Insights into the top online video ad of all time
Posted on Aug 23, 2012 by YuMe
Even though the Evian online video ad featuring the classic hip-hop hit "Rapper's Delight" is over three years old, it still reigns as the most viewed internet video ad of all time.
The one-minute spot shows babies performing roller skating tricks and dance moves to The Sugarhill Gang's well-known song. The international version of the bottled water brand's ad has earned more than 58 million views and more than 61,000 "likes" on YouTube since July 2009. The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the most watched online video ad.
"The combination of seeding and posting the film worldwide on YouTube has helped us reach well beyond our expectations: the most viewed video ad on the web ever, Michael Aidan, Evian's global brand director, said, according to Unruly Media. "Even more spectacular is the spontaneous relay TV channels around the world gave to this ‘web sensation’ and the 350 equally spontaneous remixed versions of the spot that have now reached millions."
Why the ad works so well
"Normally marketers are loathe to offend or alienate any segment of the consumer audience, even those who don’t buy their products, because they care about their brands’ overall reputations," Edwards wrote. "But Evian has proved that if your video is compelling enough to a segment of the populace, it is worth annoying everyone else. That appears to be what’s happening here – it’s another horrid video that totally works."
According to AdAge, paid placement on YouTube in addition to a coordinated television campaign helped to catapult the "Roller Babies" ad to success, demonstrating the effectiveness of engaging viewers on multiple screens. In addition, Unruly Media credited part of its success to fans of the video uploading it to their channels, thereby helping to exponentially increase its potential audience.
"Our data showed that 44.4 percent of all views – that's 27.3m views – were generated by uploads outside the brand's official YouTube channel," according to Unruly Media.
Coordinated promotional attempts also helped to make the "Roller Babies" ad so successful, according to Unruly. Two weeks before the official launch of the spot, two teaser internet video ads were released. In addition, promotional efforts on Twitter helped to spread word about the spot.
"Picked up and retweeted within seconds, Roller Babies benefited hugely from Twitter's ability to cross national boundaries and surface real-time trends, leading to the fastest first million views we've ever seen," Unruly reported.