10 Most Innovative Viral Video Ads of 2012

Josh Warner

Red Bull Stratos

Advertiser: Red Bull Ad Agency: N/A Why It Works: Red Bull went to the edge of space to get our attention. Felix Baumgartner's breaking of the sound barrier in a 23-mile freefall to Earth was riveting wherever you saw it. Red Bull has rewritten event marketing forever, leaving us with transcendent images of a man who could have exploded in space. Felix's final words before his jump: "Sometimes you have to get up really high to understand how small you are." Indeed.

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Josh Warner is president and founder of Feed Company, which promotes and distributes brand videos for Fortune 500 companies and ad agencies. In six years, Feed Company has seeded more than 400 videos across the social web.

This year in viral video, advertisers either broke new ground or just got better at old concepts. Red Bull went to the edge of space with Felix Baumgartner's freefall 23 miles to Earth, which certainly qualifies as breaking new ground. On the other hand, Cartier's bejeweled panther was so sumptuous as to feel brand new.

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Elsewhere, an independent filmmaker from New York took a refreshing route within the well-tread travel video genre, with a personal and inspiring execution for Nike. Innovation even made its way to Davenport, Iowa and Sweden, where Will Ferrell's rogue ads for Old Milwaukee Beer befuddled everyone.

But what is clear from this year's top 10 is how passion — for a company, brand or creative concept — continues to drive innovation in viral video advertising. From scrappy startups like Dollar Shave Club to independent producers for PBS, viral video marketers seem to love what they're doing.

Here are the top 10 most innovative viral video ads of 2012. Let us know your favorites in the comments below.

This story originally published on Mashable here.