Top 10 ads on YouTube watched in SG in the first half of 2020

Google has unveiled its YouTube Ads Leaderboard for the first half of 2020, which showcases the top 10 ads that resonated with Singaporean audiences from January to June. Unlike past years of leaderboard where ads from multiple brands make up the list, dominated the leaderboard for the first half of 2020 with its COVID-19 ad campaigns, taking up eight of the ten spots in the leaderboard. Taking up the other two spots is tech giant, Apple Singapore.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing drastic changes in the way we live and experience the world, advertisers and businesses have pivoted their messaging to react to the current climate, rolling out purposeful ads that share ways to fight the spread of the virus and spread positivity amidst this uncertainty. Three key themes that were observed from the leaderboard include tapping on celebrities to convey important messages about COVID-19, putting people at the centre of the message, and a reminder of pre-COVID-19 times.

● Tapping on celebrities to convey important messages about COVID-19

Local celebrities have a way of striking a chord with audiences and amplifying messages.

Following the success of the SAR-Vivor rap in 2003, Singapore’s favourite contractor Phua Chu Kang made a comeback in’s video, with a humorous and catchy rap video on social responsibility which claimed the top spot on the leaderboard.’s "Get serious on COVID-19" series took three places on the list, featuring personalities Gurmit Singh, Patricia Mok, and Suhaimi Yusof to share best practices that fight the spread of the virus in different languages.

● Putting people at the centre of their message’s focus on the human side of the pandemic has proven successful, with stories of everyday Singaporeans navigating the challenges of COVID-19 in’s "Stronger together" series, which consists of "From grace to grit", "From recovery to resilience", "From support to success" - inspiring others to stay strong and hopeful in this climate. A heartfelt tribute to our unsung heroes during the outbreak titled "Together, we can" also warmed the hearts of Singaporeans.

● A reminder of the pre-COVID times

While COVID-19 dominated ad narratives, audiences continued to be excited by the latest tech in the market. This can be seen by two of Apple's ad making into the Top 10 list. Apple’s iPhone 11 ad maintained its popularity from last year. Apple's Chinese New Year short film "Daughter" also made it to the list, demonstrating the camera capabilities of its iPhone 11 Pro.

Here's a look at the leaderboard:

1. PCK - Singapore be steady!

2. Gurmit Singh (Phua Chu Kang) get serious on COVID-19

3. Introducing iPhone 11 

4. Together, we can

5. Chinese New Year | Shot on iPhone 11 Pro — Making of ‘Daughter’ with Director Theodore Melfi

6. From grace to grit

7. From recovery to resilience

8. From support to success

9. Patricia Mok gets serious on COVID-19

10. Suhaimi Yusof gets serious on COVID-19

Ben King, country director of Google Singapore, said, “As we navigate through these uncertain times, brands are finding ways to speak to their audience in a relevant and meaningful manner. has communicated exactly that in their series of COVID-19 video ads to inspire, educate and foster a real connection with Singaporeans. With watchtime for knowledge videos doubling during this period, we're glad that over four million people in Singapore are turning to YouTube to stay informed and productive.”

Soffy Hariyanti, director, campaigns and production, public communications division, Ministry of Communications and Information, said: "We had experimented with different approaches and are encouraged that these have resonated strongly with audiences. We hope viewers will take away the important messages of resilience, vigilance and staying united as we continue to battle this crisis together. Creating content that is timely, relevant and engaging for our audiences will remain central to the work at,"

“We are very heartened by the positive reception to our videos. With the swift spread of COVID-19 and the consequent impact on lives and livelihoods, it was critical to quickly and effectively communicate what the public had to do, where they could get help as well as to inspire and uplift spirits," she added.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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