April 2014 saw the first real appearance of soccer-related ads on the YouTube Ads Leaderboard. In the run-up to the FIFA World Cup, which kicks off next month, three of the top ten most viewed video ads on the platform had something to do with soccer, with Nike, and guest star Christiano Ronaldo, taking two of the places. The three ads attracted a combined view count of around 74 million.
Football aside, April 2014 was also the first month that we saw branded ads made in collaboration with YouTube creators receive a significant number of views. We are seeing definite proof that brands are learning that the creative content that works best on YouTube is one that feels more like content and less “commercial,” so many of the top brands have partnered up with the people who know what works on YouTube best - the creators. Gatorade partnered with DudePerfect, YouTube's most subscribed to creator sports channel (not counting brands NBA and Red Bull) to create one of these custom videos. With 2.5M subscribers about 250M views, Gatorade is leveraging DudePerfect's audience to tap into their loyal fan base. We are seeing creators becoming a new type of “creative agency” for brands to make videos that viewers seek out and choose to watch on YouTube.
Other brands to make the top 10 of the most watched video ads on YouTube in April 2014 included Dove, Evian, Castrol, Foot Locker and Honeymaid. Let's take a look at the ads that viewers (in the U.S.) chose to watch last month:
Top Ten Ads on YouTube for April 2014
#1 Nike Football: Winner Stays. ft. Ronaldo (49,042,870 Views)
#2 Dove: Patches doveunitedstates (20,528,714 Views)
#3 evian Spider-Man - The Amazing Baby & me 2 EvianBabies (16,577,425 Views)
#4 Castrol Footkhana: Neymar Jr. v Ken Block (14,213,013 Views)
#5 "Unsung Hero" (Official HD) : TVC Thai Life Insurance 2014 (12,523,222 Views)
#6 Nike Football: Risk Everything. Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney (10,844,632 Views)
#7 Foot Locker x adidas "No Rings" featuring Damian Lillard footlocker (4,628,338 Views)
#8 Honey Maid: Love Honeymaid (3,828,593 Views)
#9 I'm a Textpert (Rap Battle) RhettandLink (2,700,341 Views)
#10 World's Longest Dunk Tank Throw: corycotton (1,363,303 Views)