YouTube Celebrates 5 Years of TrueView Ads

YouTube‘s TrueView skippable ads have taken off since their launch five years ago today. Many of the top global brands ran TrueView ads in 2014, when the number of advertisers grew 45 percent from the previous comparable year. Google’s video-sharing platform is celebrating its fifth anniversary by looking back at some of the most iconic ads from when it all started in 2010.

1. DC Shoes

A company that specializes in footwear for active sports, DC Shoes shot this commercial at a Parisian track with banks as steep as 51 degrees, double the incline of the standard NASCAR track. Prior to shooting, racecar driver Ken Block didn’t know what kind of driving physics to expect. Block didn’t have any problems, but people watched all seven-and-a-half minutes of the ad to make sure – the video has been viewed more than 58 million times.

2. Old Spice

In February 2010, the name Isaiah Mustafa became synonymous with The Old Spice Guy. Amassing more than 50 million views, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” was so popular that Old Spice filmed follow-up videos, in which Mustafa addressed celebrities who tweeted about the ad, such as Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan.

3. Red Bull

Red Bull is held in high regard for its visually stunning marketing. The energy drink brand brought an Austrian skydiver up to the stratosphere in one memorable campaign that people are still talking about three years later. Before “Stratos,” there was “Way Back Home,” in which 35 million people watched Scottish cyclist Danny MacAskill ride through Scotland across castle walls, down hills, on sea rocks, and over cliffs.

4. Old Spice

“Does your man look like me? No. Can he smell like me?” Mustafa asked in another follow-up to his wildly popular Old Spice ad. Over the course of 30 seconds, The Old Spice Guy log rolled in a lake, sanded a kitchen counter, and posed shirtless on a motorcycle, demonstrating the manliness of a guy who smells like Old Spice. Though only half as popular as the original video, “Questions” was still viewed nearly 25 million times.

5. Tipp-Ex

A relatively unknown whiteout company from the U.K., Tipp-Ex made a splash on YouTube with this clever, profane ad. After spotting a bear by his campsite, a man pulls out his gun before the video stops, inviting users to click on, “Shoot the bear” or “Don’t shoot the bear.” If you opted for the latter, the hunter whites out the word “shoot” and invited you to type in different verbs. More than 21 million people watched the original ad, which spawned sequels involving kissing, playing football with, and drinking beer with the bear.

Five years later, video ads have gotten so popular that brands are seeing a 42 percent increase in views. To celebrate the success, YouTube is introducing “cards” for TrueView in-stream ads, a feature which will make video ads a more engaging and interactive experience for viewers across all screens. Through Cards, users will be able to create pop-up annotations, which can detail more information about things like merchandise, fundraising, playlists, and associated websites.

Later this month, Google will relaunch its Google Preferred, which gives YouTube advertisers extra metrics about the performance of their videos. Additionally, Google and YouTube will be present at the Digitas NewFront marketplace on April 29.

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