Think With Google, a marketing agency that provides Google-related insights, has released a list of the 20 ads with the most views on YouTube throughout the past year. While the leaderboard does not differentiate between organic and paid views, it still works as a general indicator of the brand promos people enjoyed the most.
Judging from the top 20, there are two main ways to reach a YouTube audience: use sports appeals or be Old Spice. Eight of the top ten ads either featured famous athletes or aired during the Super Bowl. If you expand to the top 20, 15 of the featured ads involved sports in some way. As for Old Spice, the deodorant giant had four selections in the top 20 (although none of those were in the top 10).
The amazing thing about the sporting world’s domination of this list is how little it mattered which sports were featured. Basketball, football, soccer, tennis, and extreme sports commercials all made the list, with all but one utilizing appeals from celebrity athletes. The top viewed ad, Nike‘s My Time Is Now campaign, featured dozens of famous soccer players. As someone who called a previous Nike soccer ad his favorite of all time, I certainly dug this one.
In spite of its omnipresence within the top 20, Old Spice’s absence from the top 10 is surprising, given that two Old Spice campaigns from the past few years would’ve gained the top spot had they been released this year (the crazy-popular Man Your Man Could Smell Like ad has more than twice as many views as My Time Is Now.) The brand’s big representation in the top 20 is sign of its popularity, but it seems as if the boost provided by the wildly-successful campaigns of years past is beginning to fade.
Advertisers should use the chart to ascertain the way sports rule the ad landscape on YouTube. As for us viewers, we have to keep watching the campaigns we enjoy. Personally, I think we’ve made a great collective choice for the Internet’s top ads, ensuring quality branded content for 2013.