-- With a growing amount of television advertising dollars shifting to the digital realm, marketers have upped the ante with ads that people want to share with their friends. But sometimes a company's risk doesn't pay off.
Whether it's a business myth or truism, is there such a thing as bad publicity if customers are talking about a company's bad commercial? You can judge for yourself with a look at some of the "most shared" and "worst" ads of 2014, according to Unruly and Adweek's Creative Editor Tim Nudd.
Marketing technology company Unruly tracked the most shared ads of 2014 and here are their top five:
1. Shakira's La La La
Okay, the FIFA World Cup and Activia were either incredibly smart to capture eyeballs or Shakira is sneaking her way into the "advertising" category with a music video. Either way, the Colombian star's "La La La" song has attracted about 6 million shares across Facebook, Twitter and cyberspace since its launch in May, making it one of the most shared "ads" of all time, according to Unruly. At least Shakira and the mega stars featured in the video used it to endorse donations to the World Food Programme, which has raised money for more than 4.2 million school meals.
2. Devil Baby Attack
In January, this ad for the horror movie "Devil's Due" came out in advance of its theatrical release in April.
Hidden cameras captured the reaction of New Yorkers to an animatronic "devil baby" in a remote-controlled stroller.
3. Nike Football: The Last Game
Soccer stars Ronaldo Cristiano, Neymar, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic play soccer as animated ad people for Nike, playing on the global hype leading up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
4. Budweiser's Puppy Love
Thank you, Budweiser, for pulling at our heart strings with a puppy and a Clydesdale horse in a Super Bowl ad.
5. World's Toughest Job
Another tear jerker, Cardstore tricked job applicants into interviewing for the "world's toughest job." Hint: it promoted giving Mother's Day greeting cards.
AdWeek's creative editor Tim Nudd shared his picks for "worst" ads of 2014:
1. Subway's Sexy Halloween Costume Ad
This Subway ad, which was a dud according to Adweek's Creative Editor Tim Nudd, told women to eat right so they would be sexier in their sexy Halloween costumes.
"In a year where we saw lots of empowering messages for women, this seemed like a bit of an unwelcome throwback," Nudd told ABC News. Subway ended up pulling it off YouTube.
2. Life Alert Ad
Life Alert's old ads, using the phrase "I've fallen and I can't get up," were cheesy, Nudd said.
"But this ad was terrifying, showing an old lady screaming in a heap at the bottom of a flight of stairs. It led to lots of consumers screaming at the brand on its Facebook page," he told ABC News.
3. Cadillac's American Dream
This Cadillac ad, which aired during the Olympics, showed "Suits" star Neal McDonough "waxing poetic about the American dream -- working hard and owning stuff," Nudd said.
"But it came off as arrogant and even xenophobic, and was one of the most hated ads of the year," Nudd said, and within months, the ad agency behind it was fired.
4. Bud Light's Whatever, USA
You have to hand it to Budweiser for its creativity in building Whatever, USA, a fictional town in which visitors are "up for whatever." But the town's residents weren't so much up for whatever, expressing concern about the use of their town for a giant commercial.
As Nudd puts it: "Bud Light created its very own party town this year, secretly planning for months to bring 1,000 beer drinkers to the quiet mountainside village of Crested Butte, Colorado. The only problem? Many residents were livid when they found out. The event went on as planned, but not before protests in the town made national headlines."
5. Missouri Mall Ad So Bad It's Good
"The East Hills Mall in St. Joseph, Missouri, made perhaps the worst local commercial in history this year, with people singing terribly about the stores," Nudd told ABC News. "It's jaw-droppingly bad."
In fact, it was so bad it went viral. More than 2 million YouTube views later, it was either the year's biggest fail or a huge, ridiculous success.