The 20 Most-Viral Ads of 2012 (So Far) You'll laugh, you'll cry. But most of all, you're likely to share

Type Books10

Sean Ohlenkamp, an associate creative director at Lowe Roche, and his wife created this lovely little ode to paper books—specifically, to the Type Books bookstore in Toronto. The clip, posted in January, got amazing traction for an amateur effort.

Barack Obama9

Oh yes, it's an election year. As Republicans battered each other through the winter and spring, it was President Obama who in March delivered the most-shared political ad of the season—this look back at the past three and a half years.


Casey Neistat was given a budget to shoot a Nike ad, but instead used the money to travel around the world with his buddy Max. The resulting video, from April, embodied the tagline, "Make it count," more than a typical fabricated ad would have.

Google Maps7

One of two Google clips in the top 10, this was also the only April Fools' joke video to make the list. It ludicrously introduced Google Maps in an 8-bit version for Nintendo Entertainment Systems.


Sorry, Doritos, Chevrolet and Bud Light. In terms of broad comedy, nothing could touch this M&M's spot on Super Bowl Sunday.


One of the big Super Bowl ad stories this year was the sheer volume of teaser and preview clips leading up to the game. Volkswagen's "The Bark Side," with dogs barking the "Imperial March," ruled them all—and indeed, turned out to be more viral than anything that aired on the game itself.


In this concept video from April, Google showed off a pair of augmented reality glasses that would work like a smartphone—but instead of interacting with the device in your hand, you wear it on your face. Impressive and somewhat scary.

Procter & Gamble3

Originally launched for the 2010 Winter Olympics, P&G's "Thank you, Mom" campaign was dramatically reborn in April—for London 2012—with this emotional, cinematic anthem from Babel director Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Dancesport Studio2

This video, promoting a dance studio in Germany, featured insane footage of a 2-year-old dancing the jive. It wasn't so much that people wanted to watch—they just couldn't look away.


To promote its launch in Belgium, TNT placed a big red button "on an average Flemish square of an average Flemish town," and goaded people to push it. When they did, the square erupted in chaos, as actors appeared out of nowhere and flung themselves into scenes ripped from medical and legal dramas (and melodramas). At the end, a giant banner was unfurled on a building side that read: "Your daily dose of drama. TNT." The clip has been a stunning success, and has become the second-most-shared ad of all time, behind Volkswagen's "The Force."

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