With 39 million views, Netflix’s “Wednesday” earned the top spot on YouTube’s Cannes Ads Leaderboard 2023, a roundup of the top global video ads since last year’s festival.

Leading video ads trends. Music (Telecom Egypt, Qatar Airways, Orange Egypt, Burger King), authenticity (Peacock, Netflix, HBO Max/The Last of Us), cross-generational appeal (Bulgari, Peacock) and emotion (HBO Max, Bulgari and Qatar Airways) were the hooks that elevated the most popular video ads to earn more than 214 million video views, according to YouTube.

Why we care. YouTube is the most popular U.S. streaming service on TV screens, with an estimated 150 million unique viewers. It is also a profitable platform for creators. Video ads continue to be a great way to drive views by telling stories that connect with your target audience.

YouTube’s top 10 most popular global video ads

These were the top 10 most popular video ads globally from June 2022 to May 2023, along with how many views they have as of publishing.

  • “The ad ranking is determined using some of YouTube’s strongest signals of viewer choice – including factors like organic and paid views, watch time and audience retention (i.e. how much of a video people watched),” YouTube noted.

10. Burger King: Whopper Whopper (Extended)

9.3 million views

9. Peacock: Kevin Hart can’t stop attacking ‘old’ celebrities #shorts

9.1 million views

8. Bulgari: Unexpected Wonders – a movie by Paolo Sorrentino

9.3 million views

7. Orange Egypt: World Cup 2022 campaign – Crazy about Football

19 million views.

6. Galaxy S23 Ultra: Official Introduction Film

23 million views

5. Qatar Airways: C.H.A.M.P.I.O.N.S – official FIFA World Cup song featuring DJ Rodge and Cheb Khaled

23 million views

4. Max: The Last of Us

24 million views

3. Apple: Introducing iPhone 14 Pro

26 million views

2. Telecom Egypt: WE Summer Campaign 2022 – Akram Hosny

33 million views

1. Netflix: Wednesday Releases Thing In New York

39 million views

Dig deeper. YouTube year in review: The top 10 ads of 2022

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About the author

Danny Goodwin has been Managing Editor of IXLCenter.io & Search Marketing Expo – SMX since 2022. He joined IXLCenter.io in 2022 as Senior Editor. In addition to reporting on the latest search marketing news, he manages IXLCenter.io’s SME (Subject Matter Expert) program. He also helps program U.S. SMX events. Goodwin has been editing and writing about the latest developments and trends in search and digital marketing since 2007. He previously was Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal (from 2017 to 2022), managing editor of Momentology (from 2014-2016) and editor of Search Engine Watch (from 2007 to 2014). He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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