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YouTube reveals top ads of 2019

It’s time to roll out the red carpet! Today, YouTube released the top ads that Kiwis chose to watch on YouTube in 2019! Read on to learn what it takes to be YouTube ad royalty in NZ and which brands are wearing the crown.

The YouTube Ads Leaderboard showcases the most creative and engaging ads - which were determined by an algorithm that factored in organic and paid views, watch time, and audience retention (how much of a video people watched) for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019.

Check out the 2019 Year-End YouTube Ads Leaderboard (they’ve also been posted online here) and find some key trends below.

1. I'm drinking it for you

I’m Drinking it For You

Company: DB Export Beer

Creative Agency: Colenso BBDO

Watch it here.

2. Lotto Powerball 'Imagine' - Lost

Lotto Powerball 'Imagine' - Lost

Company: Lotto New Zealand

Creative Agency: DDB

Watch it here.

3. Air All Blacks #AirNZSafetyVideo

Air All Blacks #AirNZSafetyVideo

Company: Air New Zealand

Watch it here.

4. Live a little freer / AA Insurance

Live a little freer / AA Insurance

Company: AA Insurance NZ

Creative Agency: DDB

Watch it here.

5. Quit for your pets

Quit for your pets

Company: Quitline New Zealand

Creative Agency: YoungShand

Watch it here.

6. What Ella Wants

What Ella Wants

Company: Bank of New Zealand

Creative Agency: BBDO

Watch it here.

7. Wind - Water - Sun

Wind - Water - Sun

Company: Meridian Energy

Creative Agency: BC&F Dentsu

Watch it here.

8. Genesis / Everything is Energy

Genesis / Everything is Energy

Company: Genesis

Watch it here.

9. Introducing Cocka Tumeke. Sharpen up on your te reo Maori.

Introducing Cocka Tumeke. Sharpen up on your te reo Māori.

Company: Reo Maori

Watch it here.

10. New Zealand ShakeOut 2019 - Sign up now

New Zealand ShakeOut 2019 – Sign up now

Company: NZGetReady

Watch it here.


Head of Creative Development for Google Australia and New Zealand, Fiona Walford, said the YouTube Ads Leaderboard highlighted some key trends:

  • The traditional narrative arc is being transformed. Creatives and advertisers are moving beyond the traditional ‘lead in, build a climax and big reveal’ story arc - with viewers engaged quickly with a barrage of intrigue and colour rather than long establishing shots. Engage viewers quickly with a barrage of intrigue and colour rather than long establishing shots. AA Insurance did this well with their “Live a little Freer” ad - kicking off with a T-Rex in a shower and followed with a fight against a Unicorn in the lounge! DB Export Beer intrigued viewers by producing an entire music video and in turn created a huge sense of fun throughout the 3 min 47 secs ad.
  • Ads were highly customised based on the audience. Viewers have different tastes and that creates opportunities for marketers. Consider going beyond one creative for all audiences to experimenting with different executions based on targeting signals. Tuning creative for audiences can range from gender cuts to interests such as affinities. Changing the name of Air New Zealand to Air All Blacks was a clever way to commence the Safety Video, and draw more attention to an inherently Kiwi love and passion. Air New Zealand are well known for their safety videos being something out of the ordinary, and this is a fantastic iteration - and 4 mins long no less!
  • Evolve your strategy, as attention evolves around you. The world of attention will always be changing – there has never been a better time for marketers to explore curiosity in creative advertising. The Bank of NZ “What Ella Wants” ad did an interesting job here - taking a story of a dad and daughter, being frugal through life and then a lovely surprise at the end.

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