Viral Commercial: Mads Mikkelsen brings back ‘Probably the best’ of Carlsberg’s Advertising

World renowned Danish actor, Mads Mikkelsen, has been featured in the the ad that calls for the return of ‘probably the best beer in the world’ slogan. This TV ad, will probably be viewed more on social media than traditional television as it’s viral appeal has people around the world hitting that share button.

Mads Mikkelsen's Carlsberg ad goes viral

With 2.3 million views in less than 2 days, Mads Mikkelsen’s Carlsberg Ad is a viral hit.

Carlsberg’s ‘probably the best beer in the world‘ slogan was coined by Saatchi and Saactchi in the 70’s and was synonymous with the brand until they replaced it with the ‘that calls for a Carlsberg’ slogan in 2011. For many, this new slogan simply didn’t capture the spirit of the brand and was seen as an attempt to connect with the US market, where ‘calls for’ is a more frequently used wording in everyday conversations.

This ad sees Mads Mikkelsen bringing back that classic slogan of Carlsberg probably being the best beer in the world.

Why Does this TVC Format Work on Social Media?

For many of us working with social media and social advertising, our experience is that the TVC format fails to get any viral impact on social media. This ad however, defies that school of thought. Like any quality TVC, it is a high production value commercial and it features a Hollywood powered main character. With no large titling or subtitles, it is not shot natively for mobile or social media, but it is a social sensation within the first few days of its launch.

It defies our current logic; here’s a few thoughts on ‘probably’ why it does;

The first 5 Seconds are actually compelling

The ad cleverly takes advantage of the 3-5 second audience. The opening has a ‘slow reveal’ visually of the protagonist, where the audience realises who the star of the video in three shots. The first 3 seconds are crucial for any type of video ad, and this ad is shot and produced extremely elegantly.

Mikkelsen has gained international notoriety as a Hollywood actor, and recently has become a household name in the TV series Hannibal. At 5 seconds, he is fully revealed as the ambassador of the product, and storyteller of this one minute journey.

Mads Mikkelsen and Great Storytelling Journey in One Minute

In many ways, Denmark is one of the world’s best kept secrets. Not many people realise that this country of only 5.2 million people is responsible for brands such as Lego, Maersk or Novo Nordisk. Denmark society follow the Nordic ‘Janteloven’ which is like a national code of conduct where humility needs to be kept. As individuals in the Nordics, talking too much about one’s self is frowned upon in keeping with the Janteloven school of thought.

In some ways, this advertisement breaks the Janteloven principles, in answering why has Denmark been voted as the ‘Happiest country’ multiple times. But Mikkelsen answers this question by taking us on a humble journey on a classic styled push bike.

The storytelling in this ad is cleverly delivered through Mikkelsen’s journey through cultural scenes and situations know to Denmark. Any great story, gives the viewer a great feeling, and this ad shares the feelings and emotions of some of the things that make Danish life, a happy life.

Great Cinematography

It almost seems to be a contradiction to acknowledge great cinematography for something viewed predominantly on a smartphone. But with the high image quality of smartphone screens today, the details and colours that film makers aim to produce for the big screen, do have an impact on the micro-screen.

Great cinematography is more than well composed shots. It is also the clever use of colours, textures and focus/depth of field that assist in telling the story. The close ups, cityscape and action sequences in this ad, support the story and the lead up to the story conclusion in the brewery with the full reveal of the brand and a clever closing punchline.

Room for SEO & Social Media Improvement

One thing Carlsberg could have done better for themselves, is use this ad to build their presence on YouTube and strengthen their own SEO. On the second day of this ad being released, it is not uploaded onto their YouTube page, and it is the YouTube channel called ‘AdTV’ that is benefiting from all the searches on Google and YouTube.

The below search on Google shows that Carlsberg official sites are not being listed above the fold with a common search of ‘carlsberg mads mikkelsen’.

Google search for Carlsberg Mads Mikkelsen

Google search for ‘carlsberg mads mikkelsen’ shows that Carlsberg sites not appearing in the top half of the first page.