Let’s take a peek into some of our favorite video ads of 2012.
TNT, “A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Square” (41M+ views)
Forget 3D. TNT added real-life drama to a Flemish town square, placing a red button with a sign that read, “Push to add drama.” A few passersby decided to take action and press the button, prompting a public spectacle. The scenes include ambulances, car chases, fistfights, and shootings. When a bloodied corpse is removed from the scene by a group of football players, the dust of combat settles and a large banner rolls down the side of a building, advertising TNT as the destination for “your daily dose of drama.”
Red Bull, “Stratos” (31M+ views)
In an attempt to break a world record, Red Bull sponsored Felix Baumgartner on a Mission to the Edge of Space. Millions streamed live as Baumgartner ascended 24.5 miles in a stratospheric balloon and then literally dropped back to Earth, landing safely with the aid of a parachute. His supersonic freefall broke the world record, but the mission set a second record, for the highest number of live views on YouTube.
AXE, “Fear No Susan Glenn” (1.5M+ views)
Kiefer Sutherland guides us through his young conscience, admiring Susan Glenn, the proverbial one that got away. We see her from afar and up close, but even after her beautiful glances and impeccable smiles, Sutherland fails to strike up a conversation. The experience feels much like a memory and reminds us of familiar instances when we couldn’t muster up the confidence to do something. The ad eschews cliché male branding and offers a high-impact story with a strong underlying message. AXE positions itself as a brand that empowers us to improve ourselves so we can face our fears.
Guardian, “Three Little Pigs” (1.4M+ views)
Great Britain’s Guardian newspaper brings us a familiar story with a contemporary twist, including the inescapable elements of social media. The traditional tale is reimagined as an inside job where the three little pigs are captured by a SWAT team, experts dispute the wolf’s ability to blow down a house, and the pigs ultimately confess to insurance fraud motivated by falling behind on their mortgage payments, sparking outbursts around the world. From start to finish, Guardian is there to cover the story and provide “the whole picture.”
Old Milwaukee, “Hey Pass Me A Beer” (730K+ views)
One does not simply pass a drink to one’s buddy. Old Milwaukee shows us a few ways to share with our friends. Simple and effective, the video takes a common activity to its wacky and humorous extreme.
Arton Gjonbalaj heads up East Coast ad sales in New York, partnering with brands to help them exceed their marketing objectives. In his spare time, he slays display ad dragons. You should follow him on Twitter @ArtonGjonbalaj.