Google reveals UK's most popular ads of 2015, with John Lewis taking the crown for #ManOnTheMoon

Google revealed today (11 January) the most popular advertising videos of 2015, with Britiain's biggest retail and automotive brands dominating the leaderboard.

The ads featured in the top ten reveal that Christmas-related content is the most popular among consumers, with the most popular genres those of humour, emotion and drama.

The top 10 ads in the UK Year-End Ads Leaderboard are ranked based on an algorithm that includes paid views, organic views and how much of a video people watched in the UK.

Google urged advertisers to spot the common trends that appear throughout the most popular ads to help them plan their video strategy for the coming year.

Alison Lomax, head of brand solutions at Google, explained: “The most popular ads we saw in 2015 succeeded in entertaining and engaging people thanks to their creativity and consumer insights, and they held the viewer’s attention despite the average length of the top 10 being more than two minutes - more evidence that consumers will happily watch longer form content.

“In 2016 two huge sporting events are likely to dominate searches on YouTube – UEFA Euro 2016 and The Olympic Games – and naturally Christmas will come round again. Brands need to make a New Year’s resolution to start preparing video content now that taps into the passions and enthusiasms stirred up by these culturally-unifying events.”

Many of the most successful ads saw brands increasing their engagement with extra content offerings, with John Lewis offering a link to ‘continue the story’ and Tesco offering viewers the opportunity to learn how to recreate some of the pranks used in its ad.

This increased engagement is the focus of video strategy for 2016, with more brands offering viewers the opportunity to view additional content across platforms.

Take a look at the Top 10 below

1. John Lewis - #ManOnTheMoon

The ad tells the story of young girl who sends a present to a man who lives on the moon, following the John Lewis christmas theme of going the extra mile to give someone the perfect gift. The retailer partenered with Age UK in the campaign to raise awareness of the loneliness of the elderly during Christmas time.

2. Sainsbury’s – Mog’s Christmas Calamity

Sainsbury’s turned to one of the nation’s best loved children’s book characters, Judith Kerr’s Mog, for its festive campaign which highlights the importance of sharing at Christmas. The supermarket partnered with Save the Children in the campaign, donating all funds generated from the sale of a Mog soft toy and book to help improve child literacy across the UK.

3. Three - When stuff sucks #makeitright

Three's #MakeItRight campaign tells the story of the brand's fluffy purple ambassador, Jackson, who is tired of putting up with "stuff that sucks" and is galvanised into making the world a better place. Jackson is a purple puppet designed and created by The Muppets inventor Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

4. Honda Ignition

Honda partnered with Wieden & Kennedy London for Ignition, which uses spaceflight as a visual metaphor for bold innovation. Featured in the ad is asimo the robot, F1 driver Jenson Button and the voice of the late Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. The ad pays homage to one of the boldest expressions of human curiosity and engineering endeavor: space flight, to showcase Honda's "daring spirit".

5. M&S – #TheArtOfChristmas

The M&S Christmas ad builds on ‘The Art of…’ campaign launched earlier in 2015, and shows a series of mini moments as a family prepares for Christmas day, with M&S calling its new approach "more box-set than blockbuster".

6. Tesco - Introducing Spookermarket

7. Transport for London - Report it to Stop it

8. Aldi - Telescope Christmas Advert

9. John Lewis Home Insurance - Tiny Dancer

10. Hyundai : A Message to Space

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Jessica Goodfellow

The Drum's media reporter covering everything from publishing, TV, social media, radio and technology.

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