VW Golf

Honda Civic’s ‘Spark TV ad’ topped the list of the most popular video ads uploaded to YouTube in 2012, followed by Peugeot’s Nonstop to Rudimental ft. John Newman – Feel The Love execution.

This was followed by Durex’s Vinyl execution, a version of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get it on’ played at various speeds, O2’s Pay & Go Go Go ad and then Comparethemarket.com’s Meerkat Polka band playing the Coronation Street theme.

Hamish Nicklin, YouTube’s head of creative agency partnerships, says: “Businesses are increasingly taking advantage of YouTube to build their brand, interact with their fans and spread their message.

“The power of choice and the opportunity for greater viewer engagement is driving more creative, entertaining video advertising than ever before.”

The Google-owned video-sharing site also released guidelines advising brands on how best to use the platform to maximise viewing figures. These include creating original, interactive content with social features to increase sharing among users.

“Create the type of content that has proven to be successful online — think humorous music videos, short-form series, kittens,” reads to post.

“One of the best things about the web is that often viewers aren’t just passively watching the content but can participate in it, combining the best of technology and creativity.”

O2’s Pay & Go Go Go video ranked within the top five of the list with the operator reporting a significant increase in queries about its prepaid offerings via its website as a direct result of the campaign.

“This is the first time we’ve used YouTube to promote one of our prepay tariffs,” says and O2 spokesman. “Posting on YouTube means we have the opportunity to amplify our TV ad campaign and raise awareness through a digital media channel where customers tend to be more engaged and can respond immediately.

Mike Fairman, CEO of Giffgaff, a mobile operator whose CONtract ad ranked among the top 10 most popular YouTube video ads, says its viral video activity, along with its sponsorship of Channel 4’s Big Bang Theory, helped quadruple its brand awareness in 2012.

“Being a smaller business we have to make a budgets work harder and viral content is one of the best ways to do that. The payback with that one ad [which features kids entertainment characters Keith Harris and Orville] was amazing,” he says.

Steve Chester, head of data and industry programmes at the IAB says: “You only have to look at recent examples of viral video to understand the scale and importance it plays – Gangnam Style got 900m YouTube views, 5.7m likes, 3.5m user comments.

“The Bodyform responds video received 3.5m YouTube views, 15,000 likes, 1,500 user comments to name just two.”

He goes on to say: “A recent prediction from YouTube and DG Mediamind also predicted that approximately 90% of internet traffic will be video by 2014/15, showing that viral video is fast becoming part of our global culture of communication. Therefore brands need to realise how to exploit this to their advantage.”

The UK’s top ten most popular YouTube video ads in 2012

1. Honda Civic UK – Honda Civic ‘Spark’ HD TV ad


2. Peugeot– Nonstop to Rudimental ft. John Newman – Feel The Love


3. Durex– Durex Vinyl


4. O2 UK– O2 Pay & Go Go Go is here

5. Comparethemarket.com – Meerkat Polka Band Play Corrie Theme Tune

6. BT Infinity– Take a look around Flat 6
7. Google Chrome– Julie Deane
8. EE UK –Fenton 4GEE Remaster
9. GiffGaffTV –  The CONtract feat. K-Orville