Google reveals biggest ads on YouTube for 2012 – MLA’s ‘Barbie Girl’ parody at #7 but (ooops) 36m YouTube views ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ overlooked


Screen shot 2012-01-11 at 6.15.22 AM-thumb-400x218-65664.jpgdumb ways.jpgGoogle has released its Australian YouTube Viral Ad Zeitgeist, the list of this year’s biggest ads on YouTube in Australia.

From satirical music videos to movie trailers and spots selling meat, the ads on this year’s list proved especially diverse – demonstrating again that the definition of advertising is evolving in the digital age. But what appears to be a major oversight, McCann’s ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ video for Metro Trains – which has scored over 36m views on YouTube, is not included.

“Lambassador” Sam Kekovich and Melissa Tkautz, who made headlines urging Australians to fire up the barbie earlier this year, remained on the list at 7th place with ‘Barbie Girl’ via BMF. But Australia’s beef producers are nipping at their heels: a spot reminding meat eaters that real Australians eat steak came in at 8th place also created by BMF.

steak-thumb-400x214-90295.jpgWhen it comes to viral ads in Australia, there’s no question that radio personalities Fitzy and Wippa are top of the charts. The dynamic DJ duo from Sydney locked down first, second and fifth place on the list by reimagining hit songs from a distinctly personal – and Aussie – perspective. The NovaFM stars scored top billing with a parody of Korean sensation PSY, entitled “Aussie Battler Style.” They landed fifth place with “Cookie Jars,” a self-deprecating swipe at Wippa’s reputed battle with cookie addiction. And their bogan send-off of Carly Rae Jepsen’s song “Call Me Maybe,” came in at number two.

Says Karen Stocks, head of new products & solutions for Google in Asia Pacific: “Fitzy and Wippa’s success demonstrates there’s a real appetite for Aussie ads on YouTube. It’s an appetite that other local businesses have yet to satisfy.

“YouTube is a global platform with local reach: Australian audiences are asking for more local content on YouTube – but most Aussie marketers have yet to answer their call. The opportunities for marketers who understand, and meet, this demand are huge.”

Australians love trailers for movies and games so much that Google decided to release a separate ranking for this category. Blockbuster game franchises Call of Duty and Halo both secured spots on the top 10 trailers of 2012, but it was Hollywood superhero franchises that reigned supreme: spots for Iron Man 3, Dark Knight Rises, and the Avengers all performed well.

Many of these videos demonstrate that the definition of advertising is evolving in the online age. Few of the ads on this year’s list would have been recognised as “ads” ten years ago – with the running length of the third place winner “Gymkhana FIVE: Ultimate Urban Playground; San Francisco,” coming in at more than nine minutes.

Says Stocks: “Advertisers may think that the formula to video success is an open secret, but ads don’t need to be slick 30-second TV spots to find an audience and succeed on YouTube. Online, marketers have the opportunity to reinvent their ads. They should challenge themselves to think popular, not premium, and focus on creating ads that people love to share.”

Top Ten Viral Ads on YouTube in Australia, 2012

1. GANGNAM AUSSIE BATTLER STYLE – by Fitzy and Wippa, NovaFM


5. BATTLE SCARS PARODY ‘COOKIE JARS’ – by Fitzy, Wippa, Guy Sebastian & Lupe Fiasco, NovaFM

6. TOMORROWLAND 2012 – OFFICIAL AFTERMOVIE – Tomorrowland Channel


7. BARBIE GIRL – AUSTRALIA DAY 2012 – by Sam Kekovich, Melissa Tkautz and Justice Crew via BMF


9. SEDUCTIVE MOTION – Samsung Televisions via BETC London