Gordon’s ‘Test Drive’ Heads List of Top 20 Viral Video Ads in March

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ADOTAS (via Unruly) – From mock murders to the most testing of test drives, a quarter of the top 20 most shared ads during March were experiential campaigns. Of course, these types of ads are nothing new. However, in 2013, there seems a growing willingness by advertisers to put supposedly unsuspecting consumers at the heart of their social video campaigns through playful pranks, horrible hoaxes or flashy flash mobs.

Research into internet sharing has found that the secret of social video success is eliciting the strongest possible emotions from your audience. Capturing people’s reactions to a stunt is a very clever way of doing this.

Leading the way last month by a distance was Pepsi’s prank ad ‘Test Drive’. The premise of the commercial is simple: disguise NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon as a geek and then send him out to a car dealership to look at one of the flashiest sports cars her can find.

The follow-up to Pepsi’s Uncle Drew – in which NBA star Kyrie Irving, disguised as an old man, blows away some “much younger” basketball players at a local court – ‘Test Drive’ racked up 2.4 million shares.

Also dancing for joy during March was mobile network Three. Its ad, #DancePonyDance, set to Fleetwood Mac’s classic hit “Everywhere” and featuring a prancing Shetland pony, moonwalked its way to 957,018 shares last month, making it the fourth most shared commercial last month.

Top 20 most shared ads of March 2013

1. Pepsi – Test Drive

Shares: 2.40 million