Abhilash Edathil
Sep 8, 2015

What smash-hit tops the Spikes-to-Spikes YouTube leaderboard?

In the second of a two-part series looking at the most popular YouTube ads since last year's Spikes Asia, Google's Abhilash Edathil counts down from 5 to 1 and catches up with Hyundai to go behind the scenes of its incredibly popular campaign.

Toyota's urban baseball game came close
Toyota's urban baseball game came close

See Part 1 of the YouTube Spikes-to-Spikes Leaderboard

Digital has transformed the relationship between brands and consumers. Brands can now establish a deeper, more meaningful rapport with consumers than ever before. But it’s not easy—loyalty can’t be bought, it has to be earned. The best way to get consumers to care is to focus on what’s important to them, the things they are passionate about—be it sports, Hollywood stars or outer space. When brands get this right in ads, they can earn as many views as any other piece of content—in fact, four out of the top ten videos from 2014 were ads.

All of the brands in this Spikes-to-Spikes leaderboard have earned their audiences’ attention by telling stories in a bold, engaging way that only digital allows. Hyundai, the brand in pole position on the leaderboard, took an amazingly creative approach to telling its story. Although its ad features cars, it’s not “about” cars. Instead it tells the touching true story of an 11-year-old girl wanting to send her dad a heartfelt message. Ordinarily that would be simple, but this girl’s dad happens to work a long way from home—on the International Space Station. (See below for a Q&A with Scott Noh, director of Overseas Marketing Group for Hyundai Motor Company.)

Here are the top 5 ads in our leaderboard of the top 10 ads in Asia between Spikes 2014 and Spikes 2015:

No. 5: 'Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron and Samsung Mobile Full', Samsung (global):


No. 4: 'Bài Ca Thịt Nướng - Hari Won', King BBQ (Vietnam):


No. 3: 'Clash of Clans: Revenge (Official Super Bowl TV Commercial)', Supercell (global):


No. 2: 'G's Baseball Party', Toyota (Japan):


No. 1: 'Hyundai : A Message to Space', Hyundai (Korea, global):



Q&A with Hyundai

We caught up with Scott Noh, director of Overseas Marketing Group for Hyundai Motor Company, to go behind-the-scenes of the campaign.

Google: What were you trying to achieve with this campaign?

Noh: We wanted to deliver the message that Hyundai Motor is a lifetime partner that connects people in a simple and creative way by focusing on one of the most important things for everyone — family. In this case, the story of a daughter and her dad. We chose YouTube as our main channel as we thought it was the most effective platform among all digital platforms in terms of spreading word of mouth globally. We also wanted to encourage viewers to participate in our online campaign, after watching the video. Lastly, we wanted to encourage viewers to share the video with their friends.         

Google: Where did the inspiration for the idea come from?

Noh: We wanted to share our philosophy of caring for our customers in an easy-to-understand way. Eventually we came up with the idea of people connecting to their loved ones no matter how far apart they are from each other. Cars connect people by physically moving them, but we focused more on the side of emotional connections — a different kind of ‘moving’, perhaps! — regardless of the distance. The greatest distance we could think of was between outer space and earth ... and then we came across Stephanie’s story.

Stephanie — an 13-year-old from Houston, Texas — has a dad with an unusual job, he’s an astronaut, away from earth for long periods of time. We thought that we might be able to do something for her and her family, and the whole idea started there. In the end we came up with the idea of helping Stephanie send a message to her dad by writing in an unusual way — using 11 Hyundai Genesis sedans to make tracks in the Nevada desert.

Google: It looks like some complex logistics were involved — how did you manage to shoot in space and in the desert?

Noh: From start to finish this project took a year. We worked closely with Innocean and Google throughout to take Stephanie’s handwritten message and turn it into GPS coordinates then, using Google Maps and Google Skybox Imaging, map it out on the ground. We then had stunt drivers drive through the coordinates. We had to wait for the International Space Station to orbit overhead at just the right moment, hoping that the weather would hold.

The tagline for the ad is “New Thinking, New Possibilities.”, I think going to space and back really expresses that! It was a great pleasure for us to produce this film — being part of this campaign has been an amazingly memorable experience for me.

Abhilash Edathil is YouTube business marketing lead with Google Asia-Pacific

About the YouTube Leaderboard: This list represents the videos that resonated the most with audiences across the region and celebrates the brands that performed best on YouTube through a combination of popularity and promotion.


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