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Honda ad ranked most viral auto marketing campaign

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22nd Apr 2014
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Marketers take note. The key to a successful viral advert appears to be err…a big budget and a slight of hand.

At least that’s the case in the automotive industry, where Honda’s two most recent examples of visual deception have topped a list of the 10 most viewed UK car adverts since 2010.

The adverts formed part of the Japanese firm’s mind-bogglingly huge $1.2bn global advertising budget.

Compiled by video analytics specialist Visible Measures, the list is based on metrics that track videos from their source through the copies and derivative content uploaded by audiences, giving a more accurate picture of how successful a video campaign has been as a viral, beyond the number of YouTube hits it has received.

Hands  

Topping the list is Honda’s July 2013 ‘Hands’ advert, which features a set of hands magically folding, twisting and turning iconic Honda products into one another in the blink of an eye. The advert received over 12m views online, with its October 2013 ‘An Impossible Made Possible’ advert, centred around revealing optical illusions, in second place, with over 7m views.

The closest rival to Honda’s advertising crown was Chevrolet, with its innovative ‘Outstanding Design’ video, made nearly 3 years ago, with 6.5m views.

"This list isn't full of standard auto ads, the kind where a car drives around as a voice over discusses its features. All of these ads have engaged viewers because they tell stories and show how a vehicle is more than a mode of transportation, it's part of a lifestyle," says Mallory Russell, director of content at Visible Measures.

"A campaign like MINI's 'Not Normal' shows the fun that the brand inspires and brings to consumers' lives, while Honda's 'Hands', for instance, tells the history of the brand in a creative way, engaging viewers by wondering what the hands will create next.”

The ‘Hands’ advert was a painstakingly complicated process for its creators, Nexus Productions, with the actor involved having to have millimetre-precision in conducting the hand gesticulations that would eventually tie-in with some clever animation that formed the seamless transitions between each toy Honda machine.

And while the combination of ‘Hands’ and the ‘An Impossible Made Possible’ advert helped add to Honda becoming one of only 38 businesses featuring in the ‘billionaires club’ for global advertising spend (based on 2012 figures), four other car manufacturers joined them there, yet only Toyota managed to create a viral campaign that featured in the Visual Measures top 10 list.

The top ten viral car adverts list looks like this:

1. Hands - Honda - 03/07/2013 - 12,052,069 views         
2. An Impossible Made Possible - Honda - 17/10/2013 - 7,184,417 views           
3. Outstanding Design - Chevrolet- 03/08/2011 - 6,655,860 views          
4. LifeTest - Chevrolet - 13/06/2013 - 4,919,194 views           
5. Play the Road - Volkswagen - 21/11/2013 - 3,773,129 views
6. Commuter Hijack - Volvo - 27/02/2013 - 3,264,957 views
7. The Real Deal - Toyota  16/08/2012 - 2,825,208 views           
8. #NOT NORMAL 2013 - MINI - 17/06/2013 - 2,605,877 views           
9. Driven Challenges: Pikes Peak - Land Rover - 30/07/2013 - 2,167,653 views           
10. The new Audi R8 V10 plus - Audi - 28/02/2013 - 1,777,418 views

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