During the first decade of YouTube’s existence, marketers have shown that online video ads are not just made for skipping. Instead, some of the most memorable offerings in YouTube history have had brands attached to them. Now, as part of the site’s ongoing tenth birthday celebration, it has launched a contest through which it is asking viewers to pick their favorite ad of all time.
The competing ads are limited to a handpicked group of 20 videos selected from the past ten years of YouTube’s Ad Leaderboard. YouTube teamed with The Webby Awards to choose the contenders, and the two companies have managed to put together a field that covers a wide range of branded YouTube videos. There are repurposed TV commercials, ads designed to look like viral videos, and elaborate, sponsored pranks; there are videos from well-established companies and other from small businesses that used YouTube to become well-known; there are videos from YouTube’s earlier days and other that debuted in the past year. While there are certainly plenty of amazing choices that did not make the cut, it’s hard to fault any of the 20 videos in the running.
Ultimately, YouTube wants its users to decide which of these videos is their collective favorite. A voting page has been set up, and YouTube aficionados can sign up to vote by registering with their e-mail, Google+, or Facebook accounts. Voting will run until May 28th, and the results will be revealed on June 3rd.
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More information about the contest is available in a blog post. Check it out, and make sure to complain vigorously about your favorite branded video that did not make the cut.