From Van Damme to Spock – Whose 2013 car ad won the viral marketing race?

It seems that if you want to make it big in the 21st century one of the best and biggest ways to do this is by, what many people call, ‘Going Viral’. Videos uploaded online can go viral in no time as excited viewers share them with friends and family all over the World. This is a bandwagon many businesses have been quick to jump on, creating weird and wonderful adverts with the hope of viral success.

Car companies are no exception and with huge profits on the line they pull out all the stops to produce some awesome ads and in 2013 that’s exactly what they did! From Jean Claude Van Damme’s superhuman moves to Spocks both past and present taking a spin, it’s easy to see why these adverts got so many shares! But which one won the race for viral marketing success?


10. Volkswagen Game Day 2013 Commercial – ‘Get Happy’ – 160,144 shares.

We start our count down with a slightly controversial choice from Volkswagen, but nothing gets a video going viral like controversy. The ad depicts office workers coming in on a Monday feeling down and sad but then a man tries to change their attitude by geeing them up with positive phrases. The advert caused controversy with some groups calling it racist whilst other thought it harmless fun – have a look and decide for yourself.

9. 2013 Audi RS4 Avant – ‘The Duel!’ – 187,976 shares.

At 9 we have an awesome video that shows off the power of the Audi RS4, in which two of the cars face off with each other in a paintball fight gaining points for every time they hit the opposite car with guns, paintball bombs and paint trails. It doesn’t really show you much about the car apart from the fact that it can do amazing power slides and drifts which is of course the best way to get shares and go viral! Although I feel sorry for the person cleaning up that mess! Enjoy!


8. Jeep ‘Whole’ Super Bowl Official Commercial – 241,476 shares.

The Super Bowl has in recent years become just as known for it’s big budget adverts as for the sport! This advert shown during the 2013 Super Bowl was no exception and achieved huge success across America. It plays on Jeeps associations with the US military and really tugs at the heartstrings. It’s a very patriotic display that shows the plight of family members waiting for service men and women stationed abroad to come home and the joy their return can bring.   You might want the tissues ready for this one.


7. 2013 Kia ‘Soul Hamster’ Commercial – 284,686 shares

We have an interesting one at number 7 with KIA promoting their new ‘Soul’ car. They decided that to show off the fact that they had transformed the car they’d showcase a transformation of a very different nature in their adverts. This masterpiece tells the wonderful story of how three fat hamsters shed all their weight to Lady Gagas ‘Applause’ and became slick sexy looking hamsters whom the ladies love. Of course these three hamster have been featured in KIA’s advertising for the last few years, so they pull in all the fans from previous commercials plus plenty of new fans by the look at the amount of shares!

6. LaFerrari – Official Launch video 2013 – 391,905 shares.

At last in our top 10 we have a car video that actually shows off the car it is advertising rather than paintballing or hamster gym addicts! This video is the official launch video of Ferrari’s latest model – LaFerrari and the reason this video has ‘gone viral’ is the sheer simplicity of it. There’s no showy CGI or over the top loud music because this is just all about the car; the power, the speed, the class, the ingenuity and the tradition. It doesn’t need anything but the brand and car itself to sell because it is Ferrari. You already know all about the style and power of Ferrari so they just sit back and let the car sell itself.  Pure class.

5. ‘Honda Hands’ 2013 – 551,812 shares.

A truly stunning video from Honda which shows the evolution of the Honda brand at the hands of its engineers, starting off building motorbikes, to cars, to robots and finally its designing and building of aircraft. It is the ingenious idea of showing that all these ideas came from the engineers at Honda by showing hands creating and then moulding the ever growing and changing brand, that I love. It’s a nod to Honda’s staff whilst at the same time showing to potential customers that Honda are a brand worth buying into due to its history and innovation. Are you as big a fan as me?

4. Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: ‘The Challenge’ Audi 2013 – 710,697 shares

We have one for the Star Trek fans here with the two actors that have played the character Spock coming together in one ad. The commercial is trying to show that even the best things in life eventually get surpassed and in this case Leonard Nimoy is the old (the Mercedes) and Zachary Quinto is the new and improved (Audi). They then have a race to see who can get to the golf course first in their respective cars and of course it is it Quinto who wins. Chuck in lots of Trek references and jokes about how old Nimoy is and it’s a pretty great advert.

3. Mercedes-Benz TV Magic Body Control commercial ‘Chicken’ – 879,258 shares.

What do you do when you want to show off the stability of your top model of car?

1. Give it a cool name – Mercedes-Benz intelligent design – check

2. Create a relevant video advertising this stability – uses chickens – urmmmm.

I for one have never known chickens core ability was stability, I believed that it was just finger licking good! But for Mercedes they believe chickens are the way forward and the general public seem to be lapping it up with over 11 million views and nearly a million shares! Maybe people just love chickens, either way Mercedes-Benz have nailed it with this commercial.

2. Official Ram Trucks Super Bowl Commercial “Farmer” 2013 – 1,903,615 shares

In our runner up spot we have another Super Bowl favourite, this one aimed at selling a Ram truck. It talks about how difficult life is for a farmer by going through their daily routine and lifestyle. This advert talks about how God made the farmer so that he could have someone who works hard for little reward except satisfaction at his work. All these traits are then supposed to have gone into this truck ‘for the farmer in all of us’. It’s a nice, unassuming advert.

1. Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split feat. Van Damme 2013 – 3,084,755 shares.

AND OUR WINNER IS….Claude Van Damme and Volvo! Now I’m sure you’ve all seen this commercial of the 53 year old Van Damme doing the splits over two Volvo Lorries apparently showing the Lorries stability and precision. At first glance you think this must have been faked or at least not done in the way it looks, but if fact that is the actual stunt, done by actual Van Damme and in ONE take…Incredible! It is so simple in its idea but yet so creative and in its conception that it really does leave you in awe. Congratulations Volvo for producing a truly wonderful video that deserved to go viral in its truest form. I’m sure this commercial has paid for itself 100 times over due to the success it has brought Volvo. Genius!


We have a winner! But we’d love to know, which one is your favourite?

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