The Most Viral Ad Campaigns: Companies Boosted by Marketing Genius

By Becca Lipman

Here’s an excuse to spend some time on YouTube. We crunched some data on the most viral ad campaigns over the last month, and identified the companies behind these products.

Companies spend millions to billions of dollars of revenue on advertising each year. It’s not hard to understand why – a solid marketing campaign draws attention to the company, builds a customer base, boosts sales, and affects stock price.

While not many people enjoy advertisements, there are some must-see gems out there, providing us all with an excuse to spend even more time watching YouTube videos.

To find the latest and greatest ad campaigns we took a look at the “20 Most-Shared Video Ads This Month” and the companies behind them.

For each company trading on the US stock market we have created a colourful investor sentiment report and included the viral video. Enjoy!  

Click on the research report to access interactive tools and detailed information on the stock’s performance.


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1. Walt Disney Co. (DIS): Entertainment Industry. Market cap of $74.0B. The stock has lost 6.54% over the last year.

“Star Tours: Darth Vader Goes to Disneyland” A hysterical must-see video of Darth Vader’s day trip in Disneyland. The video is made for the promotion of their new Star Wars ride. See Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers ride a carousel, spin in the teacups, and top the night off with a fireworks show. It would be a shame to give away any more, just watch.


2. E*TRADE Financial Corporation (ETFC): Investment Brokerage Industry. Market cap of $2.93B. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.08). It’s been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.02% over the last week.

Superbowl Commercial with Baby” originally aired during the 2008 Superbowl. It has returned with a viral vengeance.



3. Google Inc. (GOOG): Internet Information Providers Industry. Market cap of $172.08B. The stock has lost 7.51% over the last year.

“Google Chrome: Justin Bieber” Tells the story of Justin’s Bieber’s rise to fame and glory through YouTube. The final message: “The web is what you make of it.” Similar promotions by Google Chrome include an ode to Lady Gaga and promotion for the “It Gets Better” campaign which works to instill hope and curb depression in LGBT teens.


 Also on the list of viral videos:  “The Google + Project: A Quick Look.”  This slightly emotional and instructional video shows the benefits of Google’s new social network, Google+. The narrations discuss the values of friends, community, companionship, connections, and sharing. Since Google+ launched on July 28th it gained nearly 10,000,000 users.



4. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Application Software Industry. Market cap of $223.81B. The stock has had a good month, gaining 11.94%.

Bungie’s “Halo 4 E3 2011 Debut Trailer ”  (Bungie is owned by Microsoft Games)  looks like a movie trailer for an epic action films. Given that this trailer is among the most viral videos this month, one can imagine the anticipation for the game’s release.


5. AT&T, Inc. (T): Telecom Services Industry. Market cap of $182.22B. The stock has gained 1.75% over the last quarter.

T-Mobile’s “Angry Birds Live” Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play Angry Birds in real life? Probably not, but even so take a look at this viral video of a live action Angry Bird game in Barcelona, Spain. T-Mobile is owned by At&T.



6. Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS): Multimedia & Graphics Software Industry. Market cap of $8.01B. The stock has gained 21.76% over the last quarter.

 “Nintendo Wii U Trailer (E3 2011)” This is a promotion for the new Wii Console that functions like a tablet. The new controller’s many uses are outlined in this ad, and can make any viewer drool with desire. Video chats, board games, sketchpad, new and existing Wii games, browsing the internet, and the power to send information to your television with a flick of the hand, just to name a few. “Coming to your living room in 2012.” Electronic Arts produces games for several computer and video game consoles, including Wii, and will benefit from sales for the new gaming system.


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