YouTube announces ten most successful YouTube ads in Asia

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Google has released its first ever Asia-Pacific YouTube Ads Leaderboard, a list of the 10 ads on YouTube that resonated most with audiences across the region over the past year. As Asia’s creative community counts down to the 2013 Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity, this inaugural Leaderboard celebrates the brands that performed best across the region, through a combination of popularity (organic views) and promotion (paid views).

Working for Australia’s Metro Trains, McCann Melbourne’s “Dumb Ways to Die” helped catapult an unlikely message—train safety—into the top three. The ad features a host of cute but hapless cartoon characters who perish in ever more ridiculous ways, including three who meet a sticky end on the train tracks. After locking in the prestigious 2013 Cannes Integrated Grand Prix, the catchy tune and whimsical animation also secured third place on the Leaderboard for McCann, right after Turkish Airlines’ “Legends on Board” featuring Kobe Bryant and football’s Lionel Messi, as well as second place winner “Baby & Me” from Evian.

Other Asia Pacific brands to break into this year’s top ten include Air New Zealand, who landed ninth with “An Unexpected Briefing”. Unilever’s “Lifebuoy Help a Child Reach 5“, which follows an Indian father as he celebrated the first of his children to reach five years of age, also found favor with audiences across the region to come in tenth place. Nevertheless, with seven out of ten spots occupied by global brands, it’s clear there’s room for Asia-Pacific’s creative community to step in.

While it’s not uncommon for TV ads to find new life online, this year’s Leaderboard was dominated by ads that were born digital, with formats created specifically with YouTube’s audience in mind. Pepsi MAX – Test Drive (#5) is a candid-cam view of an unwitting car salesman tricked into taking the test drive of his life with US Nascar star Jeff Gordon that clocks in at well over 3 minutes. The GoPro HERO3 introduction (#7) features a five-minute montage of shots of and by extreme athletes carving powder on the highest mountain or plumbing the depths of the ocean, shot entirely with the HERO3 itself.

From Dumb Ways to Die’s animated music video to Air New Zealand’s unconventional nod to the traditional (and traditionally boring) in-flight video, this year’s list proves that viewers reward brands who think beyond the 30-second spot to build for digital first.

“On YouTube, great brands are more than advertisers, they’re communities. And these communities are made up of real human beings: storytellers, musicians, athletes, and comedians,” said John Merrifield, Google’s Chief Creative Officer in the Asia-Pacific. “When creative minds embrace the sight, sound, and participation of online video, they move beyond advertising into the ranks of YouTube’s most beloved stars.”

Here’s the complete list of the Asia-Pacific Ads Leaderboard 2013:

  1. Turkish Airlines – Kobe vs Messi: Legends on Board
  2. Evian – Baby & Me
  3. Metro Trains – Dumb Ways to Die
  4. Dove – Real Beauty Sketches
  5. Pepsi MAX – Test Drive
  6. Call of Duty – Black Ops 2
  7. GoPro – GoPro HERO3
  8. Samsung Mobile – Introducing GALAXY S4
  9. Air New Zealand – An Unexpected Briefing
  10. Unilever – Lifebuoy Help a Child Reach 5