"First Kiss" garnered 156.6 million views, 17.7 million views more than Nike’s World Cup epic, “Risk Everything,” and 23.1 million views more than last year’s top campaign, Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches.” The apparel brand’s campaign is one of only 19 campaigns to ever surpass 100 million views.
Launched on March 10, the nearly three and a half minute video turned the camera on 10 couples -- all of whom were strangers -- and asked them to kiss for the first time. The video unique in that it was completely unbranded, focusing on the interaction between the couples, not product, to drive buzz for the brand.
As advertisers combat the overwhelming noise caused by media fragmentation, “First Kiss” exemplifies the greater theme of branded video in 2014. While 2013 was a year when brands were finding their authentic brand stories, 2014 emerged as a time where brands translated those stories into content drawing heavily on emotion to grab consumer attention.
Overall, the average viewership of the top ten branded video campaigns increased from 69.4 million views in 2013 to 83.4 million views in 2014. And while emotional storytelling may have been the theme of 2014, several key trends drove this increase in average viewership among the top ten campaigns.
One key trend that contributed to the rise in viewership among the top 10 campaigns this year was the spectacular success of the World Cup, which was the biggest video event of all time, generating 671.6 million views for World Cup focused campaigns from the beginning of 2014 to the end of the tournament. Four of the top ten campaigns from 2014 were from the World Cup –“Risk Everything”and “The Last Game” from Nike, Samsung’s “Galaxy 11: The Training” and adidas’ “The Dream.”
Another key trend that fueled viewership this year was female empowerment, as two of the top ten campaigns – Always’ “#LikeAGirl” and Dove’s “Patches” – leveraged this messaging to attract millions of viewers. The success of last year’s “Real Beauty Sketches” from Dove showed how potent and enduring female-focused content could be. Other brands have followed suit, including Pantene, Under Armour, Hello Flo, and GoldieBlox.
Female empowerment messages work for two key reasons: they elicit emotion from viewers, while stirring debate about timely issues both in the media and on social platforms. Emotion is what engages viewers and inspires them to share content with their friends, while debate is what generates media coverage, social buzz, and, ultimately, increased viewership.
Below is our list of the most-viewed campaigns of the year. All data is current as of Dec. 1.
1. Wren’s “Last Kiss” with 156,670,932 views
2. Nike’s “Risk Everything” with 138,929,384 views
3. Nike’s “The Last Game” with 122,249,570 views
4. Samsung’s “Galaxy 11 The Training” with 78,130,824 views
5. Always “#LikeAGirl” with a 60,281,400 views
6. Turkish Airlines “#EpicFood” with 59,549,152 views
7. Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” with 59,074,152 views
8. Dove’s “Patches” with 58,645,812 views
9. Samsung’s “Official Introduction” with 52,692,263
10. adidas’ “The Dream” with 47,828,815 views