Top YouTube Video Ads in Singapore

top youtube videos in singapore

YouTube is a video sharing site that has grown to become a platform where customers engage with brands. Singaporeans and other users all over the world are using mobile devices to access YouTube and this has increased video viewership.

According to reports from Google, there are approximately 400 hours of video uploaded on the platform every minute, and this has made the platform very competitive. However, the trick most businesses are using is to create ads that direct viewers to their channels or website.

With the said, most YouTube viewers, not only in Singapore, are becoming oblivious to all the advertising and will skip the ad after 5 seconds or ignore them completely. However, some ads have been able to break this barrier. YouTube has a leader board where they list the top videos and ads and for Singapore, it consists of a diverse range of ads right from 15-second teasers, to 3-minute-long ads that are a representation of the changing trends in the Singaporean digital space.

The YouTube leader board uses an algorithm that factors in paid and organic views, audience retention, and watch time for ranking. In this article, we look at the top YouTube video ads in Singapore and collectively, the ads garnered over 53 million views. Here is an overview of the different types of YouTube video ads and actionable tips on how to create compelling YouTube video ads in Singapore.

Top YouTube Ads of 2018

McDonald’s Ramadan ad

viral youtube campaigns singapore

The ad features a McDonald’s delivery rider named Zul, who rises up before 6 am during the Ramadan period and goes about his job while observing the mandatory fast. He not only makes deliveries, but he also helps people during the day, right from helping a guy push his car that has stalled on the road and giving directions, all on an empty stomach. The ad aim was to highlight the act of sharing which is expected of all Muslims during the Ramadan.

Zul’s last order of the day is to his uncle, who notifies him that it is time to break his fast. The ad received over a million views in less than a week, and among other aspects, it landed the first position on the Singaporean YouTube leader board.  The ad was created by DDB, a creative agency, and OMD the media agency.

Three Minutes – A Short Story by Peter Chan – Apple

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Apple is one of the best tech companies in the world, and their iPhone X sold out in the first 24 hours after its release. Peter Chan produced the ‘Three Minute’ ad, which is more of a short story. The plot revolves around a mother-son relationship who only have three minutes together due to her demanding job as a train captain on one of the longest express trains that runs for six days week.

In the three minutes that they are together, the mother is very strict on her son reminding him to stay out of trouble while she is away; during the time the mother is at work, her daughter takes care of the boy. The story is based on actual events, and it is almost unbelievable that it was shot using the iPhone X. MAL is the creative agency behind the short story with OMD the media agency. The ‘Three Minutes’ has garnered over 2.3 million views to date.

Mr. Lim’s Reunion Dinner

ads on youtube in singapore

This is an ad by Singtel that runs for 5.55 minutes. It features Mr. Lim whose two children have successful careers overseas. The son is a lawyer in Sydney, while the daughter is a banker in Hong Kong. He starts out going shopping for groceries to cook the reunion dinner for the Chinese New Year celebration. When he gets home, he finds a recorded message from his son saying that he will not make it for the reunion dinner due to work engagements. The following day the daughter calls saying that she will not make it.

The story unfolds to a heart-wrenching tale of Mr. Lim seeing his neighbours’ children coming home, while his are away busy with their lives. He cooks dinner and sits down to eat alone hoping that his children will come home. Singtel brought in Amobee as the media agency, and the ad has more than 1.2 million views thus far.

Magic – MOE Singapore

creative video marketing on education singapore

This video revolves around a student struggling with his school work and a teacher who helps him overcome his learning difficulties. This is an ad that was inspired by a primary school teacher, Edwin Wan, who uses magic tricks to make reading fun and thus ignites the students desire to learn. The ad starts with a shy young student who is struggling to read; the teacher does a magic trick that even adults will find amazing.

In the end, the young student is able to read an advanced learners’ book to his fellow students. The ad by the Ministry of Education Singapore in conjunction with Little Red Ants Creative and Wavemaker has received over 4.9 million views. 

LEGO City – Mountain Police Madness Part 1 – Minimovie

video ads to promote movies singapore

This is a minimovie where the characters are made from LEGO bricks. It is the story of three crooks whose getaway plan is undone by the brave Mountain Police, a skunk, and a bear. There are more parts to the storyline, and the animation is very appealing. This is part one of the minimovie and the second part is expected to garner as many views if not more. The YouTube video ad has over 10 million views, and it is collaboration between LEGO and IPG, a media agency.

Episode 4 – The Devils, The Angels and I

video advertising trends in singapore

This is a video ad by Govsingapore that features Mark Lee who plays Chin Chye and Aurelia Hathaway who plays Chye’s sister. The ad is about fake online news, and the characters add mild humour when questioning the news. It has gained close to 80,000 views, and Govsingapore also brought in King Kong Media Production as the creative agency and I.M. communications as the media agency.

On Top of the World

public awareness campaign via video marketing singapore

The ad is part of the Shell’s, the energy company, ‘make the future’ campaign, and it features Jennifer Hudson, Yemi Alade, Pixie Lott, Mponali Thakur, and Luan Santana. The ad shows the five stars celebrating five clean energy initiatives in On Top of the World Make the Future campaign. The ad comes amidst fears that the current sources of energy, fossil fuels, are responsible for most of the environmental degradation and will one day run out.

The ad aims to get people to start using clean renewable energy, which is not only safe, but economically, environmentally, and socially viable in the present time as well as in the future. The ad has over 19 million views thanks to a collaboration with Mediacom, a media agency.

Types of YouTube Video Ads

anatomy of youtube video ads

As you will see, the top YouTube video ads are diverse in length among other details. This is because there are different types of YouTube video ads. You have to understand your target audience to pick the best video ad format that will increase conversion. These are the three types of YouTube video ads to consider when making YouTube video ads in Singapore


what are trueview youtube video ads

There are two forms of TrueView YouTube video ads; In-Stream and Discovery, which is also known as In-Display. In-Stream video ads are those that play before the selected video plays, and Discovery ads are posted at the top right corner of the page above the playlists and suggested videos. For the In-Stream, viewers can skip the ads within 5 seconds. TrueView ads are pay per view though they are defined differently for In-Stream and In-Display.


youtube ads you cannot skip

These are pay per click videos and viewers cannot skip them. You can publish a 30-second Pre-Roll video, but Google is discontinuing them in favour of the shorter 15 to 20 seconds long ads. These are cheaper compared to the TrueView ads. They are the best when you goal is to optimise for clicks if you are selling products since it is easy to get viewers to your channel or website.


anatomy of youtube video ads

These are 6-second-long video ads, and like Pre-Roll video ads, they are non-skippable, but they are similar to TrueView ads in that they are pay per view. They are best suited for branding campaigns and can increase your ad recall. Bumper video ads allow you to include a click-through option, but they are best optimised for views.

Each of these video ads types work for different uses, and it is best first to define the action you want your viewers to take. However, you must invest time and the necessary resources for the creation of your ads. In this light, we have prepared for you actionable tips to help you create compelling YouTube ads in Singapore.

How to Create Compelling YouTube Video Ads in Singapore

All the above video ads have several things in common, and you can pick up a point or two for your YouTube video ad campaigns. However, there are scores of video ads that do not generate any engagement, and this can be demoralising. After much research and analysis of the top YouTube video ads in Singapore, we have come up with the following tips to help you create compelling YouTube video ads in Singapore.

Make the Ads Look like A Video

The main reason that most ads do not get the engagement intended is by the fact that they are too pushy. This is the leading reason why people cannot wait to skip the ad after 5 seconds. One thing that is common in the above ads is that they appear as videos and not mere ads. While shooting your video ads, treat it as a video; besides, the goal is to get brand recognition and to draw viewers to your YouTube channel where they can watch and share your other videos.

Always Tell A Story

The one thing all the top ads in Singapore have in common is that they tell a story. Many businesses often try to keep their YouTube ads in line with all the marketing guidelines that they end up forgetting about the viewer. With that said, craft your message in a creative and fun story for the viewer.

Create an Emotional Connection

Most ads on YouTube are created with a pushy sales language, and without a doubt, most people will ignore or skip them. When you appear as real in your video ads instead of talking about features, you will create an emotional connection with your viewers, and they will be compelled to keep watching your ad.

For example, Mr. Lim’s Reunion Dinner ad by Singtel, it hardly tells that it is an ad, and by connecting on an emotional level, Singtel was able to make YouTube users keep watching to the end, where they made their CTA.

Maintain Relevancy

There are various ways that you can add stylistic features to your YouTube video ads, for example adding humour elements. However, no matter the style used, it will be useless if it is not relevant to your cause and the target audience. Most companies, on the other hand, give flat and known information with a pushy sales tone.

Keep in mind that the information you provide should be useful and offered without obligation. The viewer will be hooked and will most likely visit your YouTube page and share your content.

Create Anticipation

You only get 3 seconds to hook a viewer to your video ad. While you may have content to fill a ten-minute video, your ad should create anticipation in the viewer to keep watching. Use the first 3 to 5 seconds to tease the viewer into watching more of the video ad. To gain the most out of the anticipation, make a series of ads that creates content flow from one to the other.

In the first and second ads, create teases of your product, and in the last, unleash all you want to tell your audience. The chances are that if a user has watched your first ad, they will be waiting for the release of the other parts.

High Definition Videos

Posting grainy and heavily pixelated ads will be unappealing and few people if any will want to keep watching. For example, the Three Minutes ad was produced using an iPhone, and the results were terrific.

With many businesses lacking the financial might to invest in professional marketing, they cut corners and produce less than desirable videos. The thing with YouTube videos is to keep in mind that quality and execution is everything. Be sure to invest time and the necessary equipment to create ads that will resonate with your audience.

Prioritise Mobile

According to YouTube, more than 50% of its users watch videos via a mobile device while commuting, walking, or waiting. With the introduction of high-speed internet connections, YouTube users are now watching videos during the day using their smartphones or tablets. Make your YouTube video ads mobile-oriented, short and impactful from the start.

Integrate Your Marketing Campaigns

While video ads are enough to get you the desired brand recognition, you will need to integrate other platforms to increase brand engagement. You need to tell one story through the SEO content on your site, social media, videos, as well as advertising and PR to entice your audience.

This way, your target audience will be able to resonate with your brand with more depth than using a single platform. Think of it as the supporting documents to your ad that will go along away into increasing conversions.


It takes a lot of creativity and hours to shoot YouTube video ads, almost as much as it takes to create a video. This makes it all the more important to have a defined plan to avoid diminishing your marketing budget and using up too much time. There is also a lot of expensive equipment and logistics that go into the creation of compelling YouTube video ads, and for small businesses, it is not logical to invest in the equipment from the onset.

All you need is to design a concept and then hire a professional creative and media agency to do all the work. With that said, we have helped various businesses bring to life their video marketing campaigns. Our work has been instrumental in increasing conversion rates on their YouTube channels as well as on their websites and we would love to add you to our list of esteemed customers.

We have all the necessary equipment and a creative as well as a marketing team that will pull all the stops to meet your deadline and deliver professional YouTube video ads that will resonate with your target audience. This is the strategy used by the companies that have their video ads ranked high on the YouTube leader board in Singapore. Be sure to follow this post and subscribe to our newsletter for an update of the top YouTube video ads in Singapore.

Author Bio

Tom Koh is the CEO of MediaOne, a leading Asia digital agency. He comes packed with 2 decades of international digital marketing experience. In his spare time of maybe 20 minutes a day, he loves coaching, blogging about all things digital and trying to figure out how to make his dog do the roll.

November 24, 2018

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