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Pop Princess Defeats Pint-Sized Darth Vader in Video "Share Wars"

  |  July 31, 2014   |  Comments

Shakira's ad for Activia has just become the most shared video ad of all time - showing a growing trend in the rise of "trackvertising." How can marketers capitalize on this?

A social video for Danone’s yogurt brand Activia, which stars Colombian pop princess Shakira, has just become the most shared ad of all time, according to data from marketing technology company Unruly. The three-and-a-half minute music video is called "La La La (Brazil 2014)" and was released in partnership with the World Food Programme.

The pop star has overtaken the pint-sized Darth Vader featured in Volkswagen’s Super Bowl commercial "The Force," which had held the top position since February 2011.

Released on May 22, "La La La (Brazil 2014)" has attracted 5,375,756 shares across Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere. Volkswagen’s "The Force" (5,372,945 shares) had previously held the top spot for more than three years, while "La La La (Brazil 2014)" was able to leapfrog the number one within just two months of its launch.


This information is based on data from the Unruly Viral Video Chart and Unruly Analytics, which ranks videos by the number of shares they attract across Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere, ranking branded content by the volume of active pass-on rather than views, which is a more passive metric of video consumption.

Driving the success of the video was Activia’s collaboration with the Colombian pop star, who recently became the first person to reach 100 million Facebook likes. This ad is also the most successful example of a brand capitalizing on the growing trend of "trackvertising," where a brand and musical artist co-release a video which is both a musical track and advertisement. Other examples of "trackverts" include:

  • Fiat and J-Lo’s "Papi"
  • The Kia Hamsters and Lady Gaga
  • Arianna’s Sexy People (The Fiat Song) ft. Pitbull
  • H&M’s Beyonce as Mrs. Carter
  • The Volvo XC60 ad with Swedish House Mafia

Sarah Wood, co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) at Unruly, says, "Music videos are by far the most shared type of content, so it's no surprise that brands are now blurring the lines between traditional ads and music videos in order to get themselves seen and heard on social." She adds, "Activia’s success with Shakira exemplifies a fundamental change in the way brands are now approaching video advertising. As brands struggle to win attention amid the content clutter, this milestone ad shows how innovative strategies and creative collaborating can engage a target audience at speed and scale."

Wood concludes, "Music and advertising have a long history together. Some will remember the early days of TV commercials and jingles - the Internet memes of its day! On digital, we see music deployed in a number of ways - from ads released alongside a professional artist, to parody or licensed tracks, to heavy product placement or even ads that make their own track famous."

It’s also worth noting that the World Cup ads had already outperformed this year’s Super Bowl ads – even before the World Cup had started. That’s according to data released June 12, 2014, by Unruly, which found the top 20 most shared World Cup commercials had already attracted almost a third more shares than the top 20 Super Bowl 2014 ads – months after Super Bowl Sunday.

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Greg Jarboe

Greg Jarboe is president of SEO-PR, which provides search engine optimization, public relations, video marketing, and social media marketing services. He's the author of "YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day," a faculty member at Rutgers University and Market Motive, as well as a frequent speaker at SES conferences.

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