The bedrock of compelling advertising is creativity. The Cannes Ads Leaderboard celebrates the YouTube ads that viewers have chosen to watch since last year’s Cannes Lions Festival. And the winners have leveraged some of the most powerful components of best-in-class advertising. Roya Zeitoune, YouTube culture and trends lead for EMEA says, “The Ads Leaderboard winners tap into the things that make for successful ads. Some evoke an emotional response, others use humor or celebrities — or a combination of those three elements.” The Cannes Leaderboard manifests a distinct trend we are seeing on YouTube toward long-form content, with the winning ads averaging just over 90-seconds long. Viewers are choosing to watch beyond the ads’ first 5 seconds, meaning brands need to be deliberate about how the story unfolds to hold attention. The result is story arcs with more compelling, dynamic hooks at the outset. Dessert first. Ads continue to unfold with up-tempo cadence, unexpected moments, and multiple story peaks to keep viewers engaged. Amazon’s “Not Everything Makes the Cut'' is a perfect example. There is a whisper of “a lot of fails” to pique curiosity, followed by multiple celebrity cameos, and culminating in a worldwide power outage. The 10 best-in-class ads use a variety of tools to build engagement. Among the strongest is brands’ use of dynamic storytelling to capture and hold viewer attention, thereby moving forward the industry’s definition of creative excellence. View the full list to inspire creativity in your future ads campaigns.