Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



This Month's Hottest Advertisements Do More Than Amuse

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

We live in an increasingly digital world in which experiences, ideas, and opinions can be shared in an instant. It's never been easier to record and share photos and videos online, thanks to advances in mobile technology. In fact, 72 hours of video are uploaded to Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) YouTube every minute. As a result, companies have turned to viral advertising. Let's look at the brands behind this month's top viral video ads, as ranked by, and why they work.

Great ads breed winning brands
Topping the chart this week is a video called "Real Beauty Sketches," for Unilever's (NYSE: UL  ) Dove brand. With the help of a forensic artist, the video sets out to prove that women are more beautiful than they think. Equal parts inspiration and enlightenment, the video is part of a "Real Beauty" campaign that Unilever launched in 2004. The video, which launched earlier this month, went viral with tens of millions of online views, more than 8,000 comments on YouTube, and more than 660,000 Facebook shares, according to Visible Measures.

Earlier this month, Google generated buzz around its YouTube brand when it released a video in which YouTube's CEO Salar Kamangar announces that the video site has found its "winning video" and will be shutting down for good. While the clip ended up being a prank for April Fool's Day, Google was able to capture the attention of curious viewers around the world. The video attracted more than 10 million hits on YouTube this month and more than 80,000 viewer comments.

Google's YouTube prank may have created buzz, but another one of its videos-gone-viral this month is actually attracting users to install its new Chrome browser. With the help of Stewie's character from Family Guy, Google's new Chrome ad is both relatable and to the point.

PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP  ) is another company that's succeeding with viral video advertising. This time, Pepsi's "Gordon Test Drive" commercial stole the spotlight. In the video, NASCAR icon Jeff Gordon takes an unsuspecting car salesman on a wild wide. The video was part of a campaign to promote the soda and snack giant's Pepsi Max brand, and by Visible Measures calculations, the ad was quite effective. In fact, during the first week in April Pepsi's video was watched more than 2 million times online, according to Visible Measures.

Why it matters
In addition to being entertaining, these share-worthy videos build brand awareness for the companies that sponsor them. Effective advertising, particularly when viral, helps connect products and brands to consumers. Ultimately, this allows companies like Unilever, Google, and Pepsi to create and profit from loyal customers.

In addition to being fun to watch, viral videos can give you leads on investing ideas. Unilever, Google, and Pepsi, for example, each boast multinational brands and solid balance sheets.

In fact, PepsiCo has quenched consumers' thirst for more than a century. But recently, the company has left shareholders craving more. With increased competition and loss of market share, many investors wonder if this global snack food and beverage giant is simply fizzling out. Are more bland results ahead for PepsiCo? The Motley Fool's premium report on the company guides you through everything you need to know about PepsiCo, including the key opportunities and threats facing the company's future. Simply click here now to claim your copy today.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2388703, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/1/2016 6:24:02 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 9 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,308.15 164.70 0.91%
S&P 500 2,168.27 17.14 0.80%
NASD 5,312.00 42.85 0.81%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/30/2016 4:00 PM
GOOGL $804.06 Up +1.42 +0.18%
Alphabet (A shares… CAPS Rating: *****
PEP $108.77 Up +1.01 +0.94%
PepsiCo CAPS Rating: ****
UL $47.40 Up +0.33 +0.70%
Unilever CAPS Rating: *****