YouTube Launches Ads Leaderboard, Dancing Babies Claim Top Spot

Baby and Me EvianYouTube has just launched an Ads Leaderboard, which will also be published on

In YouTube’s first Ads Leaderboard for April 2013, Evian, Dove, and Kmart took the top three spots using dancing babies, powerful insights, and clever wordplay, respectively.

“The stunning success of these ads show how brand content is not just fodder for water cooler conversation, but is actively shaping what matters in culture today,” said Tara Levy, Director Ads Marketing, YouTube. “April also saw the first non-English language ad to make the U.S. list, demonstrating the power of YouTube to engage any audience.”

Do Online Video Advertisers Really Need Another Chart?

YouTube’s Ad Leaderboard joins the Mashable Global Ads Chart, which is powered by Unruly, and the Visible Measures Top 10 Viral Video Ad Campaigns Chart, which is published on Advertising Age.

Each chart uses a different methodology, so together these three charts provide a 3D view of the top video ads:

  • YouTube uses an algorithm that factors in paid views, organic views, and view rate (how much of a video people choose to watch).
  • Unruly uses shares, which is the number of times content has been shared on Facebook, Twitter, and in the blogosphere.
  • Visible Measures True Reach, which includes viewership of both brand-syndicated video clips and viewer-driven social video placements.

The YouTube Ads Leaderboard for April 2013

1. Evian: baby&me / the new evian film

2. Dove: Dove Real Beauty Sketches

3. Kmart: Ship My Pants

4. Pepsi: Pepsi Beyoncé “Mirrors” – Official 2013 video – #BeyHereNow

5. Old Spice: Old Spice | Watermelon

6. Activision: The Replacers – Official Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Video

7. Old Spice: Old Spice | Shower

8. Sauza: Sauza Tequila – Make It With A Lifeguard

9. Kraft Foods: Rob Dyrdek Lunchables Uploaded Challenge: Entrance

10. Nestlé: Nestlé® El Mejor Nido – Learning to Share

What Can Advertisers Learn From YouTube’s List?

For starters, all 10 YouTube ads tap into basic emotions. And if you watch each one, you will probably experience a range of positive responses – from having your heart melted and laughing out loud to being joyful, exhilarated, in awe, proud as punch, deeply nostalgic, astounded, in-the-know, and horny-as-hell.

As David Ogilvy wrote 30 years ago in “Ogilvy on Advertising”, “Researchers have not yet found a way to quantify the effectiveness of emotion, but I have come to believe that commercials with a large content of nostalgia, charm and even sentimentality can be enormously effective.”

He added, “Emotion can be just as effective as any rational appeal, particularly when there is nothing unique to say about your product. ‘But,’ says my partner Hal Riney, ‘here is where things get sticky. Most clients – and I’m afraid most agency people – think the rational appeals for their products are much more important than the consumer thinks they are.”

Ogilvy concluded, “I hasten to add that consumers also need a rational excuse to justify their emotional decisions. So always include one. Above all, don’t attempt emotion unless you can deliver it.”

In other words, the technology of advertising has changed dramatically in the past 30 years, but the impact of emotion in ads hasn’t.

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