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Which YouTube ads did Singaporeans love in H2 2016?

From small music videos to long form ads and ads that are made for all ages, these are just some of the ads that made its way to the top 10 YouTube ads in Singapore for the second half of the year.

Google released its YouTube Ads Leaderboard, a list showcasing the top 10 ads that captured the attention of Singaporeans from July to December 2016.

In terms of the sectors, companies which took the top positions on the leaderboard span from lifestyle, food and beverage and the financial sector.

The Leaderboard shows a great mix of styles – from short-and-sweet 30-second ads to 12-minute drama series – reflecting the wide-ranging content on YouTube and the ability of advertisers to think creatively to capture the attention of their audiences online.

Joanna Flint, Country Director for Google Singapore said, “Ads need to be seen and heard to have impact on audiences and YouTube’s high viewability (93 per cent) and audibility (95 per cent) help brands capture viewers’ attention. The YouTube Ads Leaderboard celebrates the most creative ads and brands that did just that — these are the top ten ads that Singaporeans chose to watch. We’ve seen YouTube’s watchtime grow by 35 per cent over the last year so it’s no surprise that brands like StarHub, DBS and the Ministry of Communications and Information are using the platform to reach viewers of all ages islandwide.”

The Top 10 YouTube ads for H2 2016 were:

1) StarHub – Majulah Moms

2) Universal Studios Singapore HHN6 | Be Engulfed by the Darkness Within

3) 吃饱没?(Eat Already?) MV

4) SPARKS – Mini-series: Episode 5

5) McDonald’s Confirm Shiok TVC

6) SPARKS – Mini-series: Episode 4

7) 《杂货店》The Provision Shop OST | 有空记得约我 – The Freshman

8) iPhone 7 – Dive – Apple

9) McDonald’s Taste Harmony

10)《吃饱没?》预告片 – Eat Already? Trailer (Hokkien)

Some of the key themes Google noticed from the list were:

1) Making a song and dance of it: Three of the 10 ads on the leaderboard were music videos. StarHub’s moving rendition of Majulah Singapura by 51 moms in Majulah Moms takes pole position, 吃饱没?(Eat Already?) MV emerged at #3 while The Provision Shop 《杂货店》, a music video of Royston Tan’s telemovie received a positive mention by Prime MInister Lee Hsien Loong (#7). Music-themed ads were also a hot favourite, with Apple’s Dive ad for iPhone 7 stereo speakers swimming its way to #8 and McDonald’s jingle for Taste Harmony making the cut (#9).

2) Local heroes: Sometimes having a catchy tune isn’t enough − knowing your audience is a great way to create content that resonates. Hokkien music video of dialect drama, Eat Already?’s official theme song became an earworm to many. Understanding Singaporeans’ passion for food, McDonald’s injected local slang into their ‘Confirm Shiok’ menu to tickle the tastebuds of Singaporeans islandwide.

3) Ads for all ages: The use of video ads to promote government policies to senior citizens, with the two entries for the Hokkien dialect show “Eat Already?” shows that advertisers realise that YouTube reaches out to audiences of all ages, not just the young.

4) Cliffhanger plots: DBS’s Sparks (Ep 4 & 5 ) snagged two spots on the leaderboard. The popular series also bagged a place in the YouTube Ads Leaderboard during the first half of 2016, which goes to show that ads with great storylines and production values can keep viewers tuning in even for 12-minute long ads.

Commenting on being featured on the list, Karen Ngui, Managing Director and Head of Group Strategic Marketing & Communications, DBS Bank said, “We are delighted that DBS SPARKS has been well received and made it to some of the most popular videos on the YouTube Ads Leaderboard. The mini-series is an industry first that follows a group of bankers as they navigate work and personal lives. Inspired by true stories, they challenge the status quo and go above and beyond when solving challenges. By telling these stories, we hope to demonstrate the true purpose of banking, and give a glimpse of what it’s like to work at DBS. We are committed to shaping the future of banking by embracing human-centred design and journey thinking. With the advent of social and digital media, we will also continue to find innovative ways to engage our customers and build our brand.”

Karen Tan, Senior Director, Public Communications Division, MCI, said ““We are delighted that three government ads are amongst the top 10 ads that people choose to watch on YouTube in Singapore. Besides number of views, this ranking also takes into consideration watch time and audience retention. What we have done is to package relevant and useful information to the public, with a dose of humour and entertaining storytelling. In this digital age, we need to leverage on new media platforms and go to platforms where people are having their conversations. The YouTube platform is a great way for people to share videos and in fact, emotions the videos evoke, beyond the hard facts.”

Howie Lau, Chief Marketing Officer, StarHub, said, “Majulah Moms hopes to inspire all Singaporeans through a common dream to build a brighter future for the ones we love. We are thrilled that this music video has touched the hearts of many and made it to the YouTube Ads Leaderboard in H2 2016. Even though all of us may come from diverse backgrounds, we hope to encourage all to keep chasing that dream as one united people.”

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon, Special Correspondent at Digital Market Asia, is fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, and has focussed on tracking developments in the field in Asia Pacific.