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The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in January 2017

By Aravinda R Holla , Vidooly, Mumbai | In Digital | February 08, 2017
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This month's list features a healthy mix of BFSI brands, e-commerce companies, food & beverage manufacturers and smartphone brands.

Note: This article was updated by the author at 5:30 pm on February 8, 2017, around 12 hours after the original version was published. The ranks have changed.

Aravinda R Holla

It is the first month of a brand new year and here we are with a brand new leaderboard of the most watched Indian video advertisements on YouTube. This time around, the top 10 is a healthy mix of BFSI (Banking, Financial services and Insurance) brands, e-commerce companies, food & beverage manufacturers and smartphone brands. However, when compared to the kind of content that was experimented with in the last couple of months of 2016, the month looks quite dull with many entries, most of which are just TV commercials uploaded online. Hopefully, brands and agencies are just gearing up for the year ahead and we'll soon see some awesome advertisements in the months to come.

- All the stats here are updated until February 1, 2017.
- Only advertisements launched in January of 2017 are considered.
- The overall audience sentiment that is mentioned below each advertisement is based on number of views, likes, dislikes, watch time and comments.
- If a brand has multiple ads in the leader-board, only the one with the highest viewership is considered. This is just to ensure that more brands are recognised in the leader-board, since the underlying goal of this endeavor is to encourage brands to try digital video advertising more frequently.

Here are the top 10 video advertisements by Indian brands on YouTube for the month of January:

10. White Attraction Men by Closeup

I really hate it when brands are not sure enough of their ads and disable likes/dislikes and comments on their videos on YouTube! If they don't have confidence in the ads, why produce it in the first place? At number 10, we have the latest commercial by Closeup that has clocked over 2.8 million views but likes/dislikes and comments are disabled on it.

The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in January 2017

Note: No sentiment score for this since likes/dislikes and comments were disabled.

9. 'Live Young, Live Free' by Mahindra

The Live Young, Live Free USP has done wonders for Mahindra's brand image. The catchy jingle is instantly recognizable and can be tweaked a little and used repeatedly with new footage every now and then. That's exactly what Mahindra has done with this new commercial at number 9.

The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in January 2017

8. An Unexpected Visitor on the Pitch by Nissan

It is the cricket season in India, and Nissan rightfully chose a theme based on the sport for this video commercial. The video that features Yusuf Pathan has clocked over 3 million views so far on YouTube but has drawn more dislikes than likes. The negativity around the video is mostly due to wrong targeting, unnecessarily long run time, and tacky makeup on Yusuf (maybe!).

The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in January 2017

7. OPPO A57 commercial

OPPO mobiles has been aggressively advertising on all mediums these days. Newspaper front pages, billboards, website banners... they're everywhere! To get a strong foothold in the booming smartphone market in India, this is quite necessary. This new commercial at number 7 features cricketer Yuvraj Singh and actress Tamanna Bhatia.

The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in January 2017

6. Max Life Insurance

Life insurance ads are a tricky business. The business itself is centered around a serious theme and coming up with an ad that engages the audience is quite difficult. Max Life Insurance has tried a new series of ads where husband Adi is teaching his wife how to drive a car, how to make tea and a host of other things; so that she is not rudderless when he isn't around.

The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in January 2017

5. The Flying Kiss ad by Bingo!

Bingo has been notorious for its witty and clever advertisements. Their latest commercial also follows along the same vein but has received a substantial number of dislikes.

The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in January 2017

4. First look of Samsung's Gear S3 Smartwatch

2016 was a challenging year for Samsung. It lost billions of dollars in market value after the Note 7 disaster and is now on the path to recovery. Even though the smartwatch segment won't mint them a lot of money when compared to smartphone sales, they definitely want to have an upper hand in this niche segment. At number 4, we have their latest commercial unveiling Gear S3 smartwatch.

The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in January 2017

3. 10 Paisa Song by HP

In 2016, we saw quite a few brands trying branded music videos to reach out to their younger target audience. Hyundai's song with Arijit Singh and Closeup's song with Arjun Kanungo are just a couple of examples. The trend seems to be continuing this year with HP doing this song with a funny theme.

The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in January 2017

2. Amazon Great Indian Sale

There is a lot of negative sentiment that is doing the rounds about global giants such as, Amazon and Uber these days. The who's who of the Indian startup ecosystem have been openly criticising the capital dumping practice of these companies and asking the government to intervene and create a level playing field. The recent report stated that Amazon incurred a significant loss of $487 million just goes on to add more weight to this argument. As expected, the e-commerce giant spent heavily to advertise its recently concluded Great Indian Sale. However, going by the likes/dislikes ratio, this advert at number 2, didn't really win the hearts of its online audience.

The 10 Most-Watched Indian Ads on YouTube in January 2017

1. MyHikeStory

At number 1 we have the latest TV commercial by popular messenger HIKE. Hike has always kept it's adverts crisp, short and funny. And this one's no different! Showcasing the stories feature of the messenger, the video has clocked over 14 million views so far!

Hike table

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

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