Adweek teamed with Google to post a most-watched list of ads for 2014, headed by:
- Nike World Cup Soccer ("Winner Stays" and "The Last Game") which were viewed on YouTube an amazing 171.7 million times
- Budweiser ("Puppy Love") attracted 53.4 million views
What makes these lists interesting is that people actually clicked, voluntarily, to watch advertising messages. Yes, the ads are quite entertaining and even inspirational or at least emotional.
But in the end, they're paid messages on behalf of a corporate sponsor. The very kind of marketing material that consumers often skip past when watching recorded TV programming.
Yet through word of mouth, these YouTube-leading ads went viral and attracted much higher viewership than could have been achieved via regular advertising channels. Food for thought at a time when marketers are trying to cut through clutter and engage customers and prospects digitally.