The mighty Empire has fallen … thanks to some yogurt.
Deutsch/LA's 2011 Super Bowl spot "The Force" for Volkswagen, which enjoyed an astonishing 41-month reign as the most shared ad of all time, has finally been dethroned—by Activia and the World Food Programme's three-and-a-half minute music video starring Shakira, created for this year's World Cup.
As of Tuesday morning, the Activia spot, titled "La La La (Brazil 2014)," has been shared 5,409,192 times across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere, according to Unruly Media. And it's only widening its lead over "The Force," which has racked up 5,254,667 shares.
While "The Force" is a traditional 60-second spot (the version that ran on the Super Bowl was actually a :30), the Activia video is an example of what Unruly calls "trackvertising," where a brand and a musician co-release a spot that is both a music video and an ad. The Colombian pop star's worldwide celebrity (she recently became the first person to reach 100 million Facebook likes) clearly fueled the shareability of the Dannon brand's video.
Also, while the share counts are comparable, the view counts are not. "The Force" has about 60 million views on YouTube, while the Activia video has more than 275 million.
"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," says Sarah Wood, co-founder and COO at Unruly.
"Music and advertising have a long history together. Some will remember the early days of TV commercials and jingles—the Internet memes of their 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," says Wood.