The Long, Viral Lives of Cadbury, T-Mobile and Microsoft

What People Watched the Week of Sept. 28, 2009

By Published on .

NEW YORK ( -- If the ad campaigns on this week's viral video chart look familiar, they should: They've all been here before.

In fact, many of them have been on the chart for a long time. The longest-running campaign, Cadbury's "Eyebrow Dance," is celebrating its 26th week on the chart and the second-longest, T-Mobile "Dance" is marking its 25th week. Microsoft's "Project Natal," meanwhile, is on for its 18th week in a row. Evian's "Rollerbabies" is on for the 13th straight week. Only three videos are new enough to be celebrating their second week in a row: Microsoft's Windows "Launch Party" video, Trend Micro's "Fearless Web" spot and's "Protect Insurance Agencies" campaign.

As you can imagine, it's quite a feat to add enough growth week after week to continue to maintain a presence. (Remember, the viral video chart is a look at views over the previous week; not over the lifetime of the campaigns.) So what causes viral longevity? Matt Cutler, VP-marketing and analytics at Visible Measures, which compiles the chart each week, outlined several common characteristics among the campaigns:

  • This kind of viral activity is only possible when there is repeat viewing. That means there's something about these videos that make people want to watch again and again.
  • They have a sense whimsy. "All of these are 'feel good' spots that are fun and don't take themselves too seriously," he notes. They provide an escape.
  • They all contain the bit of "how'd they do that?" and "is it real?" that many successful viral videos seem to employ.
  • And finally, he notes, "Most of these have a deep musical connection, which definitely contributes positive associations. Just look at Apple's iPod ads for this."

Last Week Brand Campaign Agency Current Week Views* % Change in Views** Watch the Spot
1 2 Evian Live Young BETC Euro RSCG 1,391,044 -1% Evian: Live Young
2 5 Microsoft Xbox Project Natal World Famous 670,440 +35% Microsoft Xbox: Project Natal
3 4 Microsoft Windows 7 Launch Party N/A 575,217 +5% Microsoft: Windows 7 Launch Party
4 3 DC Shoes Ken Block's Gymkhana Two Project Mad Media 536,612 -10% DC Shoes: Ken Block's Gymkhana Two Project
5 7 Trend Micro Fearless Web Brief Attention Span, Alterseekers, Sharethrough 441,739 +80% Trend Micro: Fearless Web
6 8 T-Mobile T-Mobile Dance Saatchi & Saatchi, MediaCom 249,920 +4% T-Mobile Dance
7 1 MoveOn Political Action Protect Insurance Agencies FunnyOrDie 229,943 -88% MoveOn Political Action: Protect Insurance Agencies
8 9 Inspired Bicycles Danny MacAskill Trials N/A 226,509 -4% Danny MacAskill Trials
9 6 Cadbury Eyebrow Dance Fallon 220,439 -24% Cadbury: Eyebrow Dance
10 10 Bud Light Lime Canned Confessions DDB 202,319 -7% Bud Light Lime: Canned Confessions
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