Google has unveiled the top ads on YouTube for the second half of 2018 from July to December. This list demonstrates the creativity of brands and agencies using YouTube as a platform to move people. Google said the second half’s ads came from brands and agencies that pulled out all the stops to produce “meaningful and engaging” ads that demonstrate the power of storytelling.
1. A social experiment on mental health stigma – NCSS
Taking the lead spot is “Beyond the Label” initiative launched by National Council of Social Service (NCSS) in a bid to address stigma faced by persons with mental health conditions in society and drive a change in public’s perception. McCann Worldwide Group worked closely with NCSS for this campaign. The social experiment had two moderators, Nicole and Nicholas, sit with members of the public and prompt questions about mental health in Singapore.
It was revealed at the end of the discussion that both Nicole and Nicholas were diagnosed with clinical depression and have recovered fully 12 years later. Members in the discussion shed tears and apologised for their opinionated views against those with mental health conditions. The video garnered 521,187 views at the time of writing.
“Mental health stigma is a sensitive and difficult topic to broach, and awareness of one’s bias is the first step to addressing the issue. We are heartened that Beyond the Label’s social experiment video resonated with viewers and started conversations to reduce stigma and promote acceptance,” Pearlyn Tseng, director of corporate communications, NCSS said.
2. iPhone XS – Growth spurt – Apple Singapore
Next up in the ranking is a short ad by Apple. Introducing the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max in September last year, Apple released an ad to depict what the phone will be like. The video circles around the super retina camera that can capture images on a large display that comes in two sizes. In the video, when the characters take a shot of an object, it grows in size, in a bid to reflect the new iPhone’s specifications. The ad garnered over 10 millions views at the time of writing.
3. Freshness promised. Or your money back – RedMart
Taking great pride in its grocery delivery, RedMart released an ad to guarantee its quality of fresh foods. The ad showcases the journey RedMart’s products go through to arrive at households. The online grocer reveals that it skips supermarkets and ensures the temperature these produces are stored in is optimum. It also allows unsatisfied customers to be reimbursed within 24 hours.
4. Are your antibiotics in the wrong fight? – Health Promotion Board
Health Promotion Board (HPB) aims to educate the public on the benefits and effects of antibiotics. Antibiotics are prescribed by doctors to repair the immune system, however some may take it for other reasons hoping to recover from other illnesses as well. HPB noted that there is a growing concern worldwide that antibiotics are not used for the right purposes, such as using it to treat infections caused by viruses. In this 30 second animation ad, HPB clarifies the “fight” that antibiotics are trained to take on. The video has over 160,000 views at the time of writing.
“We are pleased that our “Are your antibiotics in the wrong fight?” video has been well-received by Singaporeans. We wanted to approach the prevalent misconception about antibiotics in a simple manner so that the message that antibiotics are used to fight bacteria, and not viruses, will be clearly understood. This success has encouraged us to continue to formulate new approaches to engage our audiences meaningfully, while ensuring important health messages are relatable,” Dawn Lee, director of corporate marketing, Health Promotion Board said.
5. “My Smart Ahma” – Smart Nation Singapore
Smart Nation Singapore launched a “My Smart Ahma” web series to explain the benefits of Smart Nation’s various initiatives. Capturing the audience attention is the third web series, featuring Smart Ahma’s grandson Benjamin. Looking to help his colleague Rachel, he heads over to her sister-in-law’s place. The sister-in-law laments on Baby Bonus and the numerous forms to fill, to which Benjamin explains the seamless way of completing it through Smart Nation’s app.
6. Gunting, the series – Gov Singapore
Karen Tan, senior director, public communications division, Ministry of Communications and Information said that to reach out effectively to the target audiences, MCI has continuously innovate its content and engage audiences on relevant platforms.
“We are much encouraged that Gunting The Series was a hit with online audiences. Besides the quality production with engaging storyline and characters, the digital media has allowed us to package useful government information in bite-size pieces, and viewers can watch them at their own time and convenience,” she added.
7. McDonald’s Singapore – Samurai burger
Introducing its annual Samurai Burger, McDonald’s Singapore released a 30 second ad. The ad begins with an animated samurai charging on a horse towards three others, which quickly transitions into a man on a bicycle stopping infront of a McDonald’s outlet in Singapore. The ad garnered 51, 602 views at the time of writing.
8. The Impossible Story – EDB Singapore
The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) rolled out a global campaign to promote Singapore as a preferred location to start and grow a business. Told through what EDB claims to be “the impossible stories of Singapore”, this is its first campaign based on the new SG nation brand that was launched last year – alongside the Passion made Possible campaign by STB. Conceptualised by The Secret Little Agency (TSLA), the campaign tells the stories of individuals that champions those who ‘love proving the world wrong’. The video has 862,734 views at the time of writing.
9. Love at first flight – Changi Airport
Making it to the top 10 list is Changi Airport’s trailer on a short film, called “Love at First Flight”. The video pivots around two characters who are employees under Changi Airport and fall in love with one another. The video takes audience around the complications of love. The video has over 687,586 views at the time of writing.
Kelvin Ng, director – corporate & marketing communications, Changi Airport Group said that the company worked closely with its agencies on creating and promoting the videos which is aimed at growing brand love and giving viewers a glimpse of what Changi Airport has to offer.
“We are heartened by the response that the “Love at first flight” video series has garnered. We are also honoured to be amongst the top 10 most watched ads on YouTube, and believe that it validates the effort put in by the team and our partners. We look forward to producing more engaging and captivating content that resonates with viewers, while allowing them to gain new insights into Changi Airport,” he added.
10. Singapore Kindness Movement – “Be Greater” – Kindness SG
Clinching the tenth spot is Singapore Kindness Movement’s 2018 theme called, Be Greater. It was launched to embolden society to be kind, unhindered by doubts or self-consciousness. The movement also tapped on local influencers to spread the message, while released statement t-shirts. The video garnered over 27, 215 views at the time of writing.
According to Google, these ads by brands and agencies were not just to make consumers pay attention to products and services, but to also change people’s perceptions of important social issues. Google also narrowed down to the four key themes from the leaderboard:
Theme #1 – The public sector is leading the way.
Ads by the public sector are no stranger to the YouTube Ads Leaderboard. But this time, public service ads dominated by taking six out of 10 spots with a winning formula of using “edutainment” to appeal to Singaporeans. NCSS came up top with its emotional and hard-hitting ad as part of its nationwide campaign to challenge the stigma around mental health. The other public sector ads were: HPB (#4), Smart Nation Singapore (#5), Gov.sg (#6), Economic Development Board (#8) and the Singapore Kindness Movement (#10).
Theme #2 – Championing social causes
Advertising is a powerful tool for social change. NCSS’ video struck a chord with the audience by tackling the stigma surrounding mental health through personal anecdotes of past patients, while Singapore Kindness Movement’s one-minute ad encouraged viewers to redefine greatness and the kindness within.
Theme #3 – Ads play to Singaporeans love of a good drama series
Brands are conveying its brand messages through online episodic content and Singaporeans are soaking it up. The trailer for Changi Airport’s romantic drama, Love at First Flight (#9) , featuring local artistes, Zong Zi Jie and Jannassa Neo, got the audience looking out for more; while Malay online drama, Gunting The Series (#6) , used a compelling story to help Singaporeans understand policies such as the SkillsFuture Credit and the Professional Conversion Programme by Workforce Singapore.
Theme #4 – The best ideas get the most attention
Sometimes it’s the idea that matters not the length of the ad. A good idea will shine through no matter how long or short the ad is, and YouTube offers brands the flexibility to tell the story taking however much (or little) time it needs. Apple Singapore (#2), RedMart (#3), the HPB (#4) and McDonald’s Singapore (#7) showed audiences how to create impact and get the most attention within a 30-second time frame.
Stephanie Davis, country director for Google Singapore, said that with audiences’ viewing habits on YouTube constantly changing, there is a huge opportunity for marketers to stay relevant to capture the attention of its consumers.
“It’s particularly impressive to see public sector agencies making up six of the top 10 ads, demonstrating the incredible creativity and deep insights into their audiences. The ads in this edition of the Leaderboard are great examples of how today’s video ads can use captivating narratives to build personal connections to brands and leading to great marketing results,” she added.