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Your Guide To The Top 10 Social Video Brands

Written by Simply Zesty on

Go Viral recently released its top 100 brands for social video

by content, views and engagement. Taking a look at the top 10 brands on the list, I've delved a bit deeper to see exactly what it is that those brands are doing right in video:

1. Red Bull

It probably comes as no surprise that Red Bull tops the list here, as its dedication to creating content is clear across all its online activity. It has amassed over 470 million views via its YouTube channel, while also building over 911,000 subscribers, ensuring its videos will reach a regular audience. Its video content focuses on the brand activation around extreme sports including mountain biking, skiing and surfing. Red Bull's approach to video is pretty much akin to that of a full blown media or production company, with series on its channels ensuring continuity and entertainment for viewers:

The highlight of Red Bull's video activity though, comes down to its recent livestream campaign, where it filmed Felix Baumgartner attempting a world record attempt to freefall 23 miles. The campaign spread out across its other social channels, as well as receiving a healthy dose of mainstream media coverage. During the live stream of the event, more than 5 million people were viewing the coverage ; an incredible feat that proves the value of online video.

What's also notable about Red Bull is the continuity of video it creates. In the past week, it has uploaded over 17 videos, some of these hitting the 100,000 views mark despite only being live for 7 days. What works for Red Bull's videos are the strong distribution networks it has set up. As well as hitting a healthy audience on Youtube through its subscribers, it has 33 million fans on Facebook and 823,000 followers on Twitter it can syndicate video to.

And what you'll probably notice about Red Bull's videos is that there is practically no mention of its product. While its brand is certainly on display, it has extended way past its immediate product offering, allowing them to effectively compete with top media companies and give its viewers what they want. Red Bull is showing, consistently, what it means to be a social brand and the transformations you have to make within your marketing to succeed online, particularly through video.

2. Google

As you might suspect, given that it owns the company, Google has grown a very successful Youtube channel with 647 million views and 870,000 subscribers. What's notable about Google's videos is the disparity in views, with some videos getting under 30k, while many others regularly reach the million + mark. Google has some of the most powerful distribution channels amongst online brands, which is clearly contributing to its viewer figures. Rather than branching out into the type of content that the likes of Red Bull is known for, Google's videos are very much product-focuses, with demos and concept videos etc..

3. Disney

Coming in 3rd is the Disney network. While you'll notice only 1.5 million video views on the official Disney channel, it's taking a 'network' approach, where it's  generated over 1.5 billion views across its 70 various channels:

As a media company you would expect Disney to perform well here, but its quite clearly smashing it. With video content including trailers, teasers, theme songs and behind-the-scenes looks at major releases. Disney is also providing an excellent case study in how to integrate social video with offline activity. In 2010, it launched a major experiment with user generated video at its theme park, through its 'Let the Memories Begin' campaign. It asked people to submit their best Disney theme park memories through various channels, including Youtube, which were then collated into a TV ad.

And the clips submitted also formed part of a giant projection on Cinderella's Castle at its theme park:

Disney is a media giant who is proving that 'traditional' media organisations can make the transition into online, both through syndicating existing content as well as producing bespoke content for social platforms.


Nike has nearly 34 million video views and 49,000 subscribers to its channel. It's clearly investing a lot in online video, often producing high budget videos specifically for Youtube, as well as uploading its TV ads. Nike's video content is focused on 'shareable' content, highlighting its products but relying on a trusted formula of celebrities, gimmicks and stunts to add kudos, helping its videos to spread online.

Nike is another example of a brand that use video as part of wider, experimental campaigns. To launch its latest Nike Jordan shoe earlier this year, it created an interactive video experience that put you at the centre of a game.

The video was also run on a dedicated microsite, where you could immerse yourself in the action. And, of course, Nike is responsible for the insanely popular 'My Time Is Now' video, which has over 20 million views to date, showing what a powerful vehicle video has become for them:

5. Samsung

Samsung has also taken the network approach to its YouTube account, splitting channels down by region and product focus. Samsung's mobile channel is its most popular, with over 143 million video views and 129,000 subscribers. The majority of its videos are product demos which attract modest numbers of between 20,000 to 60,000 but there is clearly investment being made in higher end videos, such as its introduction to the Samsung GALAXY Note II which has over 15 million views:

And Samsung clearly get what works in online video as its mock of the iPhone 5 is its fastest growing tech video. The video was shared more than 120,492 times in just 24 hours. This was also boosted with ad spend to promote the video offline and online.

Unruly Media compiled stats on the video, and claimed the ad also nabbed the top spot on the 20 most viral videos of any time, which isn't bad for an ad.

6. Old Spice

So the brand that's responsible for arguably one of the most viral campaigns ever has a deserving place on the list. Old Spice has over 308 million views and 319,000 subscribers on its official channel, 'that' video accounting for 43 million of these alone:

Old Spice is clearly winning at video because it places video at the centre of so many of its campaigns. Whether it's TV ads that live online, or bespoke content, it clearly gets what people want and has found a way to effectively bring video into campaigns cross-platform. And if you need a quick reminder of some of its impressive stats, how about the fact that fans posted over 183 video responses to the campaign and that it amassed over 35 million views on the original video in the first week alone.

Continuity is the key for Old Spice here as it continues to use its TV ad theme but with a bit of a risk by not using Isiah in its current ad campaign for 'Believe In Your Smellf'

What Old Spice proved is the importance of audience engagement when it comes to online video. As video responses formed part of the original Old Spice campaign, it ensured more content was being created and new audiences drawn to its original YouTube channel.

7. Prada

Perhaps surprisingly, a luxury brand is featured in the top 10, with Prada's Youtube channel gaining over 6 million views, but just over 9,000 subscribers suggesting there isn't much long term loyalty to the brand online.

Its commitment to video content is clear however, with regularly updated playlists including event coverage, ads, interviews and fashion shows. It doesn't really have any standout videos, though its season previews are among its most popular:

8. Coca-Cola

Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular and recognised brands in the world is fairly high up the list. Its main YouTube channel has over 110 million views and 85,0000 subscribers.

Coca-Cola's success with online video really comes down to its vending machine campaigns, which are beginning to take on a life of their own. Its main Coca-Cola Happiness machine video has over 5 million views to date.

Coca-Cola does seem to be neglecting its channel itself as there are no descriptions or links, and the channel defaults to displaying just two videos:

Coca-Cola is clearly dedicating resource to creating online video, as it regularly has big hits online and was also featured as the most shared ad in one week during June 2012 for its random acts of kindness campaign. The video was viewed over 4.8 million times in one week and generated over 4,000 comments:

9. Nintendo

Nintendo doesn't often make the social media headlines, but when it comes to video, it's clearly doing something right as its YouTube channel has over 49 million views and 163,000 subscribers. It seems that the majority of its videos, however, are gaining a modest number of views, with a few notable exceptions such as TV commercials gaining over one million views. Given that this content is not particularly 'shareable,' it's likely that Nintendo is ploughing money into ad campaigns to promote this content. A recent video featuring Sarah Hyland (of Modern Family fame) for example, has just 20,000 views:

10. Adidas

Last on the top ten list is Adidas which was an early adopter of online video, joining YouTube nearly a year before many of the other brands on the list did. Like Nike, its videos are strongly focused on its core product, with celebrity activation attracting video views.

What's most impressive about Adidas' video strategy is how it maximised its London 2012 sponsorship through online video. Its clip of team GB singing along to Queen quickly became a viral hit with 300,000 views in 24 hours:

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