October and November are the months of the year when almost all major brands in India try to capture the attention of prospective consumers with some aggressive advertising. It's that time of the year when a majority of the country celebrates Dusshera and Diwali - two of the biggest Hindu festivals. You can see special discounts and offers by brands almost everywhere, trying to capitalize on the spending surge that the country witnesses. This year, the fact that both the festivals arrived in the same month of October meant that we saw a lot of brands up their advertising spends everywhere - including digital.
Most of these ads centre around celebrating Diwali and the best part about the top ads this time around is that most of them are tailor-made for digital and have got good feedback from the viewers. To be honest - I was getting bored of seeing the same TVCs being tried out on digital by most of the brands. With a lot of content created specifically for the digital landscape, October's online video ad leader board is like a breath of fresh air.
Here's the list of the top 10 video ads on YouTube in India for the month of October:
- YouTube is the primary platform for consideration while creating this leader board. Some of these video ads have only been run on YouTube while some have been tried on both YouTube and Facebook.
- Data updated till November 6.
- The overall audience sentiment that is mentioned below each advertisement is based on - number of views, likes, dislikes, watch time and comments.
10. Pepsi India
At number 10 we have an advertisement by Pepsi showcasing their 'Liter of light' initiative. Pepsi is running this campaign in association with Liter of Light foundation, an open source movement which aims to provide ecologically sustainable and cost-free lighting for the poor. Set to a melodic background track, this video has clocked over 3.3 million views so far!
Total Views: 3,325,101 (2.5 million on YouTube and 800 thousand+ on Facebook)
Average views per hour: 9,760
Run time: 1:57
Average watch time: 1:23
9. Honda 2 Wheelers India
This is the only ad in the list which has a substantially high negative audience sentiment. Maybe because the concept of the advert isn't really new and the ending is a little too tacky for most people. It has only been promoted on YouTube and has got over 2.6 million views so far.
Total Views: 2,694,874
Average views per hour: 8,608
Run time: 1:00
Average watch time: 0:37
8. MyGov India
The India-Pakistan conflict has reached a crescendo in the last few months and understandably emotions are running high on both sides of the border. The repercussions of this dispute is hard for everyone involved - people of the two countries, their governments and especially the soldiers. To lift the morale of the soldiers, India's PM Narendra Modi launched a campaign called 'Sandesh to soldiers' which lets people send their gratitude to the troopers stationed at the border.
With an aim to reach over 10 crore people of the country, the campaign was promoted across all mediums - both online and offline. The YouTube channel MyGov India launched this video as a part of this campaign on October 22, 2016 and so far it has got over 6.2 million views! The emotionally charged video has been more successful on Facebook where it has been watched over 3.5 million times!
Total Views: 6,206,948 (2.7 million on YouTube and 3.5 million+ on Facebook)
Average views per hour: 7,067
Run time: 4:00
Average watch time: 1:20
The Uber Moves advertisement series has been really well received by people. Almost all the commercials in the campaign focus a lot on the storyline and this one's no different. Featuring the story of newly wed Aroras, this cute ad by Uber has clocked over 4.9 Million views so far.
Total Views: 4,925,825 (2.8 million on YouTube and 2.1 million+ on Facebook)
Average views per hour: 3,483
Run time: 2:01
Average watch time: 1:19
6. Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin
At number 6, we have another advertisement by the Government of India. Launched on the first of October, just a day before Gandhi Jayanti; this ad is a part of the Modi government's ambitious Clean India, Better India initiative.
Total Views: 3,164,189
Average views per hour: 3,551
Run time: 0:50
Average watch time: 0:44
5. HDFC Life
Fathering a baby is one of the most difficult decisions that one has to take in their lives. This predictable but well-made ad shows how a guy slowly matures as a father as he understands the importance of planning and being there for his family.
Total Views: 5,019,321
Average views per hour: 6,321
Run time: 1:30
Average watch time: 0:41
Remember Arjun Kanungo of the Baaki Baatein Peene Baad fame? Colgate's new branded video Shine features his smooth voice and Sonam Kapoor in the video. The video has over 5.6 million views so far on YouTube but surprisingly, hasn't been promoted much on Facebook! It had a lot of potential to reach more people on Facebook in my opinion.
This is the second branded video song that Colgate has come up with in the last 6 months! (The first one was with popular YouTuber Shraddha Sharma)
Total Views: 5,640,939
Average views per hour: 11,017
Run time: 3:38
Average watch time: 0:50
3. Surf Excel
If there is one brand in India that is consistently making unforgettable and touching advertisements in the past couple of years, it is Surf Excel. (Remember their Ramazan ad? How about the ReadyForLife commercial?)
In this latest advert, it celebrates the innocence of kids and the spirit of Diwali. This is another video that had great potential to be shared and watched by thousands of more people if it was promoted well on Facebook. It has over 6 million views so far and is adding over 11 thousand views every hour!
Total Views: 6,035,005 (Almost all the views are from YouTube. Only 8k+ views on Facebook)
Average views per hour: 11,821
Run time: 2:38
Average watch time: 1:18
2. One Plus India
In the last few years, the smartphone market in India has been flooded by scores of new brands. From Karbonn to Lava to Intex, there are so many new brands, it is hard to keep track of them all. But there are a few brands that have created a niche of their own. One Plus is one of them. Right from the beginning, they've had a solid brand building strategy. They have never advertised on TV and focus more on the internet savvy millennials.
Their latest advert/branded video, focusses on the importance of family values and love. The emotionally charged video has a run time of 4 minutes but still has managed to capture the imagination of the people. With over 7.9 million views so far, it is at number 2.
Total Views: 7,930,342 (Almost all the views are from YouTube. Only 65k+ views on Facebook)
Average views per hour: 14,894
Run time: 4:03
Average watch time: 1:59
This was undoubtedly the most popular video ad on the internet in India in October. The ad has almost 24 million views so far and features the story of a couple from a small village who meet their son on the occasion of Diwali. The emotional storyline is backed by powerful non-flimsy performances and has been shot and put together really well.
Total Views: 23,946,369 (19 million+ on YouTube and 4 million+ on Facebook)
Average views per hour: 29,099
Run time: 4:00
Average watch time: 1:52
Some of the other noteworthy ads of the month:
It is really heartening to see that brands in the country have finally started to move away from just TVCs to custom made content for digital. It is also great to see that the government has realized the importance of educating and updating the opinionated citizens of the internet. If this trend keeps up, we advertising enthusiasts are set for some really interesting times ahead of us.