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The 50 Best Viral Campaigns Of 2012

Written by Simply Zesty on

Best Viral Videos

With the new year just hours away, it's as good a time as any to reflect upon what has been a memorable year. With more than 72 hours of videos uploaded to YouTube every minute, it's takes something truly special to stand out. Since the quality of videos has risen this year, the problem that emerged was that there were so many good examples, we could have easily made a list containing 150, which would have defeated the purpose.

So in no particular order, here are our top fifty viral campaigns from the past year.

NAB Bank: Honestly Shouldn't Go Unrewarded

A nice campaign that shows the importance of honesty, NAB Bank placed a number of shoppers in situations where they could walk away with something valuable, or be honest and hand it in. Those who took the latter approach got a pleasant surprise.

LYNX Anarchy: The Invisible Ad

All of LYNX's campaigns tend to be provocative so it appeals to the male demographic, and this ad, which took place in an abandoned house in Sydney, follows this trend. The house's windows were replaced with LED screens and you could only see what was happening when you put on special glasses.

Coca-Cola: CCTV Cameras

CCTV cameras were created to improve security by capturing moments of wrongdoing, but Coca-Cola turns this on its head by showing moments that will leave you feeling happy.

Tippex: Bear & Hunter (Part II)

Building upon a successful campaign in 2010, Tippex's sequel allowed you to type in a year and see the Hunter and the Bear appear in different time zones.

TNT Benelux: A Dramatic Surprise On A Quiet Square

It would be a crime if we left this out of the list, and unless you've been hiding under a rock, you will know just how amazing this campaign was. An example of spontaneity and imagination at its best.

TicTac: Bad Breath

2012 was a year where flash mobs came back in vogue. TicTac French campaign made clever use of this by having an entire crowd faint because of a person's bad breath.

Heineken U-code

One of the first campaigns of 2012, Heineken's use of QR codes, a medium that has been falling out of favour with both users and marketers, shows that there's still life in them if you use them correctly.

Parking Douche

Illegal parking is a problem everywhere, but none more so than in Russia. To shame those responsible, this campaign used the Web and social media to make sure that they never do it again.

Feblefin: Amazing Mind Reader Reveals His 'Gift'

When we sign up for a new service or site, we're don't consider how much information we're revealing online. The Belgium bank Feblefin plays on this fear by hiring a 'psychic' to reveal your darkest secrets.

An Unexpected Briefing

With the arrival of 'The Hobbit' in cinemas, Air New Zealand created this safety announcement in the style of JRR Tolkien's classic series.

Red Bull: The Athlete Machine

A brand that has truly master the art of the viral video, the energy sports drink created this massive Rube Goldberg machine that's powered by some of the world's top athletes.

Nike: My Time Is Now

In time for Euro 2012, Nike's video alone was a brilliant advert, but it was the addition of interactive elements, which had a number of easter eggs hidden within the video, that made it worth watching again and again.

The Guardian: The Three Little Pigs

Giving a classic tale a modern twist, The Guardian's take on the story of the Three Little Pigs was ingenious and shows just how much modern media has changed.

Coke Zero: Unlock The 007 In You

Wanting to recreate the excitement and high-octane feel of the James Bond movies, Coke Zero got unsuspecting commuters to rush to platform 6 in 70 seconds to win tickets to see Skyfall

Turkish Airlines: Kobe Vs Messi

Two of sport's biggest stars battling it out for the attention of one child. What's not to like?

Go Pro

If you're a camera company, the best way to show how amazing your products are is to capture as many breathtaking moments as you possibly can. A combination of breathtaking scenery and extreme sports meant that this is a video you want to see in HD


Not an official ad but it's one that's so good, it had to be included. Filmmaker Charlotte Rabate created this brilliant concept ad which makes you wonder how Durex itself didn't think of it.

Google: One Day, Project Glass

If there was a piece of technology that got people talking in 2012, it was Google's glasses. Its tech demo, released back in May, was a curious piece and showed us the company's vision of the future.

Chevrolet: OK Go, Needing/Getting

OK Go is known for its memorable music videos, so it's no surprise that its collaboration with Chevrolet, where the car became the instrument, sticks in the mind.

Melbourne Metro: Dumb Ways To Die

As Air New Zealand earlier proved, safety videos don't need to be boring. Yet not only did Melbourne Metro make its video entertaining, it created a catchy song that will be stuck in your head for days.

P&G: Best Job

With the build up to the Olympics in London, brands started releasing ads that tied in with the event. P&G created an emotionally charged video showing that all athletes had a supporter since day one: Their mothers!

Channel 4: Meet The Superhumans

Taking place shortly after the Olympics, the Paralympics was just as entertaining, but it really blew its sister event with this magnificent ad from Channel 4 in the UK.

DC Shoes: Gymkhana 5

DC Shoes turned San Francisco into a giant playground for rally driver Ken Block who pulled off numerous stunts as he weaved his way through the course.

GlasJouren: The Break In

How do you show how efficient your service is? Simulate a break-in and find out.

NBA: Color

One for the basketball fans, the NBA got the game's five biggest stars to perform "Carol of the bells" using only basketballs, and they do a surprisingly good job of it.

Barklaycard: Toys

Considering how huge mobile payments are going to become, Barclays takes one man through the entire process in a Toy Story style video.

John Lewis: Christmas 2012

Despite being released at the start of November, John Lewis' tale of a snowman's quest for the perfect gift is incredibly touching and got everyone in the mood for Christmas.

OPI: Dancing Horse

A nail polish brand isn't the type of industry you would expect to be behind a viral video, but this short film involving a horse in a dance-off is as creative an ad as you find this year.

Google Analytics: Search In Real Life

It's a good thing that Google's search engine is ran by machines and not humans, otherwise the experience would be pretty frustrating as this hilarious Google Analytics video shows.

LG: Elevator Prank

What better way to show just how realistic your monitors are than to trick people on an elevator. That's what LG did by making passengers think that the floor was falling away.

Coca-Cola: Outrageous Machine

Probably the most complicated way to share a bottle of coke, Coca-Cola got a number of engineering students to create an over-complicated machine that would open one of its drinks.

eBay: Thank You

With many brands trying to create an emotional video to connect with people, eBay's attempt was more stylish than expected. It tells the story of a man who lost and found his motorcycle.

Guinness: Cloud

Guinness' most recent ads remind us of ads from the likes of Nike and Adidas as they aim to be inspirational. This one features a cloud as its star and how it can become many things.

Apple iPod

Apple's iPod ads are one of the most iconic pieces of work in advertising, its latest ad shows off its new look with an incredibly stylish ad.

Old Navy: Five Million Fans

To celebrate its page reaching five million fans, Old Navy released a fun video to celebrate. It created a massive 30% off coupon powered entirely by people.

Nike: Air Jordan

Taking place in Los Angeles, Nike released this stunning frozen video which shows Chris Paul 'cutting it' through Venice Beach.

Rainforest Alliance: Follow The Frog

For many things in life, there are two ways to do things: The right way and the wrong way. The Rainforest Alliance shows how you can support its cause by showing what happens when you choose the wrong option.

Old Spice: I will live forever

Ever since "The man your man can smell like," anything Old Spice releases will be greeted with the kind of attention and coverage most brands can only dream of. It's continued its quirky line of ads with a number of different campaigns, such as this 'inspirational' ad that tied in with the Olympics.

Samsung: The Next Big Thing Is Already Here

Samsung poking fun at Apple fanboys isn't new, but when it does it with such humour and style, it's hard not to like.

Midtrafik: "The Bus"

You would never have thought that an ad for a bus company would be cool, but Midtrafik has created one of the funniest and most dramatic ads of the year. All public transport ads should follow this template.

Volkswagen: Bad Dog

Never underestimate the power of animals to help you sell a product. That's what Volkswagen did as it makes a bulldog the star as it shows off its keyless access feature.

Folksam: Skydiving Cats

The title pretty much says it all as Swedish insurance company has a bunch of cats skydive to the tune of R.Kelly's 'I believe I can fly.' Incredibly silly but effective nonetheless.

Toyota: Kamikaze Cat

Probably an ad that will appeal to cat haters more than lovers, Toyota shows the love one cat has for its vehicles as it throws itself into more dangerous situations, only so it can get to ride in the new Corolla.

Sky Movies: Bond Vs Bond

Splicing together all the different chases from all the different Bond films, Sky Movies created this fantastic clip which has all six Bonds racing against each other.

Sky Germany: Professional Match

Most people aren't lucky to play professional football, but Sky Germany surprised two low league teams by giving them the star treatment. Large groups of fans, aerial shots, slow-motion replays and post-match interviews all played a part.

Volvo: The Ballerina Stunt

Volvo is a brand that's associated with safety and practicality, but even it will mix things up a bit if it means coverage. Its big stunt had a young woman cross a tightrope held by two speeding trucks before it reaches a tunnel.

Nike: Find Your Greatness

Another inspiring Nike ad, this time it focuses on the regular everyman who strives to improve himself and how anyone can achieve greatness.

Getty Images: From Love To Bingo

Showing 873 images in under a minute, Getty Images created this brilliant video which tells a story without a line of dialogue.

IKEA: Metro Apartments

To show how practical its furniture is, IKEA placed a number of 'apartments' in the middle of a busy subway station and had volunteers live in them for a week.

MINI: The Best Test Drive Ever

MINI offered one fan the chance to create their own advert using only six words. The winning entry had the words stewardess, salt, flats, paratroopers, sushi and falconer which MINI used for its advert.

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