The Top 10 YouTube Ads of 2013

January 22, 2014
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2013 was a remarkable year for YouTube ads – the entertainment, soft-sell and educational ads have well and truly taken over, while blatant sales ads have been shoved to the backseat. It was hard to do, but we’ve compiled our top 10 YouTube ads for 2013. Enjoy!

1. Volvo Trucks: The Epic Split

It may not be the comeback Jean-Claude Van Damme had in mind, but it’s certainly made an impact. With over 70 million views and counting, we’re willing to wager more people have seen his ‘Epic Split’ than his last Hollywood film!

2. WestJet Christmas Miracle: Real-Time Giving

Canada’s second-largest airline has perhaps topped the lot – without giving the game away, we can tell you that WestJet gave passengers a Christmas to remember.

From shock to tears to laughter, the Christmas spirit was well and truly alive. With over 30 million views, it shows that charity pays off.

3. Show Your Joe: Kmart


Kmart, not known for being an edgy brand, have certainly gone against expectations with this risqué version of ‘Jingle All the Way’. A little controversy can go a long way – the video has almost 20 million views.

4. Kobe vs. Messi: The Selfie Shootout

Turkish Airlines have used two of the biggest names in world sports and the recent ‘selfie’ craze to promote that they fly to more countries than any other airline – almost 140 million people know about it now!

5. YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say?

People love watching ‘year in review’ style videos and YouTube’s Rewind ad showcases why it’s the place to watch the world go by, without having to sell their product. With over 90 million views, it’s fulfilled its purpose many times over.

6. Baby&Me: The New Evian Film


Ever since Ally McBeal we’ve known that people love dancing babies. Evian has taken full advantage by creating a quirky and fast-paced production it enhances the brand’s message of ‘live young’. Unsurprisingly, it went viral and currently has 70 million+ views.

7. Dove: Real Beauty Sketches

Dove is all about the ‘real woman’ – this video explores how we see ourselves, partly as a result of the idealisation of skinny catwalk models. This ad shows us that we often see ourselves in a negative light, hiding our true beauty. An inspired video and we’re sure the 60 million that have seen it feel exactly the same.

8. Child of the 90s: Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is doing everything it can to ward off competition from Google Chrome and Firefox and this is an excellent way of showing it’s still relevant in the browser market. Almost 50 million people have seen that IE has grown up.

9. Girls Don’t Poop:

This is a very clever take on the well-known ‘myth’ that girls don’t actually poop. It’s edgy, modern and classy all at the same time. It has over 22 million views.

10. Volkswagen Game Day 2013 Commercial: Get In. Get Happy.


Volkswagen’s Game Day 2013 will bring a smile to just about anyone. 14 million smiles and counting for this cute ad – Get In, Get Happy!

Why these Ads trump traditional advertising

YouTube advertising trumps traditional TV advertising for many reasons;

  • Pay Per View: You only pay when someone watches more than 30 seconds of your ad! And with views starting at $.05 and no minimum spend, its cost effective enough for any business to try.
  • It’s so targeted: With YouTube advertising you target only the people that are relevant! You choose their age, their sex, their interests and the websites they visit to display your ads.
  • Start/Stop: Unlike traditional TV advertising, you can start, stop and test different ads as long (or as short) as you wish. Trial 3 different versions of an ad over a week, then keep the version that works best!
  • Call To Actions: Currently it’s not possible for people to click your TV ad and be immediately able to buy your product or request a sample or get more information. With YouTube advertising, you can add a clickable call to action at any part of your video to get an immediate, direct response!

The new age of the YouTube ad

The benefits don’t end with the above list. For viewers, if they don’t like your ad, they can close it after 5 seconds. This means, you have to make good ads. One of the tricks is to sell something without selling it. In other words, traditional ads that stuff a product in your face and scream at you won’t fly. Instead, ads that are a little more subtle are much more effective – it’s the ad that entertains or challenges the viewer that will boost sales figures.

You don’t need a huge budget to make it work. Whether you’re a large business with a plump adverting budget or a start-up trying to find its feet, with creativity you can create something that underpins your brand and sends a strong message without being too ‘salesy’.


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