The data, revealed by Google and based on YouTube views, has four Christmas retail ads in its overall top 10 leaderboard. Google said the most successful ads of 2015 all shared common threads of “humour, emotion, and drama”.

John Lewis’s Christmas campaign topped the list followed by Sainsbury’s and its festive ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’ commercial. Overall, the table (below) is dominated by retailers and car brands.

“The most popular ads we saw in 2015 succeeded in entertaining and engaging people thanks to their creativity and consumer insights, and they held the viewer’s attention despite the average length of the top 10 being more than two minutes – more evidence that consumers will happily watch longer form content,” says Alison Lomax, head of brand solutions at Google.

1. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015 #ManOnTheMoon
2. Sainsbury’s OFFICIAL Christmas Advert 2015 – Mog’s Christmas Calamity
3. Three – When stuff sucks #makeitright (puppet advert)
4. Honda Ignition
5. M&S: CHRISTMAS TV AD 2015 – #TheArtOfChristma
6. Tesco Halloween: Introducing Spookermarket
7. Transport for London: Report it to stop it
8. Aldi Telescope Christmas Advert 2015
9. John Lewis Home Insurance Advert 2015 – Tiny Dancer
10. Hyundai : A Message to Space

John Lewis was credited by Google for offering a link to continue the story while fifth placed Tesco was praised for allowing viewers to create pranks in its Halloween advert.

Lomax also gave her predictions on what ads could rake in the views over the next 12 months.

She adds: “In 2016 two huge sporting events are likely to dominate searches on YouTube – UEFA Euro 2016 and The Olympic Games – and naturally Christmas will come round again.

“Brands need to make a New Year’s resolution to start preparing video content now that taps into the passions and enthusiasms stirred up by these culturally-unifying events.”

The list, compiled by Google, uses total views and engagement – how much of a video viewers watch – to determine which are the most popular on its video network YouTube.

  • Paul Cornell

    This list is a bit of a joke, clearly took the easy option and did very little research, poor show MW :(

    • Sarah Vizard

      Hi Paul, Thanks for your comment. I’m the news editor here. Let me explain the thinking behind the article. This is a list compiled by Google which measures the most popular ads on YouTube by looking at total views and also engagement – so whether people watched the whole video or not. It is aimed at giving a sense of what is popular on the video network and therefore an indication of which ads are resonating with the British public.

    • Samuel Joy

      Hi Paul, Thanks for your comment. I’m the news editor here. Let me explain the thinking behind the article. This is a list compiled by Google which measures the most popular ads on YouTube by looking at total views and also engagement – so whether people watched the whole video or not. It is aimed at giving a sense of what is popular on the video network and therefore an indication of which ads are resonating with the British public.