Budweiser proved to be the king of alcohol advertising in Q1 by achieving more than half of total social shares.

The beer company’s ‘Brotherhood’ ad was shared 2.4 million times compared to 970,000 for little-known vodka brand Neft’s ad, ‘Bad Motherf***er’.

According to Unruly’s data, Bud’s advert accounted for 59% of total alcohol ad shares in Q1, despite the fact that it isn’t really the kind of creative one would normally associate with beer ads.

It’s a sickly sweet tale of one man’s relationship with his horse, which is a far cry from the usual light-hearted ads beer companies usually go for, including Bud’s previous “Wassup” efforts.

But this focus on evoking a psychological response probably accounts in part for the ad’s success, as it stood out from the crowd by telling an emotional story that played on feelings of both sadness and happiness.

However it did also benefit from being aired during the Super Bowl.

Neft’s advert is a more what you’d expect from an alcohol brand, but it takes it up several notches with the inclusion of graphic violence and a video game style camera view. 

Long form ads FTW

TV ad spots are traditionally 30 seconds long, however nine of the top 10 alcohol ads from Q1 were long-form ads with an average 136 seconds duration.

In particular, Neft (297 seconds), Carlsberg (179 seconds) and Heineken (217 seconds) were especially long and very successful, which suggests that traditional short-form ads are no longer the best tactic for online marketers.

Top 10 videos by length

Growth in video ad shares

According to Unruly alcohol brands enjoyed a huge growth in social conversations during Q1 2013, generating a total of 4,872,608 shares compared to 143,009 in Q4 2012.

This meant that alcohol brands accounted for almost half (47.1%) of total FMCG shares last quarter.

Alcohol video shares Q4 2012 vs. Q1 2013

The report also shows that while beers brands normally dominate alcohol advertising, with 96.6% share of voice in Q4 2012, in Q1 this year the success of vodka brand Neft meant that beer’s share dropped to 75.1%.

Share of voice by product category

The data in this report is supplied by Unruly Analytics, a cloud based dashboard that measures content from 1,300 brands across all verticals. The analysis period is Q4 2012 to Q1 2013 inclusive.