YouTube is a powerful platform for marketers, not only to share their brand through programmatic advertising, but also to attract new audiences with native advertising.
Advertisers can post their best ads on YouTube and (with the right caption and thumbnail) watch their views and subscribers climb. This makes uploading ads on the video sharing platform an absolute must for any brand looking to engage and grow.
Since posting on YouTube is such a great opportunity, there are an overwhelming number of new ads uploaded every single day. Some of these ads fade into the background while others become their very own viral sensation.
The quality, content, and shareability of these ads all also play a role in how well they perform on the platform.
Native advertising on YouTube
YouTube started in 2005 as a platform to share silly videos. Since then it has grown to be one of the primary sources of video entertainment, online and otherwise.
Native advertising is paid advertising where ads match the content, visual feel, and form of their surroundings. The idea is that ads blend in seamlessly with their digital environment, making them more consumable and shareable. In the case of YouTube, this can be as easy as uploading an ad to the platform.
There was a great example of this in illumin’s Best Pride Ads 2023 article, where it highlighted Visible Wireless’s “No Straight Answers”.
The top 5 most viewed ads on YouTube
While there are plenty of powerful, entertaining ads on the video sharing platform, these are the most viewed out of the bunch.
1. Temu – Shop like a Billionaire
This af from Temu has managed to rake up 442 million views. This vibrant, catchy ad looks to cement Temu’s place as a go-to online marketplace and Amazon competitor. This ad highlight’s through a little bit of magic just how easy the app makes it to shop for quality clothes online.
2. Clash Royale – The Last Second
Clash Royale is the first mobile game on this list with 167 million views and counting. This ad does a fantastic job of highlighting the art-style, game play and humor of the game. From mid-battle dancing to some accidental nose-picking, the comedy of this ad is what puts it over the top.
3. Clash of Clans – Ride of the Hog Riders
With 133+ million views, this mobile game is close behind. The ad is also quite similar, which makes sense as Clash of Clans is the predecessor to Clash Royale. What this ad does differently, though, is focus more on story in order to give potential players a better idea of what their objectives are in the game.
4. Christian Dior – Miss Dior
This ad from Dior with 108+ million views shows just how powerful a strong narrative can be. Natalie Portman’s acting chops are put to work telling a love story and giving the audience a glimpse into the attitudes and feelings this perfume aims to convey. Since you can’t share scent though a screen (yet), Dior relies on visual cues and storytelling to impactfully convey its message.
5. Staples – The Sign
Humor, music, dancing, this ad from Staples has worked hard to earn its 106+ million views. The familiar music goes a long way to grab attention and the parody-esque lip syncing makes this ad un-skippable. This sign-studded music video works to not only fit in amongst other YouTube content, but to stand out and snag a share or two as well.
YouTube is a fantastic way for brands to reach new audiences and take advantage of native advertising strategies.
- Humor is everything – users frequently turn to YouTube for a good laugh and that makes it the perfect platform for humor-filled advertisements.
- Music makes the heart grow fonder – familiar or catchy music has always been a staple of advertising and it is just as effective on YouTube.
- Eye-catching visuals are, well, catchy – From bright colors to beautiful scenery, visually stunning ads are more likely to do well on this crowded platform.