Social Enterprise

5 of the best branded viral videos on YouTube so far in 2015

Virality is often a mystery. Here are five videos from brands that have done really well and are actually worth watching.

YouTube reports that 300 hours of video get uploaded every hour, which is kind of mind-blowing. It also means that between 10-second videos of people falling off roofs, movie trailers, and parodies of pop songs, there's a lot vying for your attention.

For brands, it can be a special challenge to cut through all that and not only get a potential customer to click on the video, but to watch it all the way through. After all, brands are trying to sell something, which is a tough argument to make when going up against the likes of keyboard cat. "Keyboard cat" has no agenda.

Here are a few videos from this first half of 2015 that have managed to reach and please a wide audience, while creating a positive brand experience for the viewer.

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Fisher-Price: Wishes for Baby

Fisher-Price started the year strong with this minute-and-a-half video following mothers in different countries who gave birth on New Years Eve. A fresh year, a fresh life, and a fresh wish for happiness, peace, success, and all those other things parents want for their kids. And of course, Fisher-Price is hoping you'll start associating their brand with the warm and fuzzies. The video has nearly 2 million views so far.

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Sport England: This Girl Can

Earlier in the year, Sport England (English Sports Council) released its This Girl Can video which shows women of all types being active in sports like swimming, boxing, volleyball. They're strong, engaged, super sweaty, and rightfully undaunted by the fact they don't look like the models on a sneaker commercial. Set to "Get Your Freak On" by Missy Elliot, and subtitled with phrases like "sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox," the video sends a message about positive body image and women getting active. The video itself has more than 7 million views so far.

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Cheerios: How to Dad

This fast-paced monolog on the meaning of Dadhood is easy to watch until the end — it almost looks like one continuous shot — and the titular dad is funny, explaining his role: "Kids... they look to us the same way we look at superheros. Up — because we're taller." It's got about 1.6 million views on YouTube.

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Dodge : Wisdom

In celebration of its 100th anniversary, Dodge created a campaign covering its own history. In January, its Super Bowl commercial went viral on YouTube, and so far as more than 16 million views. The gist is highlighting pieces of advice from folks who have been around for 100 or more years themselves. But, if you're expecting sweet and mild aphorisms, watch for the pace pick-up midway through. These folks might be older, but when one old lady adamantly insists on "living fast," the viewer gets the idea that 100 years in isn't necessarily the mark of decline.

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Samsung: Movie Magic

Ten million views say it all: This video about a woman's quest to make an epic, DIY home movie using all kinds of hacked together special effects, the acting services of friends, family, and even her plumber — and of course, her Samsung devices — is light, amusing, and worth watching until the end. She takes her work very seriously, but it is ridiculous — "It's Pirates of Penzance meets Weird Science." The best part is that it looks like fun.

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About Erin Carson

Erin Carson is a Staff Reporter for CNET and a former Multimedia Editor for TechRepublic.

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