YouTube Ads Leaderboard: Cannes 2019

June 2019

With Cannes Lions 2019 on the horizon, our special edition Leaderboard celebrates the most popular global video ads since last year's festival.

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 humour 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.

1. Coca-Cola | Vai no Gás

Brand: Coca-Cola - Media Agency: JWT & Kolab/McCann - Creative Agency: JWT

2. Not Everything Makes the Cut – Amazon Super Bowl LIII Commercial

Brand: Amazon - Media Agency: Rufus - Creative Agency: Lucky Generals and Amazon Internal Creative Team

3. إعلان Orange GO - علي ربيع

Brand: Orange


Brand: LG- Media Agency: VietBuzzAd (VBA) - Creative Agency: VietBuzzAd (VBA) and HSAd Vietnam

5. iPhone XS — Growth Spurt — Apple

Brand: Apple - Media Agency: OMD - Creative Agency: TBWA\MAL

6. Shopee TVC: Shopee 12.12 Birthday Sale Blackpink (30 sec.)

Brand: Shopee - Media Agency: In-house - Creative Agency: In-house

7. The LEGO Movie Characters present: Safety Video - Turkish Airlines

Brand: Turkish Airlines - Media Agency: People Initiative - Creative Agency: Warner Bros

8. Nike - Dream Crazy

Brand: Nike - Media Agency: SapientRazorfish - Creative Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

9. The Internet of Things presents – #LikeABosch

Brand: Bosch - Media Agency: OMD - Creative Agency: Jung von Matt/Alster

10. Galaxy Note9: Fortnite Supply Drop

Brand: Samsung - Media Agency: Starcom - Creative Agency: R/GA - Credits: Publicis Sport & Entertainment

The YouTube Cannes to Cannes Ads Leaderboard is a list of the top 10 most popular video ads globally from June 2018 to April 2019. The ranking is determined using some of YouTube's strongest signals of viewer choice–including factors like organic views.

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