Google has released its YouTube Ads Leaderboard for the first six months of 2018, showcasing the top 10 video ads that resonated with Singaporeans from January to June 2018. This list demonstrates the creativity displayed by brands and agencies, and creative potential of online video to engage and inspire the audience.
This year’s leaderboard contains a diverse range of ads from 15-second teasers to three-minute short films that tug at heartstrings. These feed into the changing trends of made-for-digital content produced by agencies and brands. Collectively, these 10 videos on the Ads Leaderboard have more than 53 million views.
1. McDonald’s Ramadan – Full Length
Taking the top spot is McDonald’s Ramadan which featured a McDelivery rider, Zul going about his job while fasting. The ad aims to portray the act of sharing which creates a bond like no other. Towards the end of the ad, the uncle Zul delivers to, passes him one of his order when he notices that it was time to end the fast for the day. The spot garnered 1,137,007 views at the time of writing.
2. Three Minutes – A short story by Peter Chan — Apple
Next up in the ranking is a short story produced by Peter Chan for Apple. This story depicts the relationship of a mother and son having only three minutes with one another due to her job. As a train captain on one of the longest express trains which commutes for six days, the mother hardly gets time with her son and is strict with him when she sees him so that he will not be troublesome under the care of her sister. The story builds around the three minutes the pair have with one another. The entire story was based on true events and was also shot on an iPhone X. The spot garnered 2,318,999 views at the time of writing.
3. Mr Lim’s Reunion Dinner — Singtel
Taking the third spot is Singtel’s reunion dinner ad featuring Lim shopping for groceries and proudly saying his children are in renowned positions in different parts of the world and are coming over for Chinese New Year celebrations. However, when he gets home, he has a recorded message from his daughter saying she will not be able to make it for the reunion dinner due to work commitments. The story unfolds into a heart-throbbing tale of the father (Lim) cooking his children’s favourite dishes and awaits for an arrival. The spot garnered 1,246,883 views at the time of writing.
4. Magic – MOE Singapore
Making it to the fourth rank, this video features a struggling student and a teacher who notices that and helps him overcome his difficulties. This was inspired by Edwin Wan, a primary school teacher, whose magic tricks spark his students’ love of reading. The spot garnered 4,988,572 views at the time of writing.
5. LEGO City- Mountain Police Madness Part One (Minimovie)
This minimovie unfolds the story of a getaway gone wrong, as three crooks are undone by a bear, a skunk and the brave Mountain Police. With animations and LEGO-made characters, the video also features more parts to the storyline. The spot garnered 9,977,817 views at the time of writing.
6. The Devils, The Angels and I (Episode 4) – Govsingapore
This video by Govsingapore took the sixth spot with an ad featuring characters Chin Chye (played by Mark Lee) and his sister (played by Aurelia Hathaway) on the fake news online and to question it when it happens. The characters add mild humour to the content as well. The spot garnered 79,719 views at the time of writing.
7. On top of the world — Shell #makethefuture campaign
Shell’s #makethefuture campaign makes the seventh spot as it features Jennifer Hudson, Pixie Lott, Luan Santana, Yemi Alade and Monali Thakur celebrating five cleaner energy initiatives in On Top of the World. It aims to meet the energy needs of society in ways that are economically, socially and environmentally viable, now and in the future. The spot garnered 19,578,513 views at the time of writing.
8. Halloween Horror Nights 8: Things are getting stranger – Resorts World Sentosa
#HHN8 showed that it is back with its teaser of what will be on this year’s theme. From the menacing Hawkins National Laboratory, to the Byers home adorned with an erratic display of flashing Christmas lights and the eerie Upside Down woods, the chilling new ‘Stranger Things’ house will offer surprising twists and unexpected turns around every corner. The spot garnered 74,891 views at the time of writing.
9. Believe More | Live more, Bank less – DBS Singapore
Also making the ranking is the ad by DBS aims to promote the feeling of accomplishment by relating it to the results you receive when you work hard. It aims to allow consumers to resonate and join DBS. The spot garnered 32,926 views at the time of writing.
10. The Camera. Reimagined — Samsung Singapore
Samsung makes it to the ranking with an ad on its new camera that amplifies its features and specifications. The spot garnered 14,603,459 views at the time of writing.
Google has also narrowed down to the four key themes from the leaderboard:
Theme #1 – Short films take the cake.
Emotional stories are rocking the list, with the top four spots proving that this formula still works. McDonald’s (#1) moving people-centric Ramadan message proved to be wildly popular. Viewers connected with the strong family-centric narrative in Apple’s (#2) and Singtel’s (#3) Lunar New Year videos, while MOE’s (#4) inspirational ad on the role of educators demonstrates the power of a good story.
Theme #2 – Made in Singapore, for Singapore.
Singaporean ads are in the spotlight in the leaderboard this time, with six out of the 10 featuring local content. The online videos that resonated the most with local viewers included McDonalds (#1), Singtel (#3), MOE (#4) and Govsingapore (#6), with all four tackling topics close to the hearts of Singaporeans – Ramadan, family, education and online culture – as well as two other short-form ads by Resorts World Singapore (#8) and DBS (#9).
Theme #3 – Don’t tell, tease.
Teasers aren’t just for movies, they can also drum up interest and excitement before an event or product launch. Samsung’s video teaser (#10) of the camera functions of the Samsung Galaxy S9 created buzz and anticipation for the launch of the phone; while Resorts World Sentosa’s teaser of Halloween Horror Night (#8) got thrill-seekers begging for more.
Theme #4 – Tackling hot topics.
Brands also understand the need to be current and relevant as seen in their use of online videos to kick-start conversations on hot topics globally. The Ministry of Communication and Information’s govsingapore (#6) channel has taken an edutainment approach to the topic of online disinformation by demonstrating ways to tackle this issue in their webisode series, The Devil, The Angels and I. The focus on adopting clean energy is also exemplified through Shell’s catchy music video featuring five global artists for their #makethefuture (#10) campaign.
“With more than half the ads created by local agencies and marketers, this edition’s Leaderboard celebrates the incredible success of the advertising industry in Singapore. We’re proud to witness the great work of brands like McDonald’s, GovSingapore and Singtel as they connect with their audiences through emotive story-telling, teasers and edutainment,” Stephanie Davis, country director for Google Singapore said.
So let us know! Did your favourite YouTube ad make the cut?