More than 8 million people tuned in to watch Felix Baumgartner jump from the middle of the earth’s stratosphere live on YouTube Oct. 14, making it the most watched livestream ever. The 23-mile jump, sponsored by Red Bull, became an international news event, igniting coverage on major TV networks and setting off three trending hashtags on Twitter: #SpaceJump, #RedBull and #FelixBaumgartner. A 1:30 highlights reel (featured left) has amassed more than 30 million views; another 2.5 million have tuned in to watch a longer, four-minute version.
Dollar Shave Club was one of many monthly subscription services to launch this year, but its cheeky introduction ad starring CEO Michael Dubin set it heads above the rest. The ad has racked up more than 7.5 million views since its March debut.
To counter Apple’s iPhone 5 launch, Samsung released a video ad poking fun at “Apple fanboys,” consumers who, duped by Apple’s dubious marketing promises, found themselves standing in long lines for a phone model that wasn’t as good as market alternatives (i.e., Samsung’s Galaxy S III).
Chrysler’s politically charged Super Bowl commercial, featuring Clint Eastwood, spoke poignantly of the country — and Chrysler’s — recovery from the financial crash of ’08.
“All that matters now is what’s ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And, how do we win?” Eastwood intonates. “Detroit’s showing us it can be done. And, what’s true about them is true about all of us.”
Coca-Cola teamed up with DJ Mark Ronson and English singer Katy B to create a popular dance track using the sounds of five Olympic athletes for the Games.
It wasn’t just the Olympics that grabbed all the media attention this summer. Channel 4’s moving advert for the London 2012 Paralympic Games brought new attention to that event, as well.
Facebook’s first video campaign set off a great deal of head scratching — and parodies (including our own). The ad, produced by agency Wieden + Kennedy, compared Facebook to a number of objects, including chairs and bridges, in a series of loose metaphors designed to illustrate the social network’s ability to connect people.
To launch its channel in Belgium, TNT installed a large red push button in what it describes as “an average Flemish square of an average Flemish town.” It was some time before someone pushed the button — immediately passersby were treated to some heart-pounding drama. The ad was only meant to attract the attention of TV viewers in Belgium, but its reach was ultimately much greater — the video has been viewed some 38 million times on YouTube to date.
Not every ad was memorable because it was great. Like the “Hey Whipple” ads of yore, Target’s Black Friday commercials have burned in our brains, drilled in there by high-pitched voices and a big media buy.
Like Target’s Black Friday commercials, we’ll remember Apple’s “Genius” ads not for their greatness, but because they were done in poor taste. The three-video series shows Mac owners calling on Apple’s customer service reps (a.k.a. “Geniuses”). The problem? The commercials make Apple customers look like clueless idiots.
“It can wait.” That was the message behind a multi-channel public service campaign from AT&T, which encourages drivers across the nation to pledge to never text and drive. An 11-minute video documentary, featuring interviews with families and officials affected by deaths related to texting and driving, was released as part of the campaign.
This morbid (and catchy) singalong follows a cast of naive animated characters as they meet their unfortunate demises in a variety of ways. The video, which has racked up more than 28.5 million views since its mid-November release, is part of a campaign to prevent train-related deaths in the state of Victoria, Australia.
The moving, the powerful, the infuriatingly unforgettable — these are the 12 most memorable marketing campaigns of 2012, according to Mashable staffers.
Beyond the 12 mentioned above, we’d like to award an honorable mention to Oreo. The company charmed millions with its timely, themed cookies — like this one in support of gay rights, and this one for the Mars Curiosity Rover landing, which it posted to Facebook.