Most Viral Ads of 2015

Adweek recently released a list of the 20 most viral ads released in 2015, so we analyzed the winners and created a list of five patterns for why these ads went viral. Even if you don’t have a huge advertising budget, you can always be inspired by the content, messaging and tactics behind ads by brands of any size and think about how you can create similar content within your budget and capabilities.


Image from Adweek, who says, "Droga5's Android spot showing unlikely animal friendships is now the most shared ad ever."


1. Real-time

Many of the ads were about capturing real-time moments, like plays from live sports, Robert Downey Jr. making a special delivery, and getting honest responses from kids. Disney captured people interacting with their interactive display, while soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo went undercover to get real reactions from bystanders. For your business, try to capture memorable moments, like a customer’s honest reaction, a presentation, or valuable nuggets from a conference you attend.

2. Animals

It’s no secret that animals are a big hit when it comes to advertising and social sharing. Five of these top 20 viral ads featuring animals being adorable and curious, which tugs at our heartstrings and keeps our attention. Something about the purity of animals and the powerful feelings of love and a desire to protect the animals is stirred in us. You could try showing off your employees’ pets or partnering with an animal-oriented charity or business.

3. Dream big

Some of the best ads are motivational in nature. These ads inspire us to be the best version of ourselves and strive for me, such as addidas’ “Take It” commercial. This spot emphasizes that each day is a new day to go after your dreams and do more or better than you did the day before. This hope resonates with viewers. For your efforts, motivational quotes, sharing inspiring stories, and supporting local/like-minded businesses that achieve new levels of success are a few ways you can encourage your audience to dream big, too.

4. Family-oriented

Several of these ads aim to remind viewers of their own families and inner circles. These ads aim to put the viewer in the shoes of the person(s) in the commercial and connect to the viewer’s real life rather than just push a product. How does your product or services help viewers get more out of their lives? Emphasize those benefits in your messaging.

5. Helping others

Lastly, many of these ads challenge the audience to think bigger than themselves and encourage a sense of community. These types of ads show people helping others and are memorable because of the emotions they invoke.

Which of these are your favorite?


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