Social Media’s All-Time Most Viral Super Bowl Ads

January, 29, 2015 / 0 comments

Just in time for Super Bowl XLIX, marketing technology company Unruly has released a list of the most shared Super Bowl ads of all time by measuring the combined Facebook, Twitter and blog shares per spot.

Originally aired in 2011, Volkswagen’s “The Force” ad tops the list with 5.3 million shares. The ad for the 2012 Volkswagen Passat features a kid in a Darth Vader costume attempting to use the Force on the family dog, a baby doll and a sandwich, among other household staples. When the child’s father pulls into the driveway in his Passat, the child rushes outside to try his luck on the car, this was such a part of their lives, they even used this as a joke when they started to ask themselves at what age do boys start talking so they used the force topic to have fun while learning. In the next scene, the dad is looking through the kitchen window, tricking the child into believing he actually accomplished his goal of harnessing the Force.

The next year, Volkswagen followed up with another “Star Wars”-themed spot that appears eighth on the list with 900,000 shares. The ad features a group of dogs barking to the tune of “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)”.

Despite the successes, Volkswagen is sitting out the 2015 Super Bowl.

Budweiser appears on the list three times (2, 3, 4) with a combined 8.4 million shares, including a one-minute spot featuring the company’s iconic Clydesdale horses roaming New York City before kneeling down in reverence of the city’s altered skyline. The ad – entitled “Respect” – aired only once, on February 3, 2002, five months after the events of September 11th.

Also of note: three of the most-shared ads on the list were movie trailers, including two from the “Fast and the Furious” franchise.

The majority of the ads that appear on the list are from the last few years, reflecting the increasing ubiquity of social media in society, so it is very likely that a few spots from the 2015 Super Bowl will make it onto the next iteration of this list.

1. Volkswagen – “The Force” (2011)

2. Budweiser – “Respect” (2002)

3. Budweiser – “Brotherhood” (2013)

4. Budweiser – “Puppy Love” (2014)

5. Dodge Ram Trucks – “Farmer” (2013)

6. Universal – “Fast and the Furious 6” Movie Trailer (2013)

7. Chevrolet w/ OK Go – “Needing/Getting” Music Video Trailer (2012)

8. Volkswagen – “The Bark Side” (2012)

9. Universal – “Fast Five” Movie Trailer (2011)

10. Paramount – “Star Trek: Into Darkness” Movie Trailer (2013)

The Most Influential Brands on Social Media

November, 17, 2014 / 0 comments



If you’ve visited Amazon’s site lately and noticed the logo smiling a bit wider than usual, it may be because the company was recently named the most socially influential and engaging brand by Klout, a website that uses social media analytics to rank its users according to social influence.

For the rankings, Klout reviewed the Interbrand 2014 Best Global Brand report, a definitive list of the world’s most valuable brands, then assigned each brand a “Klout Score” – a 100-point numerical grade that measures the scope and strength of a brand’s online social influence – to create the Klout 50.

One of the insights gleaned from the study is that having a strong, well-recognized brand does not necessarily translate to success in social media. For instance, Apple was ranked first on Interbrand’s most valuable brand list, but found itself 28th on the Klout 50 behind less top-of-mind brands such as Audi, Adobe, Nokia, Goldman Sachs, and Tiffany & Co. In fact, Google, Microsoft, and McDonald’s were the only brands that ranked in the top 10 of both studies.

The purpose of this blog post is to show examples of what the highest-rated of the Klout 50 – Amazon, Microsoft, and MTV – are doing right.

Amazon typically reaches out over social networks with context-based engagements with offers in tow, such as this “Back to School”-themed question meant to provoke nostalgic responses as well as send users to the Back to School section of Amazon.

Amaz0n Social Engagement

Intermingled with news and offers, Microsoft has a #5to9 campaign, asking users how they spend their post-work hours. These updates are accompanied by inspirational images of scaled mountaintops or children learning, and the photos are tagged with hard-nosed acronyms like ASAP and ETA with reimagined meanings – “All Summits Are Possible” and “Educating Tomorrow’s Artists” respectively.

Microsoft FB ASAP

One of the things I found most impressive was MTV’s dedication to social media. The brand ranks 80th Interbrand’s list but brings home the bronze on the Klout 50. Their handling of their television show “Teen Wolf” gives great insight into executing a broad, socially-engaging campaign. MTV uses Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, YouTube, and even YouTube personalities in their social media efforts. In addition to the official “Teen Wolf” account, the show’s cast and crew contribute a large social presence, and the fans of the show react in kind.

Such an example is that of Quinn Wentz, a “Teen Wolf” fan who uploaded a song to YouTube based on the trailer of an upcoming episode on January 9th, 2014. The music video soon garnered the attention of not only the official “Teen Wolf” Twitter handle, but also several members of the main cast.

Teen wolf tweet 1

By the end of January, MTV was using Wentz’ fan-made video as an official promo for the show.

Teen wolf tweet 2

MTV also has four social media-centered shows involving “Teen Wolf” streaming on Two – “The FANtastic Show” and “The Teen Wolf After, After Show” – are hosted by YouTube personalities Tyler Oakley and lohanthony, respectively. In the third, “Pack Reacts”, the aforementioned lohanthony reacts to the reactions of fans coming in through Instagram video. The last, “Wolf Watch”, consists of the entire cast in a talk show-type setting, talking to a different fan every week through Skype.

With all-encompassing social media efforts such as this, it is easy to see how MTV landed so high on the Klout 50.

The Tricks and the Treats in This Year’s Halloween Advertising

October, 27, 2014 / 0 comments

Along with pink everywhere for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and pumpkin-flavored everything, one of the surest signs that October is among us is the flurry of Halloween-themed advertisements. From Skittles’ first ever Halloween advertisement to Subway’s scary-not-in-a-good-way showing, here is your Halloween ad roundup.

For the first time in its 40-year history, Skittles released a Halloween-themed commercial. The 15-second TV spot shows a mammoth spider prodding a trick-or-treater to help his friend, who has been trapped in a spider’s web while trying to retrieve a few Skittles fun-size bags. There is also a 45-second web-only (pun absolutely intended) video that tells the done-to-death story of a boy and his giant spider. The extended version (shown below) prompts a smile and at least one chuckle before taking a sharp turn.

“Web” by Skittles

GEICO offers a well-executed spot that evokes the spirit of “Dale and Tucker vs. Evil”, turning a common horror movie trope on its head by ridiculing the bad decision-making of the soon-to-be-victims in slasher flicks.

“It’s What You Do” by GEICO

On the other end of the spectrum, Subway got blasted for a spot that many deemed to be sexist, drawing the ire of such prominent outlets as Time magazine and The Hollywood Reporter, among others. The spot was unceremoniously pulled soon after – a sad misstep, considering how clever their “Crop Fit” ad was.

“Halloween” by Subway


German Sponsor Adidas Wins As Well

July, 15, 2014 / 0 comments

Even at the beginning of the worldwide tournament, it was certain that there were two companies battling for the top spot. Adidas had sponsored 9 teams and Nike sponsored 10. Although Puma sponsored a total of 8 teams, none of the 8  seemed likely to win. However, even before the final game, one company was obviously the victor.

At the beginning of the tournament, both Nike and Adidas seemed to have equal chances of winning. Nike held possible winners such as Brazil, Netherlands, Portugal, and France, which included stars such as Christiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr.. Adidas held Germany, Argentina, Colombia and Spain with stars such as Lionel Messi, James Rodriguez, and Thomas Muller. By the semi-finals, both companies had two teams still in the race, but it quickly went Adidas’ way.


 Both of Adidas’ teams in the semi-finals, Germany and Argentina, advanced to the final, guaranteeing Adidas the winning team. Additionally, Nike’s star athlete, Neymar Jr., was injured before the semi-finals and did not participate. Adidas held the top three scorers in the tournament, two of which were playing in the final game. Germany, Adidas’ home country, ended up winning the Cup, Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball award, Manuel Neuer won the Golden Glove award, and James Rodriguez won the Golden Boot award – all sponsored by Adidas.

These results mean that people everywhere will be buying the jerseys and gear of these teams and players, all of which are sold by Adidas. On the other hand, although Nike held some of the most popular players at the beginning of the tournament, those players will most likely earn less income for Nike than previously anticipated. As a result, Adidas forecasts a 7% or 8% increase in sales. If the numbers hold true, Adidas will earn $400 million more in soccer sales than Nike in the year to come.

Either Adidas is lucky or they have great insight into how to pick teams.

World Cup kit sponsorship

World Cup Outscores Super Bowl in the Ad World

July, 3, 2014 / 0 comments

Sports fans and non-sports fans alike know about the notoriety of a Super Bowl ad. Everyone looks forward to the commercials that accompany the game, sometimes even more than the game itself. However, another event may be more deserving of the ad notoriety.

The FIFA World Cup ads have attracted more viewers on YouTube than the NFL’s Super Bowl. The clips shown in our post earlier have helped to reach 1.2 billion minutes of World Cup-related advertising viewership just in one week. This number is four times the amount people spent watching Super Bowl ads last year! Since the World Cup has begun, there have been almost 600 million World Cup-related searches on Google. These ads include companies such as McDonalds, Nike, Beats by Dre, Coca Cola, Adidas, ESPN, Pepsi, and GoPro, and they include stars such as Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar Jr., Rooney and Howard.

The statistics show more people are excited to watch futbol ads than football ads. If you haven’t seen them yet be sure to watch all the TV spots and videos on our previous post that all of us at JGA have enjoyed watching.

Super Bowl vs. World Cup Advertising Info Graphic


2014 World Cup Commercials

June, 12, 2014 / 0 comments

Because we are the ultimate viking-soccer loving agency, Johnson Gray has compiled the top 2014 World Cup Commercials and videos thus far.

GOL by McDonald’s

Winner Stays by Nike

The Last Game by Nike Football

The Game Before the Game by Beats By Dre

One World, One Game – Everyone’s Invited by Coca Cola

I am Brazuca by Adidas

I Believe by ESPN

Now is What You Make It by Pepsi

Brasil Futebol – For The Love by GoPro


Cross-Cultural Medicare Campaign

January, 21, 2014 / 0 comments

PIH Health recently engaged their diverse community with an extension of their cross-cultural Medicare campaign. Serving the Los Angeles County with their network of hospitals, urgent care centers and physician groups; the seasonal arrival of Medicare Open Enrollment meant the timing was right for an informative campaign. Their goal being to engage their senior community by offering informational seminars on various health and wellness topics, educate their community on the benefits of staying active and healthy, and assist in simplifying the at times complicated Open Enrollment process.

The Johnson Gray team met this complex situation head on by starting with both qualitative and quantitative research. With expertise in pinpointing and implementing multicultural media options, we achieved high efficiency and reach for PIH Health’s ethnically diverse target audiences. Our strategy helped catapult this noteworthy campaign with print, online, outdoor, TV, digital, and direct mail pieces in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

PIH Health Medicare Open Enrollment Creative

PIH Health Medicare Open Enrollment Creative

The creative concept made an emotional appeal that resonated culturally within each group. Collateral portrayed people enjoying healthy, active lifestyles. This was in line with PIH Health’s desire to inform prospective users of available resources and help them make the best choices for their healthcare needs.

As a dedicated group of multicultural Vikings, the Johnson Gray team was excited for PIH Health to see a notable increase in attendance at their personal wellness workshops, even surpassing forecasted numbers.