Thursday, January 03, 2013
Why I don't like YouTube's Ads Leaderboard
“What makes an ad great? Simple: people choose to watch it.” So states the introduction to YouTube’s 2012 Ads Leaderboard. But is that statement just a bit too simple? Might people respond to ads that they see but don’t choose to watch? And what about the ranking itself? I suspect that it is a bit biased.
I love rankings as much as the next person, but I do like a ranking to make an apples-to-apples comparison between the things included in it. It must be something in my DNA.
Given that most videos get fewer views per day as time goes by, we really should be comparing the number of views the ad gets over a fixed time period from when the ad was first uploaded, not the cumulative views irrespective of time. Judging by the available stats, most ads achieve the vast majority of their views in their first 90 days on YouTube. That means the pulling power of at least one of the ads listed on the leaderboard is probably being underestimated, namely GoPro HERO3.
The GoPro video was uploaded on October 17, 2012 and has already garnered over 14 million views, a view rate well above the average we might expect given the time the ad has been live. So why does GoPro garner so many views? Is it the cool technology? Tech may be a factor, but I am willing to bet the video gets its pulling power from the portrayal of high adrenaline sports and awesome scenery. Combined with some good music, the video holds attention and just has that “wow!” factor.
The 2012 YouTube Ads Leaderboard celebrates the U.S. ads that most moved audiences through a winning combination of promotion (paid ads) and popularity (organic views).
And we can see both factors at play in these highly viewed ads. Some ads clearly have viral potential simply because of the great content.
I enjoyed watching the Pepsi MAX video, "Uncle Drew" starring Kyrie Irving (funnily enough, watching the reaction of the uninformed spectators reminded me of the original Coke Happiness Machine).
And I am not surprised that the Samsung Galaxy S III ad that makes fun of Apple buyers does well. With Samsung shipping twice as many phones as Apple in the third quarter of the year, there are probably quite a lot of people taking quiet satisfaction from sending the link to their friends still toting an iPhone.
The Hot Pockets “Pocket Like It’s Hot” video, featuring Snoop, DeStorm and Andy Milonakis, is not my personal favorite. I'm hardly surprised it is in the list though – can anyone say “celebrity”? Our research at Millward Brown finds that featuring a celebrity in your ad improves the likelihood it will go viral, so three celebrities has to work even better, right?
But then maybe we have missed a trick? I note the Volkswagen ads all feature dogs. Should we have included a dog factor in our viral model as well? Come to think of it, babies seem to do well too…
So what do you think of my assessment? Do you agree that GoPro is likely to do well over the longer term? Please share your thoughts.
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 03, 2013
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