YouTube Scores in Rio: The 2014 World Cup

Admit it: even if soccer isn’t your deal, the 2014 World Cup somehow made its way onto your laptop screen this summer. YouTube played a major role in getting the international event some serious exposure.

Tubefilter reported that after a mere week of matches YouTube generated 1.2 billion minutes of watch time for the event’s impressive ads. Sorry, fellow “real football” fans: the Super Bowl can’t hold a candle to these numbers. The Big Game’s famously hyped ads were actually shared less across social media in 2014 than in 2013. Might be time to put down the Madden and play some FIFA!

The World Cup found internet success through many advertising outlets, but both die hards and bandwagoners enjoyed quality content on YouTube. Unruly Media gathered social media share stats on the top video ads throughout the event. The winner? Activia and Shakira, who beat out even Nike’s viral “Winner Stays On” video with the most shares on YouTube and social media throughout the Cup. Their ad, featuring the singer’s rendition of the 2014 event anthem, racked up over 234 million views.

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YouTube also provided laughs to the pranksters of the soccer world while audiences’ lack of source checking took care of the rest. A joke newscast, as described by The Independent, duped many viewers into believing the final match of the tournament would pit Portugal against none other than the powerhouse North Korean team. The video, now boasting well over 7 million views, was posted by a spoof channel named “Korea News.” The clip takes a newsreel presenting footage of Kim Jong Un’s “arrival” to the scene and pairs it with enthusiastic cheers from crowd at a pre-recorded World Cup watch party – all of which was heavily edited from existing sources and mashed up into one glorious spoof.

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YouTubers familiar with VItalyzdTV know the site celebrity got creative with promoting his new prank movie. Vitaly Zdorovetskiy took the final match as an opportunity to streak with “Natural Born Prankster” emblazoned across his torso. Even LeBron James played a hand in the soccer world of viral views: he caught the prank on his cell phone camera and posted the clip to Instagram, where it now has over 350 thousand likes.

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An international event such as the world cup is the perfect outlet for effective, entertaining YouTube promotion: sports fanaticism, celebrity interactions, and catchy tunes abound. Keep up with our blog to find out how to optimize your own YouTube presence – whether during a internationally televised PK shootout or from your laptop on an average Wednesday.

by Maggie Altergott

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