Activia: using Shakira in ad
Activia: using Shakira in ad
A view from Unruly

Viral review: Shakira dances up a storm in Activia 'trackvert'

Social video experts Unruly review the latest viral from Actvia

Shakira - La La La (Brazil 2014) ft. Carlinhos Brown

Is this new video from Shakira an ad for Activia or a music video? Or maybe it's a ‘trackvert’? This is a question that is undoubtedly going to be asked with increasing frequency this year.

Certainly, Danone is in no doubt. Launching the film, it proudly announces the Colombian-born superstar’s support for the the yoghurt brand’s new ‘Dare to Feel Good’ campaign and calls the video a "TV commercial" and a "dance-themed creative".

Of course, heavy product placements are nothing new. Whether it’s celebs being 'caught out' in certain stores by those pesky paps to TV/ movie scenes that incorporate a product’s new features, for decades we’ve seen A-listers flaunt their ‘tastes’ in return for hefty sponsors’ cheques.

However, recently on the Unruly Viral Video Chart we are seeing a lot more videos which could arguably be identified as both. Perhaps we should just settle on the term 'trackvert'.

Recent examples include Fiat’s collaboration with Pitbull and Italian singer Arianna for "The FIAT Song", Beyonce’s campaigns with H&M and Pepsi and Volvo’s brilliant partnership with Swedish House Mafia.

But why is mixing the two such a significant trend in social video advertising? After all, isn't this just another music video with a slightly more blatant product placement?

Well, it’s the next logical step for advertisers looking to engage the social web. In fact, the only thing surprising about it is there have not been more brands doing it.

Blurred lines

As the advance in technology blurs the line between content watched on TV and video content watched online on mobile and laptop devices, it's only natural that more brands are happy to embrace their roles as content creators.

And what is the most popular video content online? Music videos, of course - by a long way. Just look at the 100 most shared videos of all time. Altogether, of the top 100, only one, "Kony 2012", is not a music video. A huge viral sensation, like "David At The Dentist", barely makes it on to the top 200.

It's not hard to see why. After all, recent academic research has found the most shared ads are the ones which elicit the strongest emotions from its audience. And what better way to elicit strong feelings of joy, sadness or exhilaration than through music?

Music, just like football, is a great way to unite people across the world. Activia, whose campaign, running in more than 50 countries worldwide, uses both and has already attracted more than 1.3m shares online.

It’s music to the ears of advertisers, but will the trend catch on?