Add NASCAR's Jeff Gordon, a Chevy Camaro, a hidden camera, an unsuspecting car salesman and what do you get? The most popular ad on YouTube in March.
“Pepsi's Test Drive stormed up the charts in just a few weeks,” a Google spokesman said about the ad, which features a disguised Gordon taking the Camaro for a test drive -- and nearly giving the salesman a heart attack in the process.
Posted in the second week of March, “Test Drive” has so far racked up more than 33 million views on YouTube.
“It already has more views than any of the ads from our all-2012 Leaderboard,” the spokesman added, referring to the YouTube Ads Leaderboard -- a monthly program highlighting the top 10 videos of the month based on sponsored and organic views.
Other top performers in March included an ad introducing the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, which has so far attracted nearly 8 million views; another setting up EASports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 videogame, with almost 4 million views, and an ode to adidas Originals, with over 3.5 million views since being posted on March 5.
Other than their ability to engage viewers, what do March’s top ads have in common? Length. In fact, “none of the 10 ads are traditional [30-second] spots,” Google’s spokesman said. “Only one is [60 seconds], and all the rest are longer.”
“Test Drive” runs for 3 minutes and 46 seconds; Samsung’s demo goes on for 4 minutes and 24 seconds; while “The Rumble,” featuring Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer, comes in at a more modest 2 minutes and 14 seconds.
Also of note, The Anti-Defamation League made the list with its “Imagine a World without Hate” video, making its the first nonprofit on the Leaderboard, according to Google.