Behold, the Brands: YouTube Releases Top 10 Ads of 2022

Behold, the Brands: YouTube Releases Top 10 Ads of 2022

Revisit all of all the times a video you didn't want to watch played before a video that you did in 2022.

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The YouTube logo on a phone
Photo: Primakov (Shutterstock)

YouTube just published its year-end review, rounding up the top trending content for 2022. Sure, you could check out their list of top videos, most popular creators or trendiest Shorts (the platform’s response to TikTok-style short form videos), but honestly, who cares about all that junk? We all know what you want to see: those sweet, sweet ads.

For anyone who can’t get enough of the pre-roll commercials that YouTube makes you sit through before you watch a video, this round up of crowd favorites is sure to please.

YouTube crunched the numbers to dish out the most “popular” ads based on views, watch time and audience retention (factoring both paid and organic views, i.e. people that actually went out and searched for the ads on purpose). The company limited it to one entry per advertiser so more brands could get in on the fun.

Here are the top ads for the US, but if you want to get global, YouTube published a breakdown of the top ads worldwide too.

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#10 The Magical World of Disney’s Encanto | LEGO Encanto

#10 The Magical World of Disney’s Encanto | LEGO Encanto

The Disney Encanto Lego logo
Screenshot: YouTube

Coming in at number 10 is this wordless advert for the Disney Encanto Lego set. Through seamless stop motion animation, the ad shows all of the Lego versions of your favorite Encanto characters... standing around and looking at each other. Videos of toys are extremely popular on YouTube, and it seems Lego captured the imaginations of children who must have watched this video over and over to get the numbers up this high.

The Magical World of Disney’s Encanto | LEGO Encanto
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#9 The Kardashians | Hulu

#9 The Kardashians | Hulu

Kim Kardashian
Screenshot: YouTube

The Kardashians. You love them, Hulu’s got them. And they’re BACK with a new season, if this ad is to be believed (the show is airing). It features all of the Kardashianiest members of the family doing what they do best: being photographed and using their phones. Wonders never cease.

The Kardashians | Official Trailer | Hulu
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#8 Zeus & Hera | BMW

#8 Zeus & Hera | BMW

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Zeus
Screenshot: YouTube

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Penélope Cruz sub in for Greek gods in this BMW ad, living out their retirement in the world of mortals. But they run in to trouble when Zeus becomes frustrated by electricity, for some reason. That is, until Hera introduces him to the brand new all electric BMW!

Zeus & Hera | BMW USA (Official Video)
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#7 Sally’s Seashells (Extended) | Squarespace

#7 Sally’s Seashells (Extended) | Squarespace

Zendaya holding a big sea shell
Screenshot: YouTube

It’s well established that Zendaya is Meechee. But she needs to pay the bills, so in this Squarespace Super Bowl commercial, Zendaya moonlights as Sally, of “Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore” fame. There’s trouble in paradise, but don’t worry, everything is sorted out when finally gets a website.

Sally’s Seashells (Extended) | Big Game Commercial 2022
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#6 All of Us Are Dead | Netflix

#6 All of Us Are Dead | Netflix

A character from "All Of Us Are Dead" shooting a bow and arrow
Screenshot: YouTube

Netflix is doubling down on Korean television after the success of Squid Game, and the trailer for All of Us Are Dead, a gory high school zombie vehicle, apparently did big numbers this year. Gizmodo gave it a glowing review to boot.

All of Us Are Dead | Official Trailer | Netflix
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#5 Introducing the iPhone 14 Pro | Apple

#5 Introducing the iPhone 14 Pro | Apple

The iPhone 14, on a table
Screenshot: YouTube

The only thing better than an iPhone is an ad for an iPhone. Here’s one for the iPhone 14. It looks great, doesn’t it? In this ad you can see the iPhone from the back, the front, the side, being lovingly wiped down, filming a guy playing piano, sitting on a table—it’s all just amazing. This, my friends, is what we call content. Think about it, instead of reading all of these dumb words you could be watching this ad right now!

Introducing iPhone 14 Pro | Apple
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#4 Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts | HBO Max

#4 Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts | HBO Max

A bearded Daniel Radcliffe
Screenshot: YouTube

If you like Harry Potter, you are going to love hearing people talk about being in Harry Potter movies. Now’s your chance, because HBO has put together a reunion of all of your favorite witches and wizards, or at least the actors who played them. You could go watch the 20th Anniversary special yourself, but why would you when you’ve got an ad for it right here for your viewing pleasure?

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts | Official Trailer | HBO Max
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#3 Goal of the Century x BTS | Yet To Come (Hyundai Ver.)

#3 Goal of the Century x BTS | Yet To Come (Hyundai Ver.)

A glamour shot from the BTS Hyundai ad
Screenshot: YouTube

Boy wonders BTS don’t just make great songs, they made ads too. Here they are with the special Hyundai version of their hit “Yet To Come.” That’s right, they can sing, dance AND promote cars. But you don’t have to take my word for it, check the commercial out in all of its glory below.

Goal of the Century x BTS | Yet To Come (Hyundai Ver.) Official Music Video
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#2 Welcome to CLAN CAPITAL! | Clash of Clans

#2 Welcome to CLAN CAPITAL! | Clash of Clans

Image for article titled Behold, the Brands: YouTube Releases Top 10 Ads of 2022
Screenshot: YouTube

In the bad old days, you’d only see Clash of Clans ads in popups in other apps. Fortunately, those times are behind us. Thanks to the wonders of capitalism and CGI, the famed cellphone strategy game has its own YouTube ads now. In all seriousness, I have been seeing ads for this game for a decade and I have never personally heard anyone talk about actually playing it. Is it fun? It must be, to take in more than $700 million in 2019. Please chime in in the comments and give me your hottest Clash of Clans take.

Welcome to CLAN CAPITAL! Clash of Clans New Update!
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#1 Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader | Amazon

#1 Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader | Amazon

Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost
Screenshot: YouTube

Annnnddddd coming it at number one is an ad from your old pals at Amazon. Celebrities, they’re just like us! In this Amazon ad, famously married entertainers Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost learn that their Alexa has collected so much data about them that it actually can read their minds. Amazon wants you to think this is a good thing, even if the company itself doesn’t think so much of Alexa any more.

Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader
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