YouTube has been celebrating its tenth birthday this month by going through a letter a day and while the vast majority of viewing is still done on the main screen, there’s no doubt the video sharing has become a powerful cultural force since the first video featuring co-founder Jawed Karim at the zoo was uploaded. It’s also become a powerful marketing force, with four of the most-watched videos of last year made by brands and 16 million hours of ads watched. As such, YouTube has chosen the 20 greatest brand moments in its history and it’s asking people to vote for their favourite ad.
Check out the view numbers and vote here.
One of the ads from Old Spice even featured as one of its daily features. And as YouTube wrote on its blog:
YouTube is a level playing field. The videos we love most rise to the top, whether the creator is a suburban dad, a film school auteur or a Fortune 500 company. And while many of YouTube’s most beloved videos are ones made by everyday people, the creative stories told by brands snag a fair share of views, too. In fact, in 2014, we tuned in to watch more than 16 million hours of the top 10 ads of the year. (That’s equivalent to roughly 1 billion 60 second spots.)
Which brings us to one of the most popular and classic adverts on our platform: the “Old Spice Guy” (or, technically, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” from Old Spice). In an ad that set a new standard for branded video, the Man — played by Isaiah Mustafa — premiered before the Super Bowl in February, 2010. Bare chested and directly addressing the camera, Mustafa broke the fourth wall and established himself as the world’s hunkiest, funniest toiletries spokesman. The breakout campaign went on to include three more commercials and accrue a total of more than 54 million views across YouTube. The character was so successful, Old Spice’s agency Wieden + Kennedy devised a follow-up campaign in which the Man personally answered fan questions with nearly 200 individual video responses. It was a concept that brought the Old Spice channel more than 110 million total views and over 900,000 watch hours that year.
Of course, Old Spice is just one of the many brands creating shareable moments on YouTube every day. From epic splits to penalty kicks, unlikely pals to surprising reflections, some of the best stories just happen to have been told by brands. We look forward to seeing how they will surprise and delight us next.