Government ads continue their dominance of the YouTube Ads Leaderboard for Singapore

The Singapore government and its various branches have dominated the YouTube Ads Leaderboard for the first half of 2019 in Singapore. This continues a trend seen through the last six months of 2018.

The number of government sponsored ads have gone up to seven through the first half of 2019 from six in the last half of 2018.   

The YouTube Ads Leaderboard is a showcase of ads that performed the best on the platform, determined by an algorithm that factors in organic and paid views, watch time and audience retention. 

A note from YouTube said: “With over 85% of Singaporeans visiting YouTube monthly, brands and agencies are fully invested in adopting videos as their preferred digital canvas.”

Some of the broad trends from the leaderboard as observed by YouTube were:

1. Audiences paying more attention than before: The 90 second mark was exceeded by 80% of the ads on the leaderboard. YouTube said: “Duration is no longer a limiting factor for content, but brands have to stay creative and authentic to keep viewers tuned in.”

2. Tapping into festivities to capture hearts: YouTube pointed to Apple’s cinematic Lunar New Year campaign which topped the list and many Hari Raya themed ads and said: “Telling emotional stories in tune with the aspirations and beliefs during celebrations proved to be a recipe for success.”

1. Apple – Chinese New Year

2. GovSingapore – Merdeka Sayang 

3. CPB Board – What happens to my CPF savings when I turn 55?

4. SgPUB – Kinship

5. Republic of Singapore Navy – Rise With the Tide

6. Singtel – GOMO Travel SIM

7. The Learning Lab – Tests

8. Ministry of Education – Explaining Full Subject-Based Banding

9. Public Hygiene Council – How to Return your Tray

10. GovSingapore – Hari Raya with #HafandHaf

Speaking about the performance of the ‘Tests’ commercial, The Learning Lab director of marketing and communications Eleanor Tan said: “We’ve always believed that our ultimate purpose as educators is to impart on our students the lessons that strengthen their character.

“For ‘Tests’, we wanted to tell stories that acknowledge the very real challenges every child goes through. It’s not just from trying to get good grades. Every child has  to face situations where their mettle is put to the test, whether it’s from learning to be resilient, brave or confident in who they are.

“We captured these moments through our video by focusing on the little details, like the deep breaths taken before a presentation, or the glint of determination in the eye.

“All natural lighting, no scripts. We wanted our message to reach as much of our target audience as possible: parents with children at a schooling age, and in terms of maximising our reach, YouTube is the unparalleled option.”

The Ministry of Communications and Information  had two entries on the list.

The MCI’s director of campaigns and production department Soffy Hariyanti said : “The Merdeka Sayang music video features iconic Merdeka Generation personalities such as Dick Lee and Rahimah Rahim. It conveys the pride of their generation and their contributions in shaping Singapore’s progress.

“Meanwhile, our HafandHaf video is a light-hearted take on Hari Raya family gatherings. Conversations on marriage and parenthood often take place. We are heartened that both videos, with their different styles and treatments, have been well-received by Singaporeans.

“We will continue producing fresh, engaging and relevant content that brings across useful government information to Singaporeans”


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