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Watch the Most Shared Ads of the Past 8 Years on Unruly Media's 'Viral Spiral'


To get a sense of the scale of online ad-sharing growth since 2006, look no further than Dove. The Unilever brand had a major viral advertising hit that year, and again this year—"Evolution" and "Real Beauty Sketches"—providing useful bookends to see how sharing has expanded exponentially in eight years.

The "Evolution" spot was shared 60,954 times in its first year, compared to 4.24 million shares for "Real Beauty Sketches," according to Unruly Media, which has released a new version of its "Viral Spiral" infographic (see below) looking at branded-video shares through the years.

"Evolution," released just a year after YouTube launched, was the No. 3 viral spot of 2006, while "Real Beauty Sketches" was this year's No. 1. The gap in their shares, of course, reflects the maturing of the online video marketplace—and is reflected in the broader numbers. Unruly says sharing of branded video has increased 50 times in last eight years.

The Viral Spiral—a fun way to look at some of the biggest viral spots since 2006—has been spiced up since its last appearance in 2011. You can filter by year, shares and sector; see synopses of the major themes in each year; and learn all sorts of sharing-related info-nuggets. As a nod to the year of prankvertising, Unruly also threw in an "infoprank," so don't worry if the NSA appears to be tracking you while you browse.

Some other tidbits:

• Sharing of the top three branded videos has grown sevenfold from 2010 (the year of the game-changing Old Spice ad) to 2013—from 1.6 million to 11.6 million.
• Eight of the top 20 most viral ads of all time were released in 2013.
• The top 10 ads in 2013 generated 28.8 million shares, up from 19 million in 2012.

Play around with the full Viral Spiral below.

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