom, Samsung issues a warning: "Professional stunt. Do not attempt."

Viral Video Chart
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Samsung Cares for a Safe India
Views this week: 22,519,217
Spot last week: 1
Amazon App
Views this week: 12,463,199
Spot last week: 5
The World's Largest Unboxing
Volvo Trucks
Forsman & Bodenfors
Views this week: 7,605,628
Spot last week: 6
Mix It Up A Little
Views this week: 7,276,457
Spot last week: NEW
Views this week: 6,720,834
Spot last week: NEW
Tambour Horizon Connected Watch
Louis Vuitton
Views this week: 6,638,293
Spot last week: 2
Smart Switch
Views this week: 6,085,332
Spot last week: 7
DIY Pool
Views this week: 5,833,622
Spot last week: NEW
Running of the Bulldogs
Views this week: 4,848,067
Spot last week: NEW
Who Are The Homoschlepiens?
Who Are The Homoschlepiens?
Views this week: 4,517,878
Spot last week: 3
Source: Visible Measures

Ad Age's Viral Video Chart, powered by Visible Measures, focuses on brand-driven social video ad campaigns. Each campaign is measured by True Reach, an MRC accredited metric that includes views from brand-driven and audience-driven social video clips. The data are compiled using the patented Visible Measures platform, a constantly growing repository of analytic data on hundreds of millions of videos tracked across hundreds of online video destinations.

Note: This analysis includes all publicly available video views on branded video content. This chart does not include movie trailers, video game campaigns, TV show, or television network promotions. View counts are incremental by week.

**Indicates percent change in views compared with the same period the week before.

To notify Visible Measures of an upcoming social video ad campaign, please contact Visible Measures directly.

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