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100 Of The Best Marketing, Social And Viral Videos From 2011 [Part 1]

Written by Simply Zesty on

It has been a long old year and one in which video marketing has gone to a whole new level. Brands and businesses are using videos to leverage their presence online and and to create buzz. Over on Simply Viral we have been sharing an amazing marketing video every single day of the year and we wanted to pick out the best 50 to fill you full of inspiration and give you ideas for the year ahead. There are a mix of videos on the list covering everything from marketing stunts to social media case studies and viral video concepts that have got huge traction all over the world. Video is a much cheaper form of marketing than it has ever been before and the barriers to entry have never been lower. Sit back and relax and work your way through this list of 50 brilliant marketing and social media related videos from 2011...

Dutch Airline KLM – Personal Space Experiment

We love this video from Dutch airline KLM because it gets the message of their latest product across in a very visual way. KLM wanted to show that they were offering additional space on their business class flights and conducted the following study to show just how much we value out personal space. We can all relate to the video and the thought of somebody sitting or standing that close to us really rankles with most of us. A great simple concept that makes sure you remember the key message long after you have watched the video

Heineken Thank 1 Million Facebook Fans With Hugs From Hot Models

This video shows that the folks over at Heineken know their market pretty well because when the popular Dutch beer brand recently hit 1 million Facebook likes they sent out a bunch of model looking types to return the favor to their fans in Amsterdam. A great way of thanking their loyal fans (or just random blokes in the pub more likely) but probably not a move that would have gone down too well with the female Heineken drinking minority unless a team of similar hot looking males were also dispatched.

The Coca Cola Happiness Truck

Coca Cola loves nothing more than making their customers happy with brilliant marketing stunts. The concept for this video is incredibly simple but you can't help but have a huge smile on your face by the end of it. Coca Cola have done this before and there are already videos popping up of the truck in other countries but this video makes the list today because it makes us happy and feel good and want to go and buy a coke and that is exactly what marketing should do!

Spanair Serves Up Treat For Tired Passengers

It's hard for airlines to keep their customers happy because by in large flying is something that we are not all mad about. If we are not filled with joy when flying at the best of times then Christmas Eve is an even worse time and Spanair tapped in to that emotion to create this super campaign that rewarded passengers who faced long trips on the last flight of the day. Again this is smart marketing that costs very little but puts big smiles on people's faces which is a very hard thing for an airline to do.

Stunning Red Bull Snowboarding Video

When it comes to branded content there is no brand in the world better than Red Bull at creating it. It's always around extreme sports and it is exactly what branded content should be in that it's entertaining rather than being an ad. This brilliant video is actually a trailer for a full length feature film called "The Art of FLIGHT” which will be released later in the year. There are hundreds of snowboarding videos but the footage in this one is simply stunning and coupled with the extreme nature of what they are up to (getting buried in avalanches etc) makes this a must watch. Makes me want to go out and buy red bull so job done!

Volkswagen Uses Twitter + Google Maps To Generate Buzz

This campaign for the Volkswagen Fox car in the Brazilian city of São Paulo managed to create huge buzz using a mixture of a treasure hunt, Google maps, Twitter and giving away tickets to the hottest music festival in town. Although the mechanic of using a hash tag would be seen by many as a slightly spammy way of getting buzz by taking over the Twitter stream there is no doubt that this campaign reached a huge youth audience and pushed the car out to people who were not even attending the event.

Axa Interactive QR Code TV Advert

You may remember this campaign from Axa over on the main blog from a while ago and clearly the creative team in Belgium have upped their game once again with this super new interactive TV advert complete with QR code. It's a simpel but brilliant idea where you have to scan the QR code to see what happens at the end of the ad but it creates engagement in a super smart way. I think it's brilliant to see advertisers have to think outside the box to keep people engaged during ad breaks and there is no better example of it than this.

Jennifer Aniston – How To Go Viral

I've watched this video a couple of times and I really can't decide if it is marketing genius or a little cringe worthy trying too hard to become a viral. What it does do is take in some of the biggest memes in to one video and add a little Hollywood glitz to make sure of a million views. The video also manages to get the brand in to the video numerous times which is hard to do so I suppose from their perspective you could say it was job done!

Stunning Google Science Fair Video

If there is one company that should be able to produce a viral hit on Youtube then it is Google (they own the site) and this short video that was produced a couple of months ago to promote the first online science fair certainly does that. It's similar in style to other videos we have seen online but the smart use of science tricks and the way it is all shot in one take makes this video by Google a must here on Simply Viral.

Sexy Lynx Augmented Reality Ad Brings Victoria Station To Life

There has been a huge rise in the amount of augmented reality advertising billboards that are creating dynamic experiences around the world and this one by Lynx brings sexy angels to Victoria station. As you can see from the video commuters are encouraged to interact with the ads and this draws attention from around the station and creates a level of engagement that a normal billboard could only really ever dream of getting.

The Future Of Social Gaming According To Microsoft

Microsoft are an interesting company that have been innovating on multiple platforms recently and a large part of their future strategy seems to be around gaming. This video is a concept video that shows their vision of how social games will spread across different platforms including how people will search, share, collaborate and spend money on virtual items. We are already seeing the start of some of these technologies online but it's interesting to see this start to come to life and see the vision that Microsoft has for the future in social gaming.

How To Hack Video Ads In New York's Times Square

It actually turns out that the video above is part of a more elaborate stunt to promote the movie Limitless and the viral campaign around it was subtle but this video alone has over 3 million views.

Google Goes Viral With Gaga

What do you get when the owners of Youtube and the world's biggest pop star Lady Gaga team up? A Huge viral success. This video shows some of the amazing stats that Lady Gaga has totted up across Google, Youtube, Twitter and other social networking sites and ties it all back in with Google's own services. This video really serves the dual purpose of promoting Google and making them trendy but Miss Gaga also benefits from their promotion. Everybody is a winner

The Best Drinks Machine Ever?

This is some of the smartest and most entertaining online/offline marketing I have seen with a drinks machine coming to life in the form of an online claw game. Apart from the annoying voice over the video paints the perfect picture of how users were asked to engage with the brand to win a dream holiday after the classic drinks machine was turned in to a claw game that we have all seen at local fair grounds. You were alerted online when it was your turn to have a go and tens of thousands of people at a go at what I can only remember as one of the most annoying games ever known to man!

Stunning Fanta Dubai 3D Light Show

We could share a different light show video here every day of the week but we don't because most are ordinary and all blend in to one but this stunning 3D light show from Fanta in the Dubai marina really brings the entire area to life in stunning colors. It's as if the whole building is moving and it's a very smart way to engage potential customers with the brand over an extended period of time. Smart marketing indeed from Fanta.

Choose Your Dream Watch With Augmented Reality

It's all about Augmented Reality at the moment! Watch brand Tissot have just launched this innovative campaign that allows passersby to interact with their shop window and display different watches on their wrist. It's an engaging experience for the customer, but we're not sure how sustainable this is as an activity…

The Best Car Launch Ever?

We have been covering 3D mapping projects a lot recently but none of them come close to this car launch from Hyundai. The car is actually suspended on the wall with the mapping happening around it to make it seem as if the car is driving down the road. It's stunning use of technology and in a super competitive space where car manufacturers compete against each other to make noise and build buzz around their different cars this one stands head and shoulders above the rest for me. Is this is the best car launch of the year?

The Social Media House Of The Future

Technology is starting to become a part of our daily lives but you get the feeling that we are only at the start of the journey and this concept video from Ericsson shows what the house of the future might look like. Smart ovens, self cleaning technology and social media all play a part in this classic video featuring boy meets girl. What do you think? Will the future look like this and would you like to be able to control every part of your house via a social network?

Incredible – Making Electricity From Oranges

If you are in to science you will know that you can make small amounts of electricity out of citrus fruits like oranges and lemons and a quick search on Youtube will show you 100s of videos where people have used oranges to power everything including an iPhone. Now the orange juice company Tropicana have tapped in to that meme to create a video where they use oranges to do a pretty special piece of marketing. I love the video not only for the originality it shows but also for the brilliant music and the beautiful clean way in which it is shot. Up at half a million views already and sure to kick on from here and get shared extensively going forward.

Renault Bring Facebook Likes To The Real World

The Facebook like button has changed the way we all interact with brands and now thanks to a brilliant new Renault initiative at a motor show in the Netherlands people are able to like cars in the real world. This uses RFID technology (basically tiny chips that can be programed to contain information that links back online) and anybody who did like the cars had it feed back to their Facebook profiles. There have been a couple of examples of this RFID technology and Facebook in the past and it's clearly something that we are going to be seeing a lot more of in the future.

A Paper Car – Genius

If there is one brand that really gets social media it has to be Audi. Not only are they smart enough to leverage the technology to use it in innovative Facebook campaigns but they have also just produced this video which is sure to get millions of views online. At the moment it only has 30,000 views but this video is sure to explode in popularity over the next couple of weeks due to the sheer brilliance of it's creativity and the amount of effort that went in to it. Not only can they make stunning cars but they can also make stunning cars made out of paper!

The Drunk Valet – Video

We've all seen the ads on TV that they have in every country in the world to try to get people to stop drink driving and by and large they follow the same format. It's all about scaring people and showing them either horrific crashes or injuries but once you've seen one you have seen them all. What I love about this video is the completely different take it puts on the whole campaign and it really does tick all the boxes in terms of experiential marketing and is hopefully stick with all the people who took part for a long time to come and possibly even save some lives. Very smart campaign indeed.

Absolutely Mental Skiier Starts Avalanche

How do you sell HD cameras online with a limited budget? The answer is get a mental skiier to start an avalanche, jump off a 1000 foot cliff and film it all in beautiful clear HD. Next upload it to Youtube and let the audience do the rest of the sharing for you. I've never seen a better action video than this (give it to the 1 minute mark but make sure the watch the full build up for full effect) and it is a brilliant sales tool as it highlights the key features of the camera while making it seem incredibly edgy and cool. Over a half a million people have already seen this and it's getting more and more popular by the minute and all in all you have to say that it is a brilliant marketing ploy by Go Pro cameras to show off their equipment and sell more cameras.

Human Sized Pool Table – Video

When Budweiser wanted to target males in a nightclub setting and get them playing football the challenge was not an easy one but luckily some sort of creative genius in there came up with Poolball! The concept is simple….Make one giant sized pool table in a night club where people can get up and kick the footballs in the same way they would play pool. It looks like a massive amount of fun and the only question I would have is with that much booze involved in a night club scenario how would they keep people calm and stop them invading the pitch etc. Like all good marketing this is an incredibly simple concept but one that is well executed. Now I need to figure out where I can go and have a game of this!

Brilliant Social Marketing From KLM

KLM are always ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing and social media and this latest campaign taps in to Dutch heritage on Facebook and could see you have your picture on a KLM plane flying all over the world. It's a simple concept but one that should fly (sorry I couldn't resist). It's early days but you can really see people getting behind this and engaging with the brand because the draw of having your picture on the side of a plane is a big one.

The Cruel Egg Machine

We all have a good idea of how inhumane the space animals live in with the sole purpose of feeding us humans but to a certain extent we are sheltered from it by smart marketing and slick supermarket packaging. This brilliant campaign in Germany though did a fantastic job of highlighting just how cruel a life can be for a factory chicken. The sole goal of the compaign was to get people buying free range eggs again and the highly visual way it was brought to life would have helped with that. This is experiential marketing at it's best but I wouldn't expect to see too many of these machines popping up in the near future near you.

Create A Real World Facebook Book

There have been a couple of examples of brands running campaigns where you can create your own Facebook book but they've been limited to small campaigns to date. Social memories is a new tool that allows you to create a bespoke book for just $19.99 and it fills in lots of information automatically from your profile including cool graphs and charts of all your friends. It's a really smart app and it creates something visually stunning that would be brilliant for any coffee table. If Facebook ever does fall by the wayside wouldn't it be cool to have one of these books to help remember it by?

Chef Goes Absolutely Ballistic At Film Crew

The internet has been buzzing with this video that has been featured on sites all over the world and had over 150,000 views in it's first couple of days. It shows a judge on the Australian version of Master Chef going absolutely crazy when a runner throws the food he has prepared straight in to the bin. The video has been shared all over the web as this rare glimpse of a fiery chef in action although there is one tiny little twist. The twist is subtle and there are 2 versions of the video (Here is the first) and I didn't actually realize what a brilliant marketing stunt it was at first. Pure genius and tricked a lot of people!

Brilliant Mcdonald's Marketing In Paris

This is a quality piece of immersive advertising from Mcdonald's in Paris to launch a new promotion where they are giving away free coffee cups with all meals. They placed 20,000 free cups in a busy city center location in Paris and let commuters figure out that they could actually take them away for free. Once the cups started to be removed by passers by it slowly revealed the billboards below that explained that Mcdonald's will be giving everybody in the country a similar free up when purchasing a full meal. This is so smart because it gets people engaging with the advertising and taking photos beside it while giving people something to physically remember the ad by. A super campaign that is not only visually strong but will also create super word of mouth and get plenty of video views.

Brilliant Mini Campgin Makes You The Star

This is a super smart marketing campaign from Mini in Germany that puts you at the heart of a billboard in Berlin and gives you the chances to win a Mini. You can either become part of the mini by entering a photo booth beside the billboard or you can go to their Facebook page online to take part. These sorts of campaigns where you become the star are not new but the Facebook integration with this one is smart and allowing people from all over the world to do this. You also have to love the way that the snazzy mirrors are highlighted on the car by making people wear ear muffs.

The Brilliant Anti Flash Mob TV Advert

A new advert from AT&T is comedy gold as it takes the piss out of the Flash mob craze that has been doing the rounds for the last couple of years. I won't reveal the story line but lets just say it does a great job of promoting their new 4G network while getting the key message out there about the speed of the connection. Just when you thought you had seen every single new angle on the flashmob somebody comes up with another brilliant video that will get millions of views. Especially like the people in trenchcoats hanging around in the background looking shifty!!

The Most Innovative Car Advert Ever?

Lots of people are saying that print media is dead and that it is a form of advertising that is getting ignored by consumers but you only have to look at this short video to see how innovative brands and advertisers are getting in order to get noticed. Sure there was clearly a lot of work and some additional cost in running this advert but it is not something that you are going to forget in a hurry and is something you will probably share with all your friends. Add in the fact that this video will get picked up extensively online and you have a very smart traditional media campaign that gets noticed.

Incredible Young Baby Playing Guitar

We often see parents teaching their kids how to play sports, musical instruments and all the other things that the parents themselves wished they were good enough during their life time. This baby is an outstanding talent on the guitar and picks up right where his dad left off. If you look a little closer though you'll see that this video is of course computer generated but it's a very smart viral advert for the new game Rocksmith which is a competitor of Rockband which you play with an actual real guitar. Smart marketing indeed.

Stunning Finger Dancing Advert

This is an incredibly smart Youtube advert from Samsung that introduces us all to the art of finger dancing. It's done in a very smart way because for the first 30 seconds you have no idea that it is going to turn in to an advert but it manages to get the key messages across at the end. The video was produced in France and already has over half a million views in the first couple of days since launch and will spread all over the world from here and probably achieve the ultimate dream of starting getting people to copy the video with their own versions. Get ready for the finger dancing craze!

Stunning Visual Marketing From Converse Shoes

Converse are one of those brands that continue to re-invent themselves on an ongoing basis and one of the reasons they are so successful is that they have genius marketing strategies like these. This is a very visual campaign that also used social media channels to increase awareness around the brand and engage a whole new audience. The key here is that it is nearly impossible to walk past the shop window without noticing the contraption that they had installed and as you can see sales went up a whopping 50% as a result.

Genius Chocolate Marketing Campaign Wins Big

This campaign video has just won a Grand Prix prize in Cannes as one of the advertising campaigns of the year and you can clearly see why as it's one of the most innovative campaigns you will ever see. The chocolate brand from Romania which comes in the most traditional branding (the national flag) was falling out of favor with the younger audience before the agency behind the campaign came out with what can only be described as a "shock and awe” marketing campaign. It had spectacular results though and the whole country were up in arms looking for their old branding back. No wonder this was a major award winner!

Roger Federer In The World's Biggest Shave

It's Wimbledon time of year and the tennis marketing stunts are in full swing but none better than this one featuring Roger Federer from Gillette. It ties in with their recent world's biggest shave campaigns and is a very creative video that is already getting lots of attention online. What the video doesn't share is if this is near some sort of airport or other place where people can see if from the air or if it was all done simply for the purposes of the video. Very smart marketing stunt indeed though.

Julian Assange Parodies Mastercard Advert

Things seem to have gone pretty quiet on the Julian Assange front for the past couple of months as they have effectively had their money cut off but he is not lying down or going quietly as they have just created a video that will get attention all over the world that parodies the famous "priceless” Mastercard adverts. Mastercard are of course one of the companies who blocked donations to his group and have been constant targets for the hackers. This is a smart cheap way of trying to win the PR battle and the video will probably bring Assange back in to the public arena which is what he loves more than anything of course. How long Mastercard's lawyers let this video stay up is a different story.

The Greenest Ad Campaign In The History Of Mankind

Sometimes you see something so genius online that you wonder how nobody has ever thought about it before and that is exactly what this simple little idea is from WWF in Hungary. To encourage users to donate their 1% of tax to the charity but at the same time not lose their core message of trying to save the planet they used 2 pandas and 1 leaflet in a popular shopping center. In what sounds like the start of a joke this genius campaign answers the question of "how do you run a huge ad campaign with massive reach using only 2 pandas and one leaflet”? Pure and utter genius.

Stunning New Volkswagen Ad Uses Time Driving Lapse To Create Logo

This brilliant video is made not by using fancy camera tricks and editing but by using real time lapse video to show a giant version of the VW logo to help promote the launch of their new Jeta car. The advert is truly beautiful but to understand the effort and volume of production that went in to making this you need to watch this video that shows you the behind the scenes version. Volkswagen have shown time and again that they can make quality adverts for TV that will get shared online because of their creativity and this one is no exception. Very smart marketing indeed.

World's First QR Code Tattoo

You knew it was only going to be a matter of time before somebody went out and got a QR code tattoo and that is exactly what this crazy young gentleman did in Paris. The tattoo is quite elaborate and when the QR code is scanned using a smart phone it actually sites on top of the tattoo and brings it to life using animation and a short video. The whole experience was actually live streamed on Facebook and users could interact and engage with the content as it was happening. Rather weird and sure to go out of fashion soon but that in terms of a tattoo it really doesn't get more social media than that.

Ape Starts Shooting Soldiers With AK47

This video purports to show a group of soldiers in West Africa mocking an ape but when they hand the gun to the animal he gets his revenge by starting to shoot them. It is apparently footage from the video library but it is of course a viral video promotion for the new planet of the apes movie which comes out later this summer. It's smart though because the video is spreading like wild fire and has tons of people speculating if it is real or not. It's interesting to see movies trying all sorts of viral tricks months in advance to build hype and this one is one of the best to date. Go monkey!!!

The Best Car Giveaway Ever

Companies always try to give away cars to build hype around their new models but none have ever had more coverage online than this campaign from mini which we covered at the time last year. Now the agency behind the campaign have released a full case study video explaining the success and buzz the campaign created and it picked up a prestigious Golden Lion award in Cannes a couple of weeks ago. Another great example of the real world and online worlds colliding for a smart marketing campaign.

How Can Buying Underwear Save Your Life

Nobody ever wants to think about cancer but this genius piece of marketing from a company in Poland used the simple act of buying ladies underwear like bras to grab shoppers attention. The main aim of the campaign was to show that a machine was the most important part in detecting cancer early and as such machines played a central role in this campaign. The creative behind this campaign is simple outstanding and it left people with an experience that they would never forget and also hopefully helped to save some lives.

The Day Nike Made A Football Stadium Speak

Nike are well known for their marketing genius and last week during the final of a Copa Americas match they launched an ad that will have sent shivers down the backs of football fans all over the continent. The ad features Boca Juniors one of the most famous clubs around who are a little down on their luck in recent years. As the players warm up for a routine training session at the ground the stadium magically starts talking in the 1st person giving them all an inspirational team talk. It's a unique take on advertising an another sign of just why Nike are one of the worlds biggest and most loved brands.

Stunning Volkswagen Augented Reality App

Volkswagen have show yet again just how smart they are when it comes to marketing their cars with the launch of a new app that allows you to view their new Golf Cabriolet. The app is available for iPad, iPhone and Android and it allows you to mess around with the features and see the car up close without even having to go to the showroom. You can change the colors or the car and tailor it to your own needs and it's a great talking point and something worth sharing with friends.

Lady Replaces Her Head With An iPad

The magazine Cosmo in New York have launched a strange but brilliant advertising concept where a woman has walked around the city with 4 iPads strapped to her head. The video does a better job of explaining it than words ever could but it's a pretty smart concept because users had to slowly figure out that to engage with the advert they actually had to swipe a page on her "Face”. The ad is a new promotion for the Cosmo for men iPad app and with people taking pictures, the video approaching 1 million views in just 48 hours and plenty of blogs picking this up you have to say it is job done.

The Most Beautiful Travel Story Every Told In 60 Seconds

This is possibly the most beautifully shot travel video that you will ever see all edited down to 60 seconds of sheer perfection. It was produced by 3 competition winners as part of their prize which the won from an Australian travel company to tour the world's most beautiful sites over a 6 week period. The video is part of a series that aims to promote the next 3 rounds of the competition which will send more people around the world and it's a great way for a local travel company to get huge worldwide attention. What I love most about this video is the fact that it would have taken a full film crew years to produce something like this in the past but with the quality of cameras now available anybody with enough imagination can make something like this.

A Brilliant New Take On The Flash Mob

Flash Mobs have been done to death but this one manages to buck the trend and provide a brilliant twist to the classic theme. I don't want to ruin the video but give it a good minute and you'll see some of the smartest marketing to draw attention to a very important cause which is the huge amount of litter the world see's every day. Some of the captions are in French but they basically say that there is over 600 million tonnes of litter every year. The video has had over 800,000 views in the last week and I think it's a brilliant new way of re-inventing the outdated flash mob format.

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