The top 20 viral videos of 2010

By By Darren Davidson | 3 December 2010

Today, AdNews is curating the front page of YouTube to help tell the story of the year in viral.

The AdNews Top 20 viral videos of the year demonstrate that online videos have come of age, becoming a sophisticated marketing tool with which smart advertisers can target a myriad of online communities.

If the content is rewarding and engaging, users will share the video among their friends, peers and social networks. A lucky few become viral sensations, notching up millions of views on YouTube across continents all over the world.

This year, we've seen Nike's "Write the Future" kick goals for the sportswear giant and Old Spice turn a little known former American football player called Isaiah Mustafa into one of the most recognisable faces on the planet, while resurrecting a long forgotten brand. And internet users all over the world are still asking if Roger Federer's trickshot for Gillette really did happen.

So, what's the secret of a killer viral? The answer is there's no magic formula as such. The irony is that as digital communication channels, such as YouTube, become more sophisticated and popular, the old rules of advertising remain timeless even in the digital age. Knowing your audience, shock tactics, the element of surprise, humour, a good yarn well told, are all key ingredients for viral success if expertly executed.

' Top 20 viral videos of the year takes a look at advertiser funded videos uploaded to YouTube in the current calendar year. We're sure you'll agree with some of our choices and maybe you will disagree with some too. It's all part of the giant, global conversation YouTube enables.

In judging the most outstanding viral videos, the editorial team at AdNews took into account views and creativity, but also natural sharing as measured by retweets on Twitter, Facebook shares, blog post mentions, and other indicators of social media effectiveness such as UGC mash-ups.

You'll see examples of all that and more here today. Enjoy our Top 20 of 2010.

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