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Top Ten Most Viral Ads Ever

It used to be that TV viewers tried to avoid and got annoyed by commercials.

Now, millions of us watch them again and again on our computers - for fun!

Advertising Age magazine compiled a list of the ten commercials that have been viewed most - drawn the most hits of all-time -- on YouTube - true viral sensations.

And, on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning," USA Today business columnist Laura Petrecca
explained their appeal in general, and that of the top five in particular.

The List:

Taken directly from Ad Age:

10. DC Shoes: Gymkhana Two; 32,872,531 views; released on 9/3/09
9. Old Spice: Odor Blocker; 33,986,750 views; released on 3/31/10
8. Doritos: Crash The Super Bowl 2010; 34,168,845 views; released on 1/5/10
7. T-Mobile: T-Mobile Dance; 35,487,575 views; released on 1/15/09
6. Dove: Evolution; 41,100,418 views; released on 10/1/06
5. Microsoft: Xbox Project Natal; 42,698,599 views; released on 6/1/09
4. Pepsi: Gladiator; 46,742,892 views; released on 1/1/04
3. Old Spice: Responses; 57,132,669 views; released on 7/12/10
2. Evian: Live Young; 103,867,704 views; released on 6/4/09
1. Blendtec: Will It Blend? 134,256,499 views; released on 10/30/06

Petrecca discussing the top five:

The fact that so many people are viewing these ads online is great news for the ad industry, because it means people are embracing ads instead of tuning them out. Back in the day, people saw ads as clutter. but now they see them as fun and entertaining. People will see ads and find them online and forward them around. It's all good news for the industry.

But it doesn't necessarily equate to better sales. Sometimes, you have a video that's passed around and people think it' funny, but don' t buy the product. However, awareness of the company goes up. For example, if you look at the Dove ad campaign -- it failed but people became aware and knew more about what the company was doing and what it stood for. It definitely raises exposure for the company, even if it doesn't directly result in sales.

No. 5: Microsoft: Xbox Project Natal; 42,698,599 views; released on 6/1/09

This one is purely functional. With something like that, it's interesting that people would watch it the whole way through, but if you think about it, for families to invest that much money, it's important that they know what the product does.

No. 4: Pepsi: Gladiator; 46,742,892 views; released on 1/1/04

This ad stars Britney Spears, Beyonce and Pink. Pepsi is GREAT at this. It often uses star power in its ads, and people just love them. People love entertainment, they love to see faces they know and, at the end of the day, it's an ad with good music and pretty girls.

No. 3: Old Spice: Responses; 57,132,669 views; released on 7/12/10

This was one of the biggest winners in the Cannes Ad Festival, and got many accolades. It really appeals to young men and, while it seems a bit ridiculous and over the top, it works.

No. 2:Evian: Live Young; 103,867,704 views; released on 6/4/09

It's well known that people love babies in ads. Babies, animals, and humor are three major appealing factors in ads, and this ad combines babies and humor. Whoever planned this out knew it would be a home run because of the babies, the fun music, and the great product placement. This ad was actually great for the brand in terms of getting the message out about the product. But really, if you think of the E*Trade ads that were such a huge hit- - they also featured babies. Even the Ally McBeal baby is a pretty well-known figure.

No. 1: Blendtec: Will It Blend? 134,256,499 views; released on 10/30/06

This one is a bit surprising. What this really speaks to is the mad scientist in everyone! People love to see things like crazy experiments, and this is just fun to watch for that reason. What's amazing is that a lot of the people who commented on the video online didn't even realize it's an ad for a blender -- they thought this is just some crazy man who put his iPhone in a blender for fun!

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