What We Can Learn From the Top Viral Videos of 2009

A Look Back at the Year's Most-Viewed No. 1s

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Thirteen different videos reached the top of the Viral Video Chart since its debut in April, and Visible Measures, which compiles the data for the weekly chart, pulled out the 10 most viewed. Marketers that hit No. 1 but didn't have the numbers to make this chart included Carl's Jr., Vodafone and Moveon.org.

Evian, in the top spot, nabbed more than 50 million views of its roller-skating babies; T-Mobile's "Dance" and Microsoft's "Project Natal" both scored more than 20 million views and the remaining campaigns all topped 10 million views.

Among the lessons from this list?

  • Viral video is not solely the domain of big-budget brands. While Microsoft was the only marketer to have a pair of spots in this list, Air New Zealand and DC Shoes were right up there as well.
  • Visible Measures points out the mix of industries represented on the list: technology, CPG, telecom, sports/entertainment, automotive and travel. So those folks telling you a boring package-food brand can't play in the space? They must not be among the 50 million who viewed Evian's campaign.
  • Breaking down the creative, there's a bias toward stunts but also a general sense of light-heartedness. Not all the campaigns were humorous, per se, but they definitely instilled a sense of wonder or invoked a smile.

Brand Campaign Agencies Involved True Reach (All Time) Average True Reach Per Week Launch Date Watch the Spot
1 Evian Babies / Live Young BETC Euro RSCG 55,493,134 2,642,530 07/01/09 Evian: Live Young
2 T-Mobile T-Mobile Dance / Life's for Sharing Saatchi & Saatchi; Mediacom 26,464,846 588,108 01/16/09 T-Mobile: T-Mobile Dance
3 Microsoft Xbox / Project Natal World Famous 22,904,848 916,194 06/01/09 Microsoft Xbox: Project Natal
4 DC Shoes Gymkhana Two Mad Media 16,651,437 666,057 06/01/09 DC Shoes: Ken Block's Gymkhana Two Project
5 Nike Basketball / Most Valuable Puppets Wieden & Kennedy 14,869,221 531,044 05/14/09 Nike Basketball: Most Valuable Puppets
6 Samsung LED TV / Extreme Sheep LED Art The Viral Factory 13,369,978 371,388 03/16/09 Samsung: Extreme Sheep LED Art
7 NBA Where Amazing Happens Goodby Silverstein & Partners 12,363,884 343,441 03/19/09 NBA: Where Amazing Happens
8 Volkswagen The Fun Theory DDB 12,176,548 1,739,507 10/07/09 Volkswagen: The Fun Theory
9 Microsoft Megawoosh MRM Worldwide, Germany 11,248,109 703,007 08/03/09 Microsoft: Megawoosh
10 Air New Zealand Nothing to Hide .99 Auckland 11,053,867 381,168 05/07/09 Air New Zealand: Nothing To Hide
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