YouTube have announced the UK’s top 10 most viewed ads from 2014.

No doubt you will have seen most of them. The recent Christmas ad by Sainsbury’s came out on top with the John Lewis Christmas ad coming second, both multi channel successes. Nike managed to get 2 ads in the top 10.

This year, the top 10 ads earned a combined 330 million views. Here are Google’s top 3 insights into what made them a big success:

  • Make the most of the moment: half of the top ads this year are designed around a magic moment (in this case Christmas and the World Cup). But successful brands have learned to split this big moments into hundreds of digital interactions. For example, Nike use before and after the game interactive content like highlight videos to engage with its audience.
  • Short doesn’t always mean sweet: ads this year were on approximately 57% longer, averaging 2.8 minutes in length. This means that consumers online are happy to spend more time with branded content, provided it is entertaining and relevant. Gone are the days when 30 or 60 sec were the norm for captivating ads, and online ads were merely re-purposed TV ads.
  • Emotions & connections: many of the winning ads have succeeded in forming deep emotional connections with their audience. Whether by reminding us of our inner child like Evian or empowering women everywhere like Always, brands are targeting our hearts, not our wallets.

YouTube also announced the top creative and media agencies which were featured the most in the YouTube leaderboards last year. The top creative agencies were Wieden + Kennedy, adamandeveDDB and AMV BBDO. The top media agencies were Mindshare, Mediacom, Carat and MEC.

Top 10 most watched ads in the UK on YouTube in 2014 are as follows:

1. Sainsbury’s OFFICIAL Christmas 2014 Ad

2. John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014 – #MontyThePenguin

3. Nike Football: Winner Stays. ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Ibrahimović, Iniesta & more

4. Nike Football: The Last Game ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Zlatan, Iniesta & more

5. Always #LikeAGirl

6. Three – #SingItKitty – cat advert

7. Marks & Spencer Christmas Advert 2014 #FollowTheFairies

8. Most Shocking Second a Day Video

9. Sapeurs – New GUINNESS Advert (2014)

10. Human Loop the Loop with Damien Walters – Pepsi Max. Unbelievable #LiveForNow

Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama


Editor of Fourth Source and freelance SEO/Digital Marketer based in London.