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The 20 most popular ads on YouTube in 2012

A good ad does more than make us remember the name of the company and product being sold. It draws us in, makes us feel an emotional connection. With a bit of luck (and a lot of hard work and strategy), people will see it on YouTube, share it and it’ll go wild.

Stuart Thomas: Motorburn Editor
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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With some seriously good strategy and hard work (and a little more) luck, that beautiful slice of commercialism you’ve put your heart and soul into could land on YouTube’s list of the 20 most viewed ads. Given its propensity for viral success it’s hardly surprising that men’s fragrance Old Spice made a strong impression again on this year’s list. That said, most of its ads inhabit the bottom third of the top 20.

There’s not much of a recurring theme either. There were a couple of car ads, some sporty ones and — showing just how tech obsessed we’ve become — a few gadget ones too. While Samsung’s “Next big thing” ad deserved its place on merit, its reliance on people knowing about the stereotypes of Apple users illustrates the fact that tech is no longer a niche, but an everyday obsession for millions upon millions of people.

Another interesting tech inclusion is the ad for the GoPro Hero 3 in the list. We can’t all be strapping cameras to our surf boards, mountain bikes and jet skis so I’m guessing that part of its popularity comes down to the fact that it includes some stunning shots.

1. Nike Football: My time is now

2. Pepsi MAX & Kyrie Irving Present: “Uncle Drew”

3. The Bark Side: 2012 Volkswagen Game Day Commercial Teaser

4. The Next Big Thing is Already Here – Samsung Galaxy S III

5. Official 2012 Honda CR-V Game Day Commercial – “Matthew’s Day Off”

6. The Dog Strikes Back: 2012 Volkswagen Game Day…

7. GoPro HERO3: Black Edition – Smaller, Lighter and 2X More…

8. Halftime in America: OFFICIAL Chrysler Super Bowl 2012…

9. Nike Football: Mercurial Vapor VIII: Cristiano Ronaldo vs Rafa…

10. Audi 2012 Game Day Commercial – Vampire Party

11. Chevy Silverado “2012” — Super Bowl XLVI Ads

12. Pocket Like It’s Hot – Snoop, DeStorm & Andy Milonakis

13. Old Spice — Blown Mind

14. Old Spice — Bounce

15. Sauza Tequila — Make it with a Fireman

16. Toyota Camry 2012 Big Game :60 Commercial – It’s Reinvented

17. Hot Wheels World Record: Corkscrew Jump

18. FIAT 500 Abarth Commercial – Charlie Sheen “House Arrest”

19. Old Spice — Bed

20. Old Spice — Vending Machine