Samsung has innovative cross-promotions with musicians down cold.
Separate divisions of the company—Samsung Televisions and Samsung Mobile—had the two biggest hits on YouTube and Adweek's Ads Leaderboard for June, ranking the most-viewed commercials on the video site during the month.
Both spots were tie-ins with musicians. The former was a digital short film starring Usher and inspired by the title track from his new album, Looking 4 Myself. The latter hyped the early release of Jay-Z's new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, exclusively to 1 million Samsung Galaxy users. (Never mind that the actual album drop didn't go smoothly at all in the end.)
The Samsung Televisions spot, created by Huge, is particularly compelling. Directed by Rich Lee, it features two Ushers facing off against each other—with a "down-to-earth" Usher seeking revenge against a "celebrity" Usher after fame causes his romantic relationship to collapse. The spot has topped 40 million views since it was uploaded to YouTube on June 13.
See all 10 of this month's spots at this link:
Elsewhere on this month's list, a pair of Despicable Me 2 videos did well (one of them from the studio behind the film, the other a brand tie-in); another PepsiMAX stunt broke through; and YouTube itself placed a spot with an inspiring gay-pride video posted in the wake of DOMA's downfall.
PlayStation, Microsoft and Nike Basketball also show up on the list, as does Dollar Shave Club with the sequel to its viral masterpiece from 2012.
The view counts are as of July 5. To be eligible for the YouTube Ads Leaderboard, videos must be marked as ads on YouTube (i.e., they get some paid views) but must also earn significant organic views. The list only ranks videos uploaded in June.