Google released its YouTube Loeries-to-Loeries Ads Leaderboard on Saturday 20 September 2014, providing a glimpse into the people's choice of their favourite ads.
This ranks the top-viewed global and local ads since the last Loeries; based on the number of views they received by South Africans on YouTube.
The list spans across football and charity, to love and toilet odours, proving there are many different passions to be reached amongst the YouTube audience.
Topping the global list is Turkish Airlines' "Kobe vs Messi: The Selfie Shootout" - the second of a series of ads showing these two famous football stars compete for attention. Other top ads include Van Damme's epic split between two Volvo trucks, Budweiser's heart-warming Superbowl hit, affectionately starring a puppy and a horse; and clothing company Wren's viral sensation First Kiss ad that showed strangers kissing for the first time.
"Football has little to do with Turkish airlines, Van Damme's acrobatic abilities bear no correlation to Volvo and recording 10 pairs of strangers kissing for the first time is a far cry from the fashion advertising we are used to seeing, but what all these ads have in common is that they tell deeply authentic and engaging stories," says Elizma Nolte, Country Marketing Manager for Google South Africa.
Interestingly, the top ads are on average 2 minutes and longer, with some of them more than five minutes in duration.
"For a long time the belief was that when it comes to online video, shorter is better, the thinking being that viewers lose attention after about 30 seconds. What we've seen on YouTube, where we can measure exactly how long an ad is watched, is that viewers will lose attention after 5 seconds if the content isn't engaging them - but if it is, they'll happily watch an advert through to the end, even up to six minutes."
South African long ads
This trend is stretching to South Africa, as seen with the 2-minute "Coke Grannies" ad, which Coca-Cola used to engage South Africans around the Football World Cup by telling the story of a group of soccer-loving grannies who started their own league. It comes in at number 5 on the local Ads Leaderboard, which includes only locally produced ads.
Tongue-in-cheek irreverence is another trend viewed across YouTube's favourite ads. A good example is Number 4 on the local Ads Leaderboard: "I Hate Valentine's Day
" - a slightly naughty collaboration between WeChat and YouTube star Anton Taylor.
"What we see on YouTube is that people respond strongly to content that provokes deep emotions - specifically emotions of surprise and inspiration. The South Africa Tourism ad [Reconsider South Africa, No 2 on the local Leaderboard] definitely speaks to inspirational bit; while something like "Girls Don't Poop" [No. 9 on the global list] has a large element of surprise. Both were shared widely," concludes Nolte.
The Loeries-to-Loeries Ads Leaderboard is split into the top 10 globally produced ads and the top 5 locally produced ads. To appear on the list, ads must have at least 20% organic (non paid-for views) - this is to stay true to the objective of highlighting videos that people choose to watch.
Leaderboard list - Global
1. Turkish Airlines - Kobe v Messi: The Selfie - Creative Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky - Media Agency: N/A
2. YouTube - YouTube Rewind: What does 2013 say? - Creative Agency: Portal-A - Media Agency: Essence Digital
3. WREN - First Kiss - Creative Agency: Unknown - Media Agency: Unknown
4. Volvo Trucks - The Epic Split featuring Van Damme - Creative Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors - Media Agency: Vizeum
5. Budweiser - Superbowl XLVIII commercial - 'Puppy Love" - Creative Agency: Anomaly - Media Agency: Busch Media Group
6. Nike Football - Winner Stays - Creative Agency: Wieden + Kennedy - Media Agency: Mindshare Portland
7. Google - Google Zeitgeist I Here's to 2013 - Creative Agency: Adam & Eve DDB - Media Agency: PHD & Essence
8. Save the Children - Most shocking second a day video - Creative Agency: Don't Panic - Media Agency: N/A
9. PooPourri.com - Girls Don't Poop - Creative Agency: The Harmon Brothers - Media Agency: N/A
10. Samsung - Galaxy S5 Official Introduction - Creative Agency: Cheil - Media Agency: Starcom MediaVest
Leaderboard list - Local
1. DA - ANC Ayisafani - Media Agency: CONNECT
2. South Africa Tourism - Reconsider South Africa - Creative Agency: Ireland Davenport
3. Halls - Klein Kimmie - Media Agency: iProspect - Creative Agency: Ogilvy Cape Town
4. WeChat - I Hate Valentine's Day - Creative Agency: Ogilvy Cape Town
5. Coca Cola - Granny's Grannies Football - Media Agency: MediaShop - Creative Agency: Coca-Cola South Africa with Draft FCB Johannesburg