Let’s say someone created a list of their favourite YouTube videos of 2018, and compared it with a friend’s. While they might have a few videos in common – perhaps the live stream of the Royal Wedding or the UEFA Champions League Final – most likely, each would contain different choices. We asked three industry leaders to share their favourites, as we take a look back at 2018.
With worldwide trends like the #InMyFeelings dance challenge to Drake’s hit song (generating 100 million views in July alone), to niche categories like Van Life, which depicts the lives of people travelling the world in outfitted vans (and has over 1200 dedicated channels), YouTube offers limitless choice, making it possible for each person to find content they want to watch.
Understanding online video viewing behavior is an important way of gaining insight into the culture and the world around us; as the primary video destination, YouTube offers insights that few other platforms can, allowing marketers to stay connected to the content that audiences care about.
So what YouTube videos are marketers in the UK watching? We asked three marketers from agencies and brands across the UK to share their single favourite YouTube video from 2018, and discuss why it was impactful, as well as one thing they look forward to in the industry in 2019.
Favourite video: Purple Boy's Sleep Solutions & Zonk Strategies
Why: Hands down, my absolute favourite YouTube moment of 2018. I’ve never consciously wanted to sit down and learn about mattresses in a four-part infomercial. But then Tim & Eric don’t do normal infomercials. The bit at 0:46 on episode 1, where Tim’s head transitions from one body to another using rubbish 2D graphics; that's the high point of 2018 for me.
How I use YouTube: One of my favourite things to do, when I’ve got an hour to myself, is to get lost in music. Years ago, I’d have to call up a DJ on pirate radio and beg him or her to play a tune. It’s still a miracle, even to this day, that I can access pretty much all the music on YouTube. And not just the everyday stuff; there’s some insanely rare stuff sitting there waiting to be discovered. It’s just like Bowie predicted, that music will become like running water or electricity. There’s never a day when I take that for granted.
In 2019... I’m looking forward to seeing more imagination, more scale, and more ambition in-feed as we gradually get bored with landfill content. To me, advertising is content when its good – and content is advertising when its bad.
Favourite video: Music Video for Kurupt FM’s Heart Monitor Riddem
Why: I love the BBC 3 show People Just Do Nothing and I love UK Garage music. Its music that grew up with and for me UKG has never died. I love the PJDN because the characters are brilliant and so representative of people you’ll meet on the London garage scene. I love this video in particular because its ridiculous but yet this is such a tune. I challenge you to not watch this and not have ‘lyrical blow to the jaw’ stuck in your head all day.
How I use YouTube: YouTube for me is where I discover the weird and wonderful, on the extreme side of things I am partial to Dr Pimple Popper and Chiropractic treatment videos. Other than that I’ll watch it to discover up and coming talent, the more niche the better. I still love channels such as the Chicken Connoisseur and Chicken shop dates, and love how YouTube has given them the platform to create such original long form content that drives such strong engagement.
In 2019… As on-demand TV continues to soar in popularity, YouTube will continue to be the home of serial longer format content and a platform for talent and creativity.
Favourite video: A Late Show Tribute to Aretha Franklin
Why: When Aretha Franklin died last year, there were hundreds of videos paying tribute to the Queen of Soul, but this is my absolute favourite. It has Carole King's infectious joy of watching Aretha sing the song she wrote for her, and Stephen Colbert's admission of stupidity, assuming that a seventy-something Aretha would be in anything less than full voice. But above all, it has Aretha. A woman who refused to play to segregated audiences, who fought for civil rights and women's rights delivering a breathtaking reminder of her power. R.E.S.P.E.C.T
How I use YouTube: YouTube is my fine aggregate allowing me to squeeze more video into the small pockets of my life. Put the toaster on then catch-up with what the pundits have to say about the latest geo-political drama. Waiting for the bus becomes an opportunity to learn about the diabolical rhyming schemes of MC Doom. YouTube provides much needed lols before bed. There's seemingly always time to sample a little something from the vast cache of culture that is YouTube.
In 2019... In changing, uncertain and challenging times I believe there is a solace to be found in the things that haven't changed. I still believe in the fundamental power of communications to inspire. I still believe that a strong brand is an invaluable asset to any business. And marketing's influence within organisations may be under pressure, but I still believe that businesses are run best when they look out to the world and the people they serve rather than purely looking inward.
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