Google has released the leaderboard of the ten ads that were the most popular among Kiwi viewers over the course of 2014. And this list, which is determined through an algorithm that factors in paid views, organic views and view rate (how much of a video people chose to watch), provides an interesting glimpse at some of the key viewing trends in the online space over the past year.
"On YouTube, Kiwis are not just watching ads—they are seeking them out, liking them and sharing them," says Tony Keusgen, the managing director of Google New Zealand. "And this list of the most viewed ads on YouTube in New Zealand in 2014 reveals a little about our national pysche, which appears to consist mainly of rugby, holidays and awkward dates."
The list also shows that it pays to produce local content, with seven of the ten ads on the leaderboard having been made in New Zealand. And Keusgen points out this is particularly impressive given that Nike's star-studded 'Winner Stays' spot, which has over 100 million views globally, only came in seventh position.
The All Blacks featured in three of the top five spots, while Air New Zealand carried its international from over to the local level by nabbing the top spot with its Safety in paradise video (this spot was also the most-watched ad in Australia).
Over the course of the last year, much has been said about the value in creating bespoke content for YouTube rather than simply republishing a TVC. And, looking at the list, there certainly appears to be some merit in this argument, with most of the clips falling well beyond the 15- or 30-second remit usually prescribed by a traditional TV ad. The dominance of long-form advertising was also evident in the United States, with several of the spots in its regional list also having been created specific for the online channel.
So without further ado, here's a rundown of which ads Kiwis were most engaged with during 2014.
10. Tinder First Dates with Tully Smyth – Lipton Ice Tea
The refreshing dose of Tinder honesty proved something of hit among many Kiwis, who enjoyed the satirical social commentary on dating in the digital age.
9. Speed ad – 'Mistakes' – NZ Transport Agency
Clemenger BBDO's 'Mistakes' ad struck such a chord with audiences that several international bodies also expressed interest in running it in their regional markets. This success then spilled over into the awards circuit, with the spot picking up a slew of gongs for the way in which it addressed a difficult issue.
8. Nike Football: Winner stays — Nike Football
With the World Cup happening this year, pretty much every single brand in the known universe, except those targeted at hipster audiences, released a football-related spot. And while there were a few that completely missed the mark (what was Samsung thinking?), this Nike spot definitely resonated with football fans throughout the world.
7. Country Road Active is coming — Country Road
Country Road launched its new range of 'Active' gear earlier this year, and viewers were clearly quite interested in what the brand would bring to the sports apparel industry.
6. The most epic safety video ever — Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand has created a click monster out of its consistently brilliant air safety videos—and this trend was continued with the launch of a new spot to coincide with the release of the final instalment of the Hobbit triology.
5. Weet-Bix and All Blacks give young rugby fan surprise of his life — Weet-Bix
Richie McCaw and his crew gave a young Kiwi lad quite an unexpected breakfast surprise, and audiences gushed with ohhs and ahhs.
4. Do more with Rexona — Rexona
Dan Carter and Taika Waititi combined to create a great piece of Kiwi entertainment that provided the perfect mix of ridiculously handsome and self-deprecatingly humorous.
3. Clear Men's Hair All Blacks — ClearHairCare
Standing as evidence of the fact that the All Blacks are marketing gold and can do no wrong, this anti-dandruff spot was one of the very few examples where a TVC enjoyed a successful YouTube transplant.
2. Make love, not war — Lynx
Although the rest of the top five was occupied by Kiwi ads, local audiences couldn't look past the high production value and excellent story-telling that led to the twist at the end of this epic spot.
1. Safety in paradise — Air New Zealand
Despite the controversy—or perhaps because of it—a group of bikini-clad Sports Illustrated models served as the driving force behind the the most-watched ad of the year.