April 3, 2014

The Takeaway From The 5th Annual Viral Video Awards

The 5th annual Viral Video Awards have come and gone. The best of the best were praised by Advertising Age at the event in New York City, where a number of brands were able to show their stuff. With categories ranging from most viral brand to the most-watched single campaign, we can all take away a little something about what the winners did well and apply it to our own endeavors.

Most Viral Brand

Samsung swept away the competition for the second year in a row, having the most viewed videos of any other brand. How’d they do it? They had 61 campaigns this year. That’s 7 more than last year, which allowed them to beat out Google in views. Part of the success stems from their collaboration with artists like Jay Z and Usher.

It demonstrates an understanding about the success of a combo like music + video, especially with two awesome musicians in on the campaign. With the “Magna Carta Holy Grail” campaign, Samsung was the first to bring Jay Z’s new album to fans. They provided an app and download, which allowed to the campaign to take off while views and downloads soared.

Best User-Created Viral Ad

This award went out to a heart-warming video for GoPro. In the video, firefighter Cory Kalanick has a GoPro strapped to his helmet and is shown reviving a kitten named Lucky. The video took off with 20.5 million views, proving that no one can resist a touching video that features some heroics and a tiny kitten.

Most Shared Campaign

The most shared campaign award went to college humor. They created a movie trailer for a horror movie, making a comparison between zombies and low-energy co-workers. Luckily, the heroine avoids the dreaded office food coma by drinking 5-Hour Energy.

Best B-to-B Video Campaign

IBM was the winner in this category. The video took two weeks to make, and tells the story of a boy and his pet atom, using actual atoms. IBM is shaking up data storage. Last year, they announced that they’d successfully reduced the number of atoms necessary to store one bit of data from 100,000,000 atoms to only 12. They let the world in on the news by creating an engaging, interesting video that accomplished exactly what it was meant to.

The takeaway

Each video campaign succeeded for different reasons. College humor is known for its humor, IBM pulled off an idea that was clever and informative. The important thing to remember when you’re running campaigns, whether it’s on a large or small scale, is that each brand will perform better when they know their strengths and use them to the fullest.

That doesn’t mean you should avoid taking risks. Instead, it means keeping an eye on what you do and who you are as a brand. Creating video that doesn’t stray from your message and still manages to engage viewers, thanks to the creativity and execution, is what it’s all about.

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