Favourite Five Viral Ads of 2013

This year we’ve seen some fantastic campaigns, at De Rigueur Digital we’ve got together and (after a few cups of tea and tantrums), agreed on top 5 viral ads of 2013;

1. Dove “Real Beauty Sketches”



Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ is the most shared video of 2013 to date with over 4.2 million shares online, according to statistics from viral video firm Unruly Media. What has made the campaign so successful is it’s based around consumer insight. Dove have produced a campaign that their target market (women) clearly identify with. Dove published survey data asserting, “Over half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic, which equates to a staggering 672 million women around the world.”

Another major driver in the success of “Real Beauty Sketches” was its careful media planing strategy, the video first launched in four key markets: the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and Australia. It was then rolled out abroad, and uploaded in 25 languages and seen in 110 countries.

“The brand partnered with YouTube and Unruly to facilitate the distribution and seeding strategy,” Machado, Dove Skin VP, said. “PR served as a key channel, generating initial placements with media sudfisuych as the Today Show, Mashable, Huffington Post and Channel 7 Morning Show in Australia. The film was distributed to top media around the world and was quickly shared by women, men, media and even other brands.”

This lead to 4 billion PR and blogger media impressions and counting.

2. Evian – Baby & Me

The spot, created by BETC Paris, renews the brand’s ‘Live Young’ concept from previous campaigns through Evian’s trademark babies. It shows a group of people seeing “baby versions” of themselves in a shop window, before beginning to dance with them.

The ad launched was the first since “baby inside” in 2011, which featured people in T-shirts with images of a baby’s body on them, from the neck down.

Our favourite part of this campaign was the iPhone app which was launched a month after the ad, giving it a second wave of exposure. The app equipped with facial recognition software revealed the user’s ‘baby’ face. Allowing them to get involved!

3. K Mart – Ship My Pants

The drivers of K-Marts success were;

1. Use some creativity to come up with your own hashtag.

Hashtags are beneficial for people trying to find a certain phrase or topic on Twitter. If you create virality around one of your own hashtags, it can mean great reach for your business. With reach comes interaction, which can lead to conversations around your distinct hashtag.

A conversation around your hashtag means you can participate in the conversations and monitor them to see what is being said about your business.

Kmart used #ShipMyPants and the hashtag flew around Twitter. Conversations between businesses, viewers, customers and Kmart ensued.

2. Convert customers with unexpected humor.

Their ad may have disturbed some viewers, but it also converted some into customers. People gained respect of the brand for several different reasons.

Kmart showed a side that no one has seen before, they took a risk and used humor that wouldn’t be accepted by all. The surprise factor definitely played a role in the hilarity of the ad. Tapping into emotions such as surprise, joy, fear, etc. are gold emotions for marketers – they coerce the audience into connecting with the brand.

3. Encourage debates about your business.image

There is always going to be someone saying something negative about your business. Why not promote brand awareness with debates and discussions?



Although according to Yahoo Finance, the commercial isn’t bringing in the sales as much as the laughs. It’s arguable whether or not the brand awareness and attention was enough of a gain for Kmart.

4. Three – Dance Pony Dance

sharing of video dsmmcm1314

Three launched as UK’s first 3G network and tech trailblazer. Yet despite its nine million customers and 97% UK coverage, many still felt Three came with some old, negative baggage. The brand became quiet. They were the fourth player in the market suffering from lack of awareness and affection. In order to grow their business and make people care about them, Three needed two things: brand fame and brand love…and oh how we think they achieved this…looking at the volume of social shares 3 is still reaping rewards from this ad.

5. Carrie Launch –  Telekinetic Coffee Shop

The producers of the Carrie remake rigged up a coffee shop to respond to the ‘telekinetic powers’ of their planted actress, scaring   unsuspecting members of public who had popped in for a caffeine hit (for those “edgy” customers it was a herbal tea). #dsmmcm1314

This absolutely amazing and terrifying prank,  is one of the best publicity stunts we’ve seen for a while. This was a very difficult execution, but thanks to some careful planning,  fantastic  effects and skilled actors, the results are brilliant and led to some highly entertaining content.