YouTube's Best-Performing Ads For 2022

YouTube has published its annual list of ads that performed best on its platform this year, with technology companies like Amazon and Apple, and streamers such as HBO Max and Netflix reaching into the top 10 for global and U.S. campaigns

Amazon’s Super Bowl ad for Alexa ran about 1.5 minutes, featuring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost while the smart device becomes a mind reader and questions their relationship.

YouTube’s Ads Leaderboard algorithmically analyzes the creative based on organic and paid views, as well as the watch time and audience retention between November 1, 2021 and October 30, 2022.

Placements are limited to one ad per brand to better reflect the broad range, quality and popularity of YouTube ads throughout the year.



Apple’s ad demonstrated unique storytelling that drove interest and engagement, but the ad that took the fourth spot in this year’s ranking was paired with practical and well-illustrated product details and differentiators.

“Creative is more important than ever and becoming much more relevant to performance advertising. On YouTube brands are crafting content that viewers don’t want to stop watching – layered with practical and beautifully visualized product details and differentiators,” stated Maria Perazzo, creative director at Google. “Taking the concept of ‘brandformance’ to a new level -- an updated strategy well suited for the non-linear media world where optimization is about adding function to great storytelling to drive action, without killing the creative.”

HBO Max's "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwart," released in December 2021, invites fans on a magical first-person journey through as it reunites Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and other cast members and filmmakers across all eight Harry Potter films for the first time to celebrate the anniversary of the franchise’s first film, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone."

Absent from the lists are packaged goods brands, financial services marketers and retailers.

This column was previously published in Inside Performance on December 2, 2022.

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