Skift Take

Companies across all industries are getting more creative and playful with ads in hopes of a viral hit. These brands have the added benefit of working with planes, beaches, and hotel rooms, which tend to excite viewers even before adding the harlem shake.

A creative, heartfelt, or hilarious video is one of the quickest ways that travel brands can reach travelers far beyond their usual market reach. And airlines, hotels, destinations, and booking sites are getting smarter about what kind of content moves around the web and how to get viewers to become brand ambassadors.

After tracking our favorite travel video ads every week for more than a year, we compiled a list of which creative companies succeeded in producing the watched ads of 2013.

Visible Measures found the top 13 travel ads in 2013 using its True Reach methodology. The company ranked videos by views, including the original clips launched by the brands themselves, as well as the copies, mashups, spoofs, and video responses published by audiences across the web.

Turkish Airlines tops the list with its second viral hit featuring Lionel Messi and LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant. The video was created in an attempt to recreate the viral magic of Turkish Airlines’ first hit featuring the sports stars.

The Selfie Shootout video went live earlier this month and has already been viewed more than 130 million times. That’s 100 million times more than the second most viewed travel ad of 2013!

Airlines dominate the list for the most creative and shareable ads this year with more than half of the ads promoting branded air travel. Airlines also accounted for half of the most viral travel ads of 2012.

This year there are are also two ads from hotel groups Marriott and Holiday Inn Express, two ads from booking websites Expedia and Priceline, and one from SeaWorld.

Watch the 13 most popular travel videos of 2013 below.

1.The Selfie Shootout by Turkish Airlines (130,957,216 views)

See how Turkish Airlines ranks on SkiftIQ. 

2. Christmas Miracle by WestJet (31,393,542 views)

See how WestJet Airlines ranks on SkiftIQ. 

3. Safety Dance by Virgin America (8,947,771 views)

See how Virgin America ranks on SkiftIQ. 

4. Harlem Shake by SeaWorld San Antonio (7,849,846 views)

5. The Lengths We Go To by Singapore Airlines (6,438,130 views)

See how Singapore Airlines ranks on SkiftIQ.

6. The Land of FC Barcelona by Qatar Airways (5,878,864 views)

See how Qatar Airways ranks on SkiftIQ.

7. Travel Brilliantly by Marriott (5,148,451 views)

See how Marriott ranks on SkiftIQ.

8. Stay Smart by Holiday Inn Express (3,650,367 views)

See how Holiday Inn Express ranks on SkiftIQ.

9. Find Your Perspective by Expedia (3,584,639 views)

See how Expedia ranks on SkiftIQ.

10. #AirNZBear by Air New Zealand (3,282,781 views)

See how Air New Zealand ranks on SkiftIQ.

11. Space by KLM (3,222,438 views)

See how KLM ranks on SkiftIQ.

12. #TheNegotiators by Priceline (3,057,720 views)

See how Priceline ranks on SkiftIQ.

13. Planes on a Plane by KLM (2,864,343 views)

See how KLM ranks on SkiftIQ.


The Daily Newsletter

Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.

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Tags: marketing, skiftadsweek, turkish airlines, virgin america, westjet

Photo credit: FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant make a viral hit for Turkish Airlines for the second year in a row. Turkish Airlines / YouTube

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