As 2015 picks up momentum, we’re taking a look at the top 5 online video advertisements of 2014.

Ranked by most views on YouTube, the top viral online ads are:

  1. Nike“Winner Stays”
  2. Wren “First Kiss”
  3. Nike “The Last Game”
  4. Budweiser “Puppy Love”
  5. Always “#LikeAGirl”

To understand why these videos are successful, let’s take a closer look.

For 3 out of the 5 ads, timing was crucial. Nike’s two ads and Budweiser’s ad took advantage of major sporting events.

Nike’s ads premiered during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. According to, over 1 billion people took part in the world cup via FIFA’s online hubspot. Both of Nike’s ads have a story line with the underlying premise of a passion for the sport. The former plays on athletic competitiveness and childhood imagination of playing as your heroes. While the later focuses on putting everything on the line for what you believe in. After the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup is the most watched sporting event in the world, and Nike takes advantage of that.

Budweiser’s ad during Super Bowl XLVIII took advantage of a huge domestic audience. It also took advantage of something everyone loves and can’t resist: puppies! The story in Budweiser’s ad tugs at our heartstrings (male or female).

The moral of the story for 3 of these ads is timing is everything (especially in conjunction with major sporting events). Along with great, fun storylines that appeal to our inner selves.

So what about the other 2 ads?

Wren’s “First Kiss” video is actually an incognito ad for their L.A. based fashion line. A more subtle approach to advertising is a growing trend. An interesting experiment (for lack of a better word) piques viewers’ interests and sentiments. The black and white video makes viewers think of older, classic black and white movies. All in all, it’s a fun, sentimental, and creative video that offers subtly. It puts the story and the viewer as the central focus over the product. In this case the clothing line.

The last ad to round out the list is Always’ “Like a Girl” video. This ad also makes use of subtly, but it a different manner as Wren’s “First Kiss”. You don’t know that the advertisement is for Always until then end when “Join us in championing girls’ confidence at” comes up on the screen. Instead the ad puts tackling a social issue as the central focus over the product. Always is branding themselves as a champion for women’s empowerment. As a result, their brand relationship improves with their market segment who identify with this. In today’s digital world, brand building is a great strategy for product success. Becoming a champion for a social issue that resonates with your market segment is a great way to reinforce the brand.

Recognizing why video advertisements are effective is important because it illustrates what audiences are looking for and responding to.  Videos can be an integral part of a your marketing plan because they have long-term value and can perform long-term to build brand awareness and drive sales.

If you’re ready to put video to work for your business, give us a call. Our team of visionary and creative video producers is ready to help.