YouTube’s year-end leaderboard: the ads that defined 2018

YouTube has released its global year-end ads leaderboard, highlighting the platform’s best performing ads throughout 2018.

Reviewing successful advertising is not only a measure of what works and what doesn’t, but also a useful insight into the trends that defined a period of time. For YouTube’s audience, technology, sport and LEGO were front of mind

Here were 2018’s best performing ads on YouTube, determined algorithmically factoring organic and paid views, watch time and audience retention:

1. Amazon Super Bowl LII Commercial: Alexa Loses Her Voice

Client: Amazon

Agency: Lucky Generals, D1 and Initiative

A star-studded case featuring celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, pop-star Cardi B and Australian actress Rebel Wilson attempt substitute for Amazon’s digital AI assistant as she comes down with a cold.

 

2. YouTube Music: Open the world of music. It’s all here.

Client: YouTube Music

Agency: Industry PDX, Essence and PHD

Despite being a service offered by the publisher of this leaderboard, YouTube Music’s decorated ad is sadly no longer available for viewing on the platform.

Video unavailable

 

3. OPPO F7: Real Support Makes Real Hero

Client: OPPO F7

Agency: Inhouse team

Indian cricket fans and the Indian market at large gave high praise to the ad, following vignettes of each player’s childhood and the route that brought them to play for their national team.

 

4. Nike: Dream Crazy

Client: Nike

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy and SapientRazorfish

Nike’s decision to prominently feature football player Colin Kaepernick in its 30th anniversary ‘Just Do It’ campaign was met with fierce opposition. Many commentators, however, agree that the campaign was ultimately a major success for the brand.

 

5. Turkish Airlines: Safety Video with The LEGO Movie Characters

Client: Turkish Airlines

Agency: Warner Bros. and People Initiative

Starring the world’s favourite plastic personified, the leading characters of The LEGO Movie deliver a humorously light-hearted and self-aware on-flight safety check.

 

6. Groupon 2018 Super Bowl Commercial: Who Wouldn’t?

Client: Groupon

Agency: O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul

American comedian Tiffany Haddish makes the case for Groupon as a way of supporting small business, then illustrates the consequences for choosing otherwise.

 

7. Samsung Galaxy: Moving On

Client: Samsung

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy and Starcom

A direct jab at its main competitor Apple, Samsung illustrates how many frustrations suffered by iPhone owners could be avoided with a Samsung alternative.

 

8. HomePod — Welcome Home by Spike Jonze — Apple

Client: Apple

Agency: TBWA/Media Arts Lab

In true Apple fashion, this abstract interpretation of what it feels like to own an Apple Homepod makes little mention of the product itself.

 

9. Gatorade: Heart of a Lio

Client: Gatorade

Agency: TBWA\CHIAT\DAY Los Angeles, OMD and Resolution Media

An animated mini-biography of one of the world’s most celebrated athletes during last year’s Russia World Cup.

 

10. LEGO Jurassic World: Rescue the Blue Dinosaur

Client: The LEGO Group

Agency: Advance and Initiative

This ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ style ad offers the viewer a chance to dictate the progression of the narrative, with the classical wrappings of a LEGO animation.

 

Check out YouTube’s ad leaderboard for 2017: Samsung India takes top spot » 

Josh Loh
BY Josh Loh ON 7 January 2019
Josh Loh is assistant editor at MarketingMag.com.au