Best automotive virals of 2012

I’ve been really impressed with some of the viral videos coming out of the automotive industry this year. I don’t drive, but I appreciate advertising being done a little differently, especially in what must be a difficult market to innovate or differentiate by product – cars don’t seem to have changed dramatically in terms of core product features.

2012 had some fantastic virals from the automotive industry, here’s a couple of my favourite manufacturers and their campaigns…

Volkswagen – The Dog Strikes Back

Building on their awesome 2011 Darth Vader Kid advert (55m views) to promote the Passat, VW had another success with their campaign ‘The Dog Strikes Back‘ to push the 2012 Beetle (16m views)

It struck a chord with me as I love dogs, even fat ones. There’s very little reference to the car itself, just the loose concept of ‘back and better than ever’.

They even created a dog themed teaser ‘The Bark Side‘, a video which ultimately usurped the lead campaign in terms of views (17.8m)

Peugeot – Let Your Body Drive

However, one of my favourite automotive virals of this year was the Peugeot campaign for the new 208 – ‘Let your body drive‘.

They employed the nimble feet of one of YouTube’s 2011 sensation’s NonStop (aka Marquese Scott) who’s rubber limbed moves to a Butch Clancy remix of Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People racked up over 75m views.

The ‘Let Your Body Drive’ video was published back in April 2012 but has since amassed over 8m views, not bad for a car advert. I like it as it’s bold, brave and fun. Again, it doesn’t really have a massive focus on the product/car itself, only featuring it in the background, not referencing the model, USP’s etc. It only mentions the campaign slogan ‘Let your Body Drive’ and encourages a call to action to enter a competition, whilst the car is heard driving off in the background. It’s very reliant on people talking about it (through social media, word of mouth etc) as opposed to the advertising doing the talking itself.

2013 Automotive Virals

It will be interesting to see what the car manufacturers will do to innovate in 2013. Given YouTube’s new phenomenon, Gangnam Style, will they look to build upon our affinity with dancing, play upon our desire to share inspirational or life affirming content or simply focus on fun?

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