YouTube has over two million active users who watch billions of hours of content daily. As such, it is one of the most popular platforms for marketing and advertising campaigns. Companies worldwide rely on YouTube to reach their target audience with video ads that capture attention and drive conversions.
And if you’re among them, you know how inspiring YouTube ad examples can be when you want to build your own campaigns.
What are the best YouTube ads of 2023 and how are they standing out in a sea of competition? Let’s take a look at some of the top YouTube ad examples that have been making waves this year.
1. Upside Gets You Cash Back for Doing You
Released at the beginning of 2023, this ad has perfect timing: because what better time to start saving, other than January, when all those New Year’s resolutions are still going strong? Not only is this ad perfectly timed, though, it also manages to be absolutely memorable, funny, and hard to ignore.
The music, the colors, the positive vibes—everything about Upside’s ad invites you to:
- Definitely not hit the “Skip” button
- And give the product a try
2. T-Mobile’s New Year. New Neighbor
You can’t go wrong with hit pop culture songs and a slew of celebrities popping up in your ad, especially when those celebrities include John Travolta. T-Mobile’s play on “Summer Nights” (from the “Grease” movie) is an act of pure genius. Because how else would you advertise mobile internet, other than by using a high-energy tune, unforgettable lyrics, and a lot of humor?
This ad wins the hearts of people everywhere because it’s:
- Unexpectedly creative
It’s very difficult to say anything new about internet services, but T-Mobile brought their A-game to the table with this one—and won.
3. Netflix’s Wednesday Teaser
To say Wednesday Addams took the world by storm at the end of 2022 is a severe understatement. Fans of the Addams Family franchise had always appreciated her, but creating a show dedicated solely to her was one of the most brilliant moves in the franchise’s history.
And, of course, the show needed advertising to suit the occasion. Netflix took the plunge and created a teaser ad that was:
- Absolutely perfect for both the audience it was intended for AND true to the Addams Family franchise
Glimpses of the TV series show Wednesday as she goes through a rite of passage from her “normal” highschool to Nevermore, a school dedicated for the magical kids and as she discovers friendship, love, and belonging on her way. Subtle, exciting, and definitely worthy of the hype, this ad makes you want to turn on the TV (or buy a Netflix subscription if you don’t have one yet).
4. Jeep’s 4xe “Electric Boogie”
This ad should be a study in how to stay true to your brand and positioning AND still manage to win the hearts of people who might be outside your target audience. Cute animals and uplifting music are not always what you’d associate with Jeep cars but this ad blends them perfectly.
The entire ad is an explosion of color, energy, and cuteness. And what’s best about it is that Jeep’s car fits perfectly in the context. Not to mention that the “Freedom is electric” tagline is a total winner!
5. Zapier’s “On/Off”
Automation and humor don’t seem to be a match made in Heaven, but when you make the right associations, greatness ensues. Like this ad from Zapier, for example: connecting software to automate tasks seems like one of the dullest things in the world (albeit very effective, just take a look at how Creatopy integrates with everything you need, for example).
But in this example of a YouTube ad, Zapier somehow managed to whip up their magic wands and create an ad that is as relevant as it is engaging. Connecting automation with magic is no happenstance, for sure, but the execution of this ad is flawless:
- On brand
- And the perfect example of how automation can make life easier
6. reMarkable’s “Introducing the Paper Tablet”
Not many ads manage to transfer the sensorial experience of the physical product into video—much less when senses make for one of the product’s largest selling points. Yet, reMarkable created one of the best YouTube ads of the year precisely by tapping into the senses.
The ad starts with a busy room, coffee machine sounds, and then gracefully segues into focus, the main idea of the entire narrative (and the main promise reMarkable makes with their paper tablets).
7. ClickUp’s “When I First Heard of ClickUp”
ClickUp wins YouTube ads by a mile, especially in a category that seems as boring as they come in the Software as a Service industry. And yet time and again, ClickUp shows there’s nothing boring about their product and that you don’t have to create dull ads in SaaS.
The ClickUp – kick-up pun is masterfully put in images, and the already contagious humor ClickUp has accustomed us with is everpresent in every single second of the 1:10 ad. Project management tools have literally never been as exciting (or funny!).
8. General Motors and Netflix’s “Why Not an EV?”
To start with, Netflix and General Motors is not an association you would normally make. And much less so when they bring Will Farrel into the mix. Yet, they did it.
The main point of the ad is to creatively underline using EVs in Netflix shows (as a way to promote a more eco-friendly alternative to traditional engines). They do so by following Will Farrel drive through TV series and movie tropes encountered in Netflix shows: zombies, kidnapping, Victorian love stories, and so on.
Of course, as you’d expect from an ad Will Farrel stars in, the entire clip is filled with humor, energy, and witty references, a true delight to watch, even if you’re “not that much into advertising.”
9. Grammarly’s “Move Projects Forward”
Grammarly is not new to YouTube ad fame, but this time they made a comeback with an ad that’s so real it builds rapport almost instantly (so much so you won’t want to skip the ad). The deadline lurking behind the ad’s main theme, the way the product is weaved into the story, the energy the entire clip carries—all of it works in perfect harmony to make this ad one of the best YouTube advertising examples of the year.
The promise made by Grammarly’s ad? To not just “get things done” when it comes to grammar, but also use language intelligently to help you move projects forward and produce results.
10. Skullcandy’s “Meet Rail® ANC”
Same as Grammarly, Skullcandy is a recurrent name in lists that celebrate the best youtube advertising and they did not disappoint this time either.
The “Meet Rail ANC” clip is a prime example of epic hype, on-brand references, and engaging ad storytelling that blends features and benefits in a seamless way. Plus, the soundtrack is really good (which is kind of what you’d expect from an ad promoting headphones, right?).
Reminiscent of Apple’s old iPod ads in style, but updated to modern taste, this ad is a scroll-stopper (or, better said, a thumb-stopper) you’ll want to watch.
What Are All These YouTube Ad Examples Doing Right?
Despite what social media gurus are saying, there’s no set recipe for doing advertising right. It all comes down to knowing who your customers are, who you are, and what are the best communication highways to connect the two.
Each and every ad in this article shows how, done right, YouTube ads can be a powerful way to both entertain and communicate without coming off as “salesy” or out of place.
Not that it’s easy, but when you have the right creative and strategic teams in sync, your ads will stand out from the rest. And the right tools can definitely help you have a smoother ride from “OK, what now” to “Oh, yes, THAT’s how!”
For instance, Creatopy makes ad animations easier than ever, so you can focus on the actually creative part of building ads, rather than technicalities. Check us out and see for yourself!