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Culture and Trends

And this year’s top ads on YouTube are...

By Alyson Yaffe

YouTube Marketing

It used to be that the great ads of the year were released during the Big Game. One day a year, we were treated to funny, touching, and memorable ads during the game that we rewatched online afterward (remember The Force or the Old Spice man?).

Today, brands have stepped up their game on YouTube and are creating videos that people seek out and choose to watch, every day. So what were the top ads of 2014? Well, we took a look at the ads that debuted on YouTube in 2014, and evaluated them against metrics including audience engagement metrics (watch time, likes, shares), video views, and audience retention metrics (how much of a video people watched) to come up with our leaderboard of the top ads of 2014 on YouTube.

Thanks to the creativity of this year’s videos, people are spending more time watching videos from brands than ever before. In fact, we watched more than 1 billion minutes of the top 10 ads this year alone. And while the top ads are nearly 50 percent longer this year compared to last—averaging around 3 minutes each—we stayed tuned longer, spending around 50 percent more time watching them.

Here are the ads that grabbed our attention in 2014:
  1. Nike Football: Winner Stays. ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Ibrahimović, Iniesta & more
  2. Nike Football: The Last Game ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Zlatan, Iniesta & more
  3. Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial -- "Puppy Love"
  4. Always #LikeAGirl
  5. Devil Baby Attack
  6. Duracell: Trust Your Power - NFL's Derrick Coleman, Seattle Seahawks
  7. Galaxy Note 4 -- Then And Now
  8. P&G Thank You, Mom | Pick Them Back Up | Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
  9. Global Be(er) Responsible Day | “Friends Are Waiting” | Budweiser
  10. Heineken | Routine Interruptions | The Payphone with Fred Armisen
To celebrate this year’s top ads around the world, we teamed up with Kurt Hugo Schneider to remix them into an original video to the tunes of YouTube creators Scott Bradlee, Taylor Davis, Mike Relm, and Michael Thurber. You can watch it here:

You can also catch up on all the top ads individually by checking out our playlists for the Top Trailers, Top Brand/Creator Collaborations, and Top Sports Ads of 2014. For more on the top ads lists for the year, visit Think with Google.