Commercials are more than just vehicles to draw attention to products: they tell great stories that captivate viewers and break the rules. This year's Cannes Ads Leaderboard is the best proof of this. While Samsung takes first place with its trailer for the Galaxy Unpacked Event 2021, Switzerland has made it into the top 10 with two spots this year: The commercial launched by MySwitzerland featuring Anne Hathaway and Roger Federer takes second place, while watch manufacturer Omega secures third place in the ranking as the official timekeeper of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Eugene Buono, Head of Creative, US Creative Works at Google sees many learnings for advertisers in this year's Cannes Ads Leaderboard: "If these pieces show us anything, it's that a human connection and a great idea that captures our collective cultural pulse are more important today than ever. At Google, we talk about making information universally accessible and usable - can I get the right information, does it matter to me. I believe the same idea applies to strong brand storytelling on our platforms. Stories that are accessible - culturally, conceptually and emotionally - tend to lead to effective, compelling creative work."
The winners of the YouTube Cannes Ads Leaderboard 2022 at a glance
Learnings from the Cannes Ads Leaderboard 2022:
1. investment in emotional brand storytelling is crucial.
All the spots represented are driven by things like anticipation, nostalgia, empathy, excitement, inspiration, humor, wonder or joy. The brands make an emotional connection with the viewers:inside that matches their respective DNA.
2. break rules with the right content.
When advertisers tell great stories, users take the time to watch them, as shown by Apple's "Escape from the Office," the second-most-viewed spot, which runs about eight minutes. This is impressive in that all of the competition is represented on the leaderboard with significantly shorter spots.
3. music and sound design are still very popular.
In particular, the successful works of Omega, Netflix, Turkish Airlines, and Imagine your Korea are driven by rhythm and melody as a narrative force.
4. capturing the cultural zeitgeist promotes engagement.
The leaderboard clearly shows how important addressing current issues is to a spot's success: travel brands fuel pandemic-era wanderlust, Apple pokes fun at the trend to return to the office, and Samsung, Amazon and Chevrolet celebrate the wonder of technology with allusions to the past, present and future.
5. smart casting shows effect.
Including celebrities from film and sports in one's own ads is still helpful - My Switzerland is leading the way with Anne Hathaway and Roger Federer. In general, most of the ads on the leaderboard feature celebrities, including Morgan Freeman, Brie Larson, Eugene Levy, Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost.