Every year YouTube compiles a list of their top ten most viewed ads of the previous 12 months. Wieden+Kennedy topped the list in 2012, with our Honda 'spark' spot and we had a total seven ads in the top 20 of the year.
YouTube has just published its 2013 list and, in another strong showing, this year W+K has three spots in the top ten.
At number three (appropriately enough) – the moonwalking pony for Three UK.
"Three set the social media sphere buzzing this year with its moonwalking pony… The sight of the shuffling Shetland pony combined with the sounds of Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere, spurred a torrent of positive conversation around the brand. Never underestimate the power of a dancing pony," said Marketing Week.
At number six, the Honda Hands spot, which was recently named 'best commercial of the year' at the Shots Awards.
And at number nine, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam's 'We are FIFA14' for EA Sports.
According to the report compiled by Millward Brown for YouTube there are six elements common to the success of the top ten ads.
1 Longer content works well on YouTube – 65 per cent of the 70 leaderboard ads analysed are longer than 60 seconds.
2 An emotional response is key, with all of the advertising featuring a strong response on at least one of the following: surprise, inspiration and excitement.
3 YouTube enables a different kind of storytelling, with many of the ads being part of successful long-term campaigns and featuring a strong back story.
4 Involving, enjoyable and buzzworthy content is key to generating views.
5 Branding is not the enemy of creative success, but integrating the brand into key moments of the video is the creative challenge.
6 There is no single recipe: many approaches work, with the top five themes in all the top ads involving a human presence, music, text, a call to action and being international.
Personally I'm not sure that this analysis is very helpful as a guide to creating successful content, or as a way of explaining why some things are more successful than others. You might as well say, 'Make it really good'. Anyway, draw your own conclusions.