A possessed baby got viewers talking across social media platforms, with a “Devil Baby” stunt to hype 20th Century Fox’s “Devil’s Due” becoming the most shared film promotion online this year. It was also the No. 2 most shared ad of the year.
The video generated nearly 2.2 million shares across Twitter, Facebook and blogs, Unruly found.
A “Let It Go” “Frozen” sing-along video was the only other film-related ad to make a list of top 20 shared spots of 2014, according to Unruly, a technology firm focused on marketing campaigns. That video generated 896,324 shares.
The rankings only count shares, not total views of the videos, which came in much higher. “Devil Baby” alone generated 48.6 million views on YouTube, with the “Frozen” promo topping a whopping 222 million.
The speed in which ads were shared doubled over 2013, with 42% of shares occurring in the first three days following a campaign’s launch, up from 25% in 2013.
Unruly found that ads created for the World Cup dominated the list of shared spots, with a fifth of the year’s top 20 related to the soccer championship in some form. Activia’s collaboration with Colombia’s Shakira for “La La La” came in at No. 1 with over 5.8 million shares since May.
That figure beats Volkswagen’s “Star Wars” themed Super Bowl spot, “The Force,” which had over 5.2 million shares, and held the record for more than three years, Unruly said. Only one Super Bowl ad made the list this year, Budweiser’s “Puppy Love,” which came in at No. 4.
“This year we saw a hat-trick of global sporting events,” said Unruly’s Oliver Smith. “Advertisers responded by investing in powerful ads that conveyed the excitement, triumph and exhilaration of these global water cooler moments.”
But storytelling also proved to be a big draw and effective tool to generate buzz, as was shown with the “Devil Baby” effort, produced by New York-based marketing shop Thinkmodo. Company recently produced another stunty promo for Universal and Hasbro’s “Ouija.”
“With 300 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute and more than a billion video views on Facebook every day, consumers are inundated with content in their social feeds, so when a brand can create such a highly shareable video you know they’ve hit something special,” Smith said. “Many of the most successful ads this year tied their social videos to a social cause and we saw a range of online video genres utilised by brands, from music videos and prank-verts through epic love stories and playful sing-alongs.”
To come up with its list, Unruly tracked the number of shares, instead of views, of videos across Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere and measured their online buzz or virality, ranking ads by the volume of active pass-on rather than the passive, paid metric of video viewership. Data was collected from Jan. 1 through Nov. 19.