Among US Car Makers, Chevy's Online Ads Get Around, Says Unruly Media

The New York International Car Show opens April 18 at the Javits Center, so that cavernous space until April 27 will have that new car smell that always evokes memories of warm summer nights, good times and little payment books that you once had to remember not to misplace for four long years.

Car buying changed a lot with the Internet. Car videos, not so much, in my opinion.

My favorite car video is actually that Jeff Gordon stunt thing for Pepsi Max , which has 42 million views on YouTube. I still think it’s fake, fake, fake, but at least two of the times I typed “fake” just now were because I want Jeff Gordon to make a commercial with me to prove it wasn’t staged, like he did with that reporter who saw the original and also thought he smelled a phony commercial. That one has over 15 million views so far.  It’s for a soft drink, but I always remember those as commercials for Chevy cars.



Unruly Media, which measure how online ads are shared, has compiled a chart of the best-shared car brand ads over the last 12 months, ranking them by levels of engagement and conversation. 

A bit of good news for Mary Barra (who should strongly consider hiring a new bunch of crisis managers) is that GM’s Chevrolet nameplate finished fourth among all car makers, and first among American ones. In fact, Chevy ads attracted nearly 45% of the total number of ad shares of U.S. manufacturers over the last 12 months. Ford was seventh and all the rest were no shows.

According to Unruly, in online video advertising, the rankings, and percent of total shares in the U.S. went like this among U.S. brands:

  1. Chevrolet, 44.7%
  2. Ford, 27.7%
  3. Dodge, 11.2%
  4. Cadillac, 8%
  5. Chrysler, 4.7%
  6. Jeep, 3.2%
  7. Buick, 0.5%

Looking at all brands, Chevy, as noted, shows up, which is more than can be said for most of its other Motown competitors. The list of the top of all automakers, measured by the number of shares their online ads created, goes like this:

1. Mercedes-Benz - 1.96 million shares

2. Honda - 1.77 million

3. Audi - 1.61 million

4. Chevrolet - 1.14 million

5. VW - 1 million

6. Toyota - 853,054

7. Ford - 708,072

8. Jaguar - 620,806

9. Kia - 605,962

10. BMW - 603,785

11. Fiat - 595,709

12. Renault - 489,819

13. Subaru - 445,514

14. Nissan - 415,259

15. Volvo - 414,958

On the world’s sharing stage, Dodge was 17th, Cadillac 19th and Chrysler 22nd

Probably, the rankings have a lot to do with cars that are available or desirable in other parts of the world and a single good gimmick. Unruly points out Dodge scored so well because of the virality (and stupidity) of its commercials featuring Will Farrell’s accurate depiction of a typical anchorman, tied to the sequel version of that comedy hit.  

Chevy hit the spot with “Romance,” the story of a man, his Silverado, his bull and his bull’s afternoon delights, photographed to the music of Hot Chocolate’s hoof-tapper “You Sexy Thing.” It’s been shared about 88,000 times and seen over 5 million times on YouTube.

Worldwide, Mercedes scored with “Chicken,” a pretty funny video that ostensibly advertised its Magic Body Control stabilizing function but really, it’s just a funny video of a chicken sort of dancing to the Dianne Ross disco tune “Upside Down.” That video alone has been seen 12 million times on YouTube and shared almost a million times.  Honda’s “Hands” is that cool commercial in which a pair hands takes a bolt and turns it into everything from a motorcycle to a Honda van to a jet plane. It’s been seen more than 11 million times on YouTube, and shared 582,000 times.

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