The top 20 global online video ads of 2016

Tis’ the season to be jolly.

2016 is coming to an end and this year has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. This year has taught us that anything is possible (yes, the former host of the show The Apprentice is now the president of America).

On the marketing front, video really came into the forefront this year. According to an analysis done by video ad tech firm Unruly,  music video ads - or "trackverts"- played a starring role in this year. Especially Shell’s “Best Day Of My Life” which features Jennifer Hudson, Pixie Lott and Steve Aoki, Vodafone Egypt created a musical number, and indie rockers OK Go released videos for brands S7 Airlines and Morton Salt.

Ian Forrester, global VP of Insight at Unruly, said: “It’s been an extraordinary year for world politics and times have never been more uncertain. Video advertising has once again reflected the wants and needs of society and offered a powerful route to escapism for consumers. From celebrating the extraordinary in Channel 4’s Superhumans, offering escapism in Nike’s The Switch […] the world’s best creatives have drawn strength from uncertain times.

Forrester added that social video has dramatically evolved, and brands are adding emotional intelligence to digital advertising and truly understanding storytelling.

“We’ve also seen the most successful creatives bubbling up from a vast range of countries and cultures, showing how digital video can break down national boundaries and become a truly global conversation,” he said.

And while we look forward to things winding down, and taking our time to rejuvenate for the next year, here’s a list back at the top ads of the year.

Unruly’s top 20 most shared ads of 2016

 1.John Lewis - #BusterTheBoxer - 1,949,387 shares

2.Channel 4 - We Are The Superhumans - 1,851,533 shares

3.Shell - Best Day Of My Life | #makethefuture - 1,683,072 shares

4.Vodafone - Ramadan 2016 - 1,435,350 shares

5.OK Go & S7 Airlines - Upside Down and Inside Out - 1,240,842 shares

6.Nike - The Switch - 969,650 shares

7.Doritos - Ultrasound - 893,465 shares

8. Ariel - #sharetheload - 877,558 shares

9. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk - Aliens - 852,895 shares

10. 7 Eleven Thailand - Teachers - 792,328 shares


11. McDonald’s Philippines - Tuloy Pa Rin - 699,396 shares

12. Nike Basketball - The Conductor - 641,359 shares

13. Volkswagen - Trailer Assist - 640,995 shares

14. Samsung - Introducing Samsung Galaxy S7 - 616,128 shares

15.OK Go & Morton Salt - The One Moment - 608,419 shares

16. Knorr - Spirit of Ramadan - 590,386 shares

17. Momondo - The DNA Journey - 585,903 shares

18. Facebook - Aquila Test Flight - 564,123 shares

19.Mentos Indonesia - Mentos Mentors - 548,334 shares

20. Nintendo - First Look at Nintendo Switch - 544,585 shares

Unruly’s rankings are based on the number of shares - as opposed to views - that ads on Facebook and YouTube attracted across Facebook and the blogosphere. As such, they are a measure of the ad’s online buzz or virality, ranking ads by the volume of active pass-on rather than the passive, paid metric of video viewership.

Data was collected from January 1, 2016 to November 29, 2016. Unruly’s annual Top 20 Global Video Ads Chart only includes official ads that were launched in 2016 and does not include trailers for movies or TV shows.