The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in May 2016

By Aravinda Holla , Vidooly, Mumbai | In Digital | June 02, 2016
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This month's list features a mix of brands across segments like FMCG, telecom, and technology.

Like every month, we're back with the top 10 Indian ads on YouTube. This month's leaderboard features a healthy mix of brands from different verticals like FMCG, telecom, and technology.

Aravinda Holla

While the brands continued spending a handsome amount to grab the eyeballs of the Indian online consumer, they aren't spending much on creating content that is exclusive for the internet. Most of these ads are just TV commercials uploaded on YouTube.

Note: While doing the research, one of the interesting observations we noticed was that global tech brands have started targetting the Indian audience on YouTube a lot! For instance, Website builder Wix, video conferencing product GoToMeeting, and the mobile browser UCBrowser were pretty aggressive with their ads on YouTube. But, we're not including them in this list as we're focussing more on Indian brands and their commercials.

1. Are your kids #ReadyForLife? by Surf Excel

This touching two-and-a-half-minute advert by Surf Excel has been viewed over 6.7 million times already. A loving mom, a lying son and a childhood friendship - this commercial, even though it's predictable, has it all to make you go aaw..!

Note: Surf Excel's YouTube channel has around 11,000 subscribers as of today. It added 3,884 new subscribers just because of this video!

The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in May 2016

2. MaxFresh Taazgi Ka Dhamaka with Ranveer Singh and Amit Trivedi

Toothpaste ads have always relied on set templates and catchy jingles. This one features Bollywood heartthrob Ranveer Singh singing and dancing to the track composed by the talented musician Amit Trivedi.

3. Snapdeal - Find your dream husband

A day has come when we buy almost everything online! But, can you buy your dream husband as well? This short and crisp advert by Snapdeal is not out of the ordinary, but it does the job.


AMITY has been running this advert aggressively not just on TV, but also on YouTube and OTT platforms like hotstar. The video explains the scholarship programmes that AMITY offers for talented students. However, judging by the like-dislike ratio of this commercial, maybe AMITY should hold it back a little.

5. Dove: Let's break the rules of beauty

Last year, when Dove launched its Choose Beautiful campaign, it had to face a lot of flak for the theme of the video ad. Even though the campaign was a success, many called the accompanying theme passive aggressive, and patronising. Maybe, that's why Dove is not taking any chances with this new YouTube ad and has turned off the like and dislike counter. The video featuring a montage of Indian women of different colours and ethnicity has crossed over 2.5 million views so far. But, a quick scan through the comments section reveals that this commercial has also received polarised opinions!

6. Sonakshi Sinha #LiveUnplugged with ASUS Zenfone Max | 30 seconds

Aggressive advertising does not always work. This ad by ASUS showcasing their Zenfone Max series of phones has received more dislikes than the number of likes precisely for that reason. Just take a look at the comments section and you'll know!

7. Paper Boat presents Rizwan

I would rate this as the best advertisement of the whole list. The video chronicles the story of Rizwan who sits with his dog and reminisces about his childhood and his mom. With a touchy twist ending, 'Rizwan --Keeper of the Gates of Heaven' is more storytelling than advertising. And, it reflects in the stats of the video -

• It has 508 likes against just 11 dislikes.
• People usually hate longer advertisements on YouTube. This ad, even though it is three-and-a-half-minute-long, has an average watch time of over two minutes!

Paper Boat sure has hit the bull's eye with this one!

8. Be a Super Dad with Vodafone SuperNet - Re-route maps instantly ad

Vodafone's latest series of 'Be a super' commercials have been received really well by audiences across the country. This may not turn out to be as iconic as the 'our network follows' and 'ZooZoo' campaigns, but the ads are clever nonetheless. Here's the latest commercial showcasing the SuperNet 4G network:

9. Digene Fizz | Cooling relief from Acidity | Noodle Shop | Abbott Digene Fizz

Making a funny commercial can be tough; especially, when you throw in a cultural stereotyping in the mix! That's exactly what has happened with Digene in this latest ad showcasing its acidity relief powder.

While some people may find this advertisement featuring a North-eastern woman funny, quite a few have definitely found it offensive. (The likes/dislikes counter and the comments section have been disabled for the video)

10. Lipton Ice Tea Traffic Cop | #100DaysOfSummer

Summers in the national capital can be tough! I mean real TOUGH! Think about the traffic cops who have to brave blistering heat to manage the vehicular traffic of the National Capital Region! This timely advert by Lipton has clocked over 1.8 million views so far:

(The author is product marketing manager at Vidooly, a YouTube audience development and analytics firm)

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