Advertising John Lewis Channel 4

2016's most shared ads- Buster the Boxer fetches multiple accolades for John Lewis


By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

December 1, 2016 | 5 min read

John Lewis’ ‘Buster the Boxer’ Christmas campaign has not only fetched the retailer the accolade of this year's most shared Christmas ad, but topped the list of 2016 most popular ads.

Buster the Boxer

Buster the Boxer

The two-minute video film, created by Adam&EveDDB, lead Unruly’s annual ‘Top 20 Global Video Ads Chart’ with 1,949,387 shares across social media.

According to the video ad tech company’s research Buster the Boxer now sits in fifth place in the list of most shared Christmas ads of all time and is John Lewis’ most successful Christmas ad ever.

The win marks a return to form for the retailer after it saw it’s 2015 festive spot eclipsed by German Supermarket, Edeka, which created an ad showing an elderly man faking his death.

John Lewis also just lost out on the number one spot in 2014’s most shared Christmas ad due to the popularity of Universal’s ‘Minions Go Caroling’ spot.

Second place in Unruly’s 2016 list was taken by Channel 4’s ‘We are the Superhumans’ ad which promoted its coverage of the Rio Paralympic Games and was shared 1,851,533 times.

In third place with 1,683,072 shares was oil and gas company Shell which recruited talents including Jennifer Hudson and Steve Aoki for its ‘Best Day of My Life’ music ad.

“Video advertising has once again reflected the wants and needs of society and offered a powerful route to escapism for consumers,” said Ian Forrester, global vice president of insights at Unruly.

“Social video has dramatically evolved. Brands are adding emotional intelligence and great storytelling to digital advertising. We’ve also seen the most successful creatives bubbling up from a vast range of countries and cultures, showing how digital video can break down national boundaries and become a truly global conversation.”

Nike’s ‘The Switch’ film, starring Cristiano Ronaldo, was hugely popular upon its release the day before Euro 2016 kicked off and finishes the year in sixth place on Unruly’s list with 969,650 shares.

It’s biggest rival in Adidas is noticeably absent from the list despite the strong reception of its Paul Pogba/Stormzy ad. This is particularly significant given the prominence of music video ads in the 2016 list. In addition to Shell’s spot OK GO appeared in the top 20 twice thanks to videos with S7 Airlines and Morton Salt.

Adidas is appears to be operating a different strategy however, one which is built around more frequent activations and shorter videos with key influencers and so collectively it is focused on its ambition to be the most shareable football brand.

The list also shows the global scale of video advertising with creatives from 10 different countries- The UK, US, Denmark, Egypt, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Norway, the Philippines and Indonesia are all represented.

Below is the full list of Unruly’s top 20 most shared ads of 2016

1. John Lewis - #BusterTheBoxer - 1,949,387 shares

2. Channel 4 - We Are The Superhumans - 1,851,533 shares

3. Shell - Best Day Of My Life | #makethefuture - 1,683,072 shares

4. Vodafone - Ramadan 2016 - 1,435,350 shares

5. OK Go & S7 Airlines - Upside Down and Inside Out - 1,240,842 shares

6. Nike - The Switch - 969,650 shares

7. Doritos - Ultrasound - 893,465 shares

8. Ariel - #sharetheload - 877,558 shares

9. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk - Aliens - 852,895 shares

10. 7 Eleven Thailand - Teachers - 792,328 shares

11. McDonald’s Philippines - Tuloy Pa Rin - 699,396 shares

12. Nike Basketball - The Conductor - 641,359 shares

13. Volkswagen - Trailer Assist - 640,995 shares

14. Samsung - Introducing Samsung Galaxy S7 - 616,128 shares

15. OK Go & Morton Salt - The One Moment - 608,419 shares

16. Knorr - Spirit of Ramadan - 590,386 shares

17. Momondo - The DNA Journey - 585,903 shares

18. Facebook - Aquila Test Flight - 564,123 shares

19. Mentos Indonesia - Mentos Mentors - 548,334 shares

20. Nintendo - First Look at Nintendo Switch - 544,585 shares

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