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Popular sporting events lead to narrative video ads

Popular sporting events lead to narrative video ads Brian Shin

There was an overwhelming amount of sports-based video content in June as the top ten brands capitalized on the multitude of sporting events occurring during the summer. The NBA Finals and UEFA Euro 2016 championship both took place in June. In addition, many brands released content in anticipation of the Summer Olympics in August. These three events fueled online video content in June, garnering views and buzz for brands. The most successful brands were able to create narratives around tournament outcomes and athletic training. They forged emotional ties to their brand through connecting target audiences to sports teams and athletes.

Nike was the highest viewed brand in June with a True Reach® of over 147.9 million views for the month. The brand's 6-minute short film "The Switch" helped them gain views by appealing to a global audience. The ad features soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as he competes in the Euro Cup for the Portuguese national team. After falling and knocking into a teenage fan sitting in the stands during a game, Ronaldo wakes up the next day to realize that he has switched bodies with the boy. Ronaldo and the young fan experience each other's daily lives with curiosity and humor, and the ad focuses on their attempts to play soccer in their alternate bodies. Ronaldo, playing through the body of the young boy, is eventually able to qualify to play for the professional leagues. Eventually the two meet again at a match -- with the young fan now playing professionally -- and they knock into each other again, enabling them to switch back into their original bodies. This narrative-based ad with notable celebrity star power received a True Reach® of 99.2 million views, over 67 percent of Nike's total views for the month.

Nike was also able to appeal to audiences in the U.S. by capitalizing on the NBA Finals in their emotional "Worth the Wait" advertisement, which shows the emotional reactions of everyday fans in Ohio as they watched the Cleveland Cavaliers win the championships over the Golden State Warriors. This win was especially significant for Cavalier fans, since it marked not only the team's first NBA championship win, but also Cleveland's first major league professional sports championship since 1964. Nike was able to tap into this powerful sentiment. The campaign received a True Reach® of over 10.2 million views.

Hyundai, coming in fourth on the chart, also released heartwarming narrative-based content around Euro 2016 that garnered notable attention in June. In preparation for the championship, the brand released their "Hyundai + Euro 2016" campaign that portrays the fan culture in Europe around the tournament. The campaign's most popular video, in the form of a 3-minute short film, shows an excited young soccer-fan doing chores in an attempt to save enough money for a ticket to a game. After being denied tickets at a box office and the chance to watch the game at a local bar, he is finally able to watch the game from a Hyundai-funded "Fan Park" on his street. The campaign was responsible for over 70 percent of the brand's total views for the month.

Another heartwarming culture-focused campaign came from Samsung in "The Chant." The ad features South Sudanese athlete Margret Rumat Rumar Hassan -- the first-ever South Sudanese athlete to compete in the Olympics -- as she mentally prepares to enter the Olympic stage in track and field. The campaign highlights the love and support of her fans, showing crowds back home and in the stands cheering for her, chanting her name. The ad's inspirational nature is successful in showing how Samsung is a "proud sponsor of those who defy barriers." The campaign gained a True Reach® of over 13.2 million views in June, nearly 20 percent of the brand's total views for the month.

Adidas, grabbing eighth place on the chart, took a different approach in supporting the international soccer world with their "First Never Follows" campaign. The campaign features a variety of content, including longer videos that profile individual soccer players as they train and short match highlights of big moments for the athletes during Euro 2016. The campaign launched in mid-May. Additional videos released throughout June received especially high viewership due to Euro 2016.

The online travel website Momondo and the clothing retailer Chubbies both made the chart for the first time in June. Momondo's "The DNA Journey" features a social experiment where people express their patriotism and ethnic pride, but also their distaste for other nationalities. Each participant's DNA was tested and the test proved that each participant had DNA markers from regions all over the world, including ethnicities that they had communicated distaste for. These results were shocking to many people, and proved that human beings are more connected than they like to believe. The video went viral and the campaign achieved a True Reach® of over 37.3 million views by the end of June, which boosted Momondo to fifth place on the chart.

Chubbies released their "Rope Swing Beer Pong" video on Facebook that shows friends using a rope swing to fall into rubber donuts in a lake in an attempt to copy the format of beer pong. The campaign was timed perfectly with the arrival of hot weather and was very popular with viewers, achieving a True Reach® of over 20.4 million views in June.

In June, many brands saw success from sports-themed video content, which appealed to both global and national audiences. This trend is likely to continue throughout the summer with the arrival of Wimbledon, the Tour de France, and the Olympics. While sports content garnered high viewership for brands in June, newcomers were able to make the chart through unique and creative campaigns that deviated from the sports trend.

Brian Shin is the founder and CEO of Visible Measures. He has more than 15 years experience starting and building innovative early stage technology companies. Brian has co-founded several successful Internet startups, including web-based...

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