As 2011 winds to a close, it’s time to look back on our achievements for the year. For video hosting site YouTube, that means compiling a list of the most-watched online advertisements of 2011. Nearly half of the top-ten picks were automotive themed, with car videos in first, third, fourth and sixth place.
The most-viewed ad of 2011 was Volkswagen’s “The Force”, in which a young Star Wars fan tries to use “The Force” on his father’s new Passat. The video premiered on TV during the Super Bowl, but VW had posted the clip online two weeks before the sporting event — allowing the clip to rack up 10 million views before it ever aired on TV. Since then, the blend of Star Wars’ march theme and a child’s futile attempts at telekinesis have continued to grab viewers’ attention. Total views as of writing: 45,248,798.
The third-place ad on YouTube’s list was another Super Bowl commercial, this time Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit.” With its intense cinematography, powerful voiceover, and music from Detroit native Eminem, “Imported from Detroit” proved an impressive way for Chrysler to promote the new 200 sedan. The advertisement spawned similar versions for the Chrysler 300, and later won five awards at the Cannes Lions 58th International Festival of Creativity. Total views: 13,404,562.
D.C. Shoes magnate Ken Block took fourth place in the list of YouTube’s most-viewed ads of 2011 with “Gymkhana Four.” As in his three prior films, Ken Block spends his time drifting, sliding, and racing in front of slow-motion cameras. For the fourth iteration, Block took to the back lot of Universal Studios, sliding past an animatronic Jaws and other movie artifacts. As of writing, Block’s drift-tastic montage had actually stolen the third-place spot from Chrysler by about 160,000 views. Total views: 13,561,751.
The fourth and final automotive-related commercial to make YouTube’s list was the Team Hot Wheels record-setting jump. The company built a life-sized recreation of a Hot Wheels set and put professional driver Tanner Foust at the wheel of a race truck. He managed to jump a total of 332 feet, beating the previous world record by 31 feet. Records aside, the experience made the rest of us envious of Foust’s real-world Hot Wheels toy set. Total views: 8,528,877.
The other six videos in YouTube’s top-ten list were: “T-Mobile: Royal Wedding”, “smartwater – Jennifer Anniston goes viral”, “Old Spice – Scent Vacation”, “Apple – Introducing Siri on iPhone 4S”, “Samsung – Unleash Your Fingers”, and “adidas – D Rose: adiZero Rose 2 The Bull.”
Enjoy all four of the car-related videos below, then let us know which you like best in the comments section.