The globe watched YouTube in 2023 more than it had ever done before. Fans let their favorite musicians be the soundtrack to their lives as they follow the hottest trends and creators. When sports fans tuned into NFL Sunday Ticket’s new location, they witnessed innovative new kinds of AI-powered creativity.

Within the realm of YouTube advertisements, culture and brands coexisted. The development of linked TVs and YouTube Shorts, along with advancements in AI, seemed to be creating limitless opportunities for connecting with audiences. As the year draws to an end, we’re reflecting on the vast inventiveness of YouTube advertising while also speculating about what might be possible in the future.

Reviewing 2023’s top YouTube advertisements and speculating about 2024’s marketing trends

Storytelling on YouTube has no boundaries, as demonstrated by the abundance of brands that sprang to life in 2023 across a wide range of media and screens. For example:

A 90-minute “Study with Me” movie, an 18-minute high-polish analysis of the new Mac’s advancements, and a lighthearted short film starring the internet’s favorite grandma garnered millions of views for Apple.

Millions of views were generated by Zendaya’s six-second slay and Louis Vuitton’s whole 20-minute display.

Pepsi used formats, durations, and styles in a very common way. From one of the year’s most-seen advertisements—with 250 million views—for their joyful musical hymn in India.

How can you find new methods to engage with YouTube viewers when there are so many platforms, locations, and inventive formats available to bring your brand to life? Here are some more exceptional 2023 advertisements along with some key insights for marketers.

Old Spice Grace Wells’ YouTube Shorts advertisement

Old Spice | Grace Wells Musical 29s

1) Reach the biggest hits in culture: creators

Billions of people watch YouTube every day to see what their favorite creators are up to. According to 68% of Gen Z YouTube visitors, creators are the main reason they frequent the platform.

The way they brought brands to life this year was adored by the audience. similar to the happy creative relationships with Reese that received 73K likes. In addition, SUGAR Cosmetics’ lighthearted beauty tutorial garnered 14K comments, and Brevitē’s product.

2) Use Shorts to bring your brand to life in novel ways

From creator to celebrity, brand to performance, shorts can go high or low. Additionally, they may affect your campaigns right away: In comparison to campaigns that solely used landscape assets, YouTube advertisers that included a vertical creative asset in their Video Action Campaigns saw an increase in conversions of 10% to 20% for every dollar spent on Shorts.

This year, Shorts saw an explosion in brand inventiveness. Great demos, skits, and stories were produced by advertisers of all stripes to generate curiosity, increase sales, and cultivate brand devotees. Over 76 million views and 2.5 million likes were achieved by Clash of Clans. Domino’s employed unconventional promotions, and Squarespace demonstrated how it is built to sell anything.

3) Make deeper relationships through narrative in length

According to Nielsen, YouTube was the most popular platform for connected TVs for users for the majority of 2023. This year, advertisers expanded YouTube’s storytelling capabilities to include big-screen content.

Nissan used the opportunity to give a four-hour listening session behind the wheel of their new all-electric ARIYA to Lofi hip-hop enthusiasts, and they received 18 million views and thousands of nice comments in return. Samsung provided in-depth explanations of the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s features to spectators by live-streaming the whole launch event, which has received 19 million views so far.

For Toyota, this meant adding a fifth minute to their already hilariously awful clientele and their Gazoo Racing series. For Pixel, a lighthearted sitcom-inspired series titled #BestPhonesForever received 313 million views. Lastly, Orange France was unable to entice

4) Identify your audience, develop your creativity, and use AI to eliminate guesswork

With so many social media and streaming choices available, people’s watching preferences are more varied than before. You don’t have to use YouTube to contact them.

The impact on advertisers who use AI-powered ads has been exponential: According to research conducted with NCS, manually optimized campaigns on YouTube yielded a return on ad spend 3.7X lower than those powered by AI-based Video Reach Campaign mixes. Because of this, companies like Warner Brothers Korea are using AI to generate more views for less money, while Mondelēz International, a behemoth in the snack industry, has raised ROI by 20% in the United States and by over 10% globally through its digital transformation to embrace AI.

This year, brands were multifaceted and layered. Their tales were brought to life on YouTube in a variety of forms, lengths, genres, and tones, garnering millions of views and comments in the process. Every artistic decision exposed a distinct facet of the brand’s identity and mission.


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