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The sharing of the most popular video ads online has increased nearly 50-fold over the last eight years, according to a recent report by Unruly Media.

According to the analysis of sharing on social media and blogs, the three most shared ads of 2013—Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches," GEICO's "Hump Day," and Evian's "Baby&Me"—have so far attracted 11.6 million shares, 47.5 times more than the top 3 ads in 2006 (244,395 shares combined).

Other key findings: 

  • Eight of the 20 most shared ads of all time were released in 2013.
  • Sharing of the top 3 ads has grown seven-fold since 2010 (1.6 million shares in 2010, compared with 11.6 million shares in 2013).
  • In 2006, the third most shared ad of the year was Dove's "Evolution," which achieved 60,954 shares. This year's top Dove ad, "Real Beauty Sketches," had 4.24 million shares.
  • The 10 most shared ads of 2013 generated 28.8 million shares between them—a 52.1% increase from 2012 (19 million).
  • The most shared ad of all time online remains Volkswagen’s 2011 Super Bowl ad, "The Force." In second place is TNT Benelux's 2012 hit "Dramatic Surprise." Dove's 2013 ad “Real Beauty Sketches” is third.
  • The brand that has racked up the most shares since 2006 is DC Shoes, thanks to its hugely successful Gymkhana series, with 10.7 million shares across four videos.
  • The average length of the top three videos has increased from 35 seconds in 2006 to one minute 36 seconds in 2013.

For more detail on how video ad sharing has changed since 2006, check out the interactive infographic:


About the research: The report was based on data from third party Facebook and Twitter APIs and Unruly's blog-scanning technology that tracks the sharing of  branded videos.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji