YouTube Top 10 ads in December: Jennifer Hudson helps drive Shell’s “Best Day of My Life” to top of list

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Last month’s most watched ad on YouTube was from Shell Oil Company. With Jennifer Hudson, DJ Steve Aoki and others performing the song “Best Day of My Life,” the spot is a music video produced to promote the brand’s #MakeTheFuture campaign.

Shell’s spot generated 24.4 million views during December – nearly double the No. 2 video, Google’s 2016 Year in Search (which could be argued wasn’t actually an ad). Google’s wrap-up of its top search trends for last year earned 13.8 million after being released two-weeks into December.

November’s most watched ad “Hog Rider 360” from Clash of Clans dropped to No. 3, but the video game ended up with two spots in the top ten, earning a combined 16.9 million views.

Clash of Clans’ “Hog Rider” video, along with the Christmas ad from UK department store John Lewis, and Ford’s “Sailer Moon’s Ford Focus Dream” were all carryovers from November, making YouTube’s ad leaderboard two months in a row.

According to YouTube, the top ten ads generated a 80.7 million views last month. Total time spent watching the top ten YouTube ads was down in December compared to November’s ad leaderboard – with only 1.9 million hours spent watching the most popular ads, compared to November’s 2.3 million hours of watch-time.

1. Shell: Best Day of My Life #MakeTheFuture (24.4M views)

2. Google: Year in Search (13.8M views)

3. Clash of Clans: Hog Rider 360° (12.3M views)

4. Sandy Hook Promise: Evan (7.4M views)

5. Dubai: Shah Rukh Khan’s personal invitation to Dubai #BeMyGuest (7.3M views)

6. Clash Royale: The Last Second (4.6M views)

7. John Lewis: #BustertheBoxer Christmas Advert 2016 (4.3M views)

8. BuzzFeed Video: Adults Retry Foods They Hated As Kids (2.9M views)

9. Ford: Sailor Moon’s Ford Fusion Dream (2.2M views)

10. Unite for America: A Message for the Electors (1.3M views)

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



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