- Gatorade’s “Heart of Lio” was voted #TheYouTubeAd That Deserves a Best Picture, an award for a cinematic ad, according to YouTube. The animated short film runs more than four minutes and tells the inspiring story of Leo Messi's life. YouTube said there were 70,000 votes on the ads across seven different categories.
- Bonobos’ “Evolve the Definition” was voted the campaign That Rewrites the Rules, which referred to ads defying societal expectations. The 90-second ad challenges traditional definitions of masculinity. McDonald’s 30-second “Speechless Thoughts with Charles Barkley” was voted the ad That Makes Me (insert laughing emoji), referring to ads that offered a good laugh, in this case by showing a normally garrulous Barkley rendered speechless as he enjoys a McDonald's hamburger.
- Nectar’s “Make America Sleep Again” was the campaign That Turns an Ad into Action for ads that get viewers to engage and take an action, like clicking on the Shop Now button that appears in the TrueView ad. Groupon’s “Save Money on Groupon!” was voted the ad That Has Six Appeal, a category for six-second ads that left an impression. Nintendo’s “Nintendo — Labo Make, Play & Discover” was voted the ad That Taught Me and World of Warships’ “You Haven’t Played World of Warships Yet?!” was named the ad That Frees Your Inner Gamer.
While the YouTube ranking isn't a definitive list of the best digital video ads, it does provide some insight into what is resonating with consumers watching content on YouTube. As the winners across the categories underscore, themes like humor, sentimental or value-driven messaging and highly visual content continue to resonate with consumers. Marketers should note the elements of the campaigns that consumers voted for as they work on future marketing strategies that will create the strongest emotional connections with digital viewers.
The Gatorade ad points to how longer content can work for brands on a digital platform when it tells a strong story and is entertaining. At the other end of the spectrum, the Groupon ad depicts how to use humor to deliver a message in six seconds.
Inclusivity, diversity and incorporating more positive and modern portrayals of gender are elements that are resonating with consumers. Bonobos’ “Evolve the Definition,” one of the YouTube winners, is an example of this and shows how going against traditional and outdated societal expectations can pay off. Consumers reward brands for breaking down gender stereotypes, with 36% saying they like brands more when its ads shun gender stereotypes, and 25% are more likely to purchase from those brands, according to a Choozle study.
Google-owned YouTube is projected to soon overtake Facebook as the website with the second-most traffic from U.S. visitors, a SimilarWeb study found. Traffic and viewership have increased on YouTube, while Facebook’s page visits have dropped from 8.5 billion to 4.7 billion in the past two years. Google had 15 billion visits in July 2018.