Google's videos have always attracted a mass following on the Internet, partly thanks to the tech giant's massive online ecosystem. But the company truly broke through in 2012, with the hugely viral "Project Glass" clip helping make it the most successful social video brand of 2012, as judged by shares, according to Unruly Media.
Google's videos were shared 5.89 million times, an increase of almost 200 percent for the company over 2011. The "Project Glass" clip, which demonstrated a prototype of eyeglass Internet connectivity, earned more than 1 million shares on its own. Google beat out Nike, another perennial online video favorite, which was this year's runner-up with 5.47 million shares.
TNT placed third with 4.35 million shares, all for a single video—the town-square stunt from Belgium. DC Shoes was fourth, on the strength of Ken Block's Gymkhana videos, the fifth of which was released this year. Red Bull, which had big hits with Kluge and the Felix Baumgartner jump, placed fifth.
Coca-Cola was sixth with 3.26 million shares and made the biggest leap, growing by 485 percent from last year.
Among last year's top 10 who dropped off this year: Budweiser, Evian, T-Mobile, Activision and Kia.
"The Unruly 2012 Social Video Share Index is the definitive chart for measuring a commercial brand's social video success, as it's based purely on sharing activity rather than views and subjective criteria," said Unruly co-founder Sarah Wood. "This is the content that people are choosing to share. Savvy brands are no longer creating content to merely watch their YouTube view counter tick up, they're measuring who's sharing the content, what they're saying, and how it's impacting brand metrics."