Examining YouTube’s list of Top Trending Videos and Top Short Films of 2022, plus YouTube Ads Leaderboard: The End of 2022 Feed can teach content marketers, creators, and digital advertisers some important lessons they can apply in 2023.
But, it helps to have a secret decoder loop to decipher why there are three lists – and why each one uses a different methodology to come up with the ratings.
YouTube revealed its first list of the ten most viewed YouTube videos in December 2010. Unfortunately, this list has taught many marketers that “views” is the only metric that matters.
But, I got my secret decoder episode back in October 2012, when YouTube began adjusting the ranking of videos in YouTube search results to reward engaging videos that kept viewers watching.
In other words, YouTube has replaced “views” with “watch time”.
This was a huge shift, because Watch Time gives you an idea of what content viewers are actually watching, unlike videos that they click on and then give away.
In December 2012, YouTube switched from revealing its 10 “most viewed” videos of the year to revealing its “most popular” videos, based on time spent watching, sharing, commenting, liking, and other factors.
In other words, Watch Time and Engagements are now the two important metrics.
Today, YouTube’s algorithm rewards “viewer satisfaction”.
In other words, YouTube doesn’t care about videos; Draws attention to viewers.
So, instead of trying to make videos that make the algorithm happy, focus on creating videos that make your viewers happy.
This brings us to our lists of YouTube’s “Top Videos” and “Top Short Films” for 2022.
To learn important lessons that can be applied in 2023, we need to recognize that YouTube’s discovery system uses absolute and relative watch time as cues when determining audience engagement.
Ultimately, YouTube wants both short and long videos to succeed, so relative watch time is more important for short videos, and absolute watch time is more important for long videos.
Top 7 trending videos of 2022
1. “So Long Nerds” by Technoblade (6:32 long, 88.3M views, 10.2M shares)
In this touching tribute, the father of Minecraft’s beloved Technoblade creator reads a farewell letter from his son.
The player lost his battle with cancer in June, but his legacy lives on on YouTube.
2. “Watch the uncensored moment Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, dropping an F-bomb” by Guardian News (1:24 long, 104M views, 1.8M shares)
It was a slap heard ‘around the world: Academy Award winner Will Smith went off script and slapped Chris Rock, live, on stage, at the film industry’s most prestigious event.
3. “Hi, I’m a Dream” by Dream (5:42 long, 48.5M views, 4.7M shares)
Dream’s ingenuity within Minecraft has led him to become a major creator with a dedicated fan base.
But no one knows what he used to look like IRL, until now.
4.” Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent Full Pepsi Sb Lvi Halftime ShowBy NFL (14:41 long, 146M views, 3.5M shares)
Dive into this epic Super Bowl halftime show packed with some of the biggest artists in hip-hop history: Dr. Dre, Snoop, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lama, and 50 Cent.
5. “I built Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!” By Mrbeast (17:01 long, 132M views, 5.1M shares)
In a warehouse inspired by the movie “Willy Wonka,” MrBeast challenges contestants to traverse a chocolate river, climb a candy wall, compete in candy-themed games, and indulge in their sweetest fantasies.
6. “Pranks Ruin Scam Callers- Glitterbomb Redemption” by Mark Robert (26:41 long, 55.9M views, 2.2M shares).
Engineer Mark Robert takes spectacular revenge on a fraudulent call center in the latest installment of the Glitter Bomb series.
7. “Being Not Straight” by Jaiden Animations (15:22 long, 17.8M views, 1.7M interactions)
In this upcoming video, Jaiden Animations depicts a character’s journey from adolescence into adulthood, sharing how they discovered their sexual identity along the way.
The 7 best shorts of 2022
1. “Diver Cracks Egg at 45 Ft Deep #Shorts” by Shangerdanger (0:56 long, 251M views, 12.3M shares)
The ocean floor is a mysterious place. It’s full of unknown sea creatures, exotic plants, and… chicken eggs?!
Join Shangerdanger as he breaks through the internet and dives first into the blue depths.
2. “Sarah Trust Challenges” By Hingaflips (0:31 long, 142M views, 6.5M interactions)
Better than parkour? This is Trampwall: an epic sport where acrobats defy gravity and jump off a wall, onto a trampoline, to do aerial stunts.
3. “Come with me to shave my fluffy dog! #Doggrooming #Grooming #Goldendoodle” by Brodie That Dood (0:52 long, 108M views, 6.8M shares)
For years, his long, soft fur made Brodie one of the most popular dogs on YouTube. So, the heartbreak was real when it was decided he needed a precision trim.
4. “Dave and Busters Bet Me 1000 Tickets I Couldn’t Do This…” Posted by Chris Evan (0:59, 83.6M Views, 6.3M Shares).
Nobody cheats like inventor Chris Evan. In this short film, he attempts to land a plunger on Dave Webster’s sign.
the prize? 1,000 tickets…if he can pull it off.
5. “That gap between your car seat and center console” by Jay and Sharon (0:58 long, 182 million views, 6.4 million interactions)
We’ve all been missing something in the dreaded gap between a car seat and center console.
In this sketch comedy, creators Jay and Sharon explain what’s really going on out there.
6. “Welcome to The Stomach #Shorts” by Adrian Bliss (0:34 long, 118M views, 7.0M interactions)
In this bite-sized sitcom, clever creator Adrian Bliss brings to life all the characters trying to gain entrance – and celebration – in their limited-space stomachs.
7. “This Magic Trick Explained (America’s Got Talent)” By Zack D. Films (0:34 long, 97.4M views, 5.6M shares).
How did he do it? The judges of “America’s Got Talent” were baffled by this magic trick.
But not Zack D. , an internet snob, who reveals his clever secret.
The 7 best YouTube ads of 2022
Meanwhile, YouTube uses an entirely different methodology to determine the best YouTube ad for the year-end closing leaderboard 2022. This makes sense.
The best ads are usually the ones with the biggest budgets, resulting in more views, but not always shares.
1. “Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader” by Amazon (1:31 long, 69.7M views, 25,700 shares)
The creative agency for this ad was Lucky Generals and the media agency was IPG – Rufus.
The ad description asks, “Is Alexa mind reading a good idea? No, it’s not.”
2. “Welcome to Clan Capital! New update for Clash Of Clans! By Clash Of Clans (1:20 long, 52.9 million views, 212,000 shares)
The creative agency was Psyop, and the media agency was the house.
Ad description says:
Welcome to the Clan’s final destination! A place where you and your clan can build and battle together! A place called CLAN CAPITAL! “
3. “BTS Century X Goal | Still To Come (Hyundai Ver.) Official Music Video” by Hyundaiworldwide (4:08 long, 40.5M views, 886,000 shares)
Ad description says:
Our ‘goal of the century’ cannot be achieved by one individual, but we can achieve it if we all come together and unite.
Just like football players come together as a team to score goals, we aim to use the power of football to move forward together in pursuit of the bigger goal – “A UNITED WORLD FOR SUSTAINABILITY”.
4. “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts | Official Trailer | HBO Max” by HBO Max (1:58 long, 27.3 million views, 739,000 interactions)
The creative agency was in-house, and the media agency was Hearts & Science.
Ad description says:
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts invites fans on a magical, first-person journey through one of the most beloved films of all time, reuniting Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and other respected cast members and filmmakers around the world. Eight Harry Potter films debut to celebrate the anniversary of the franchise’s first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
5. “Introducing iPhone 14 Pro | Apple” by Apple (4:20 long, 23.8 million views, 571,000 shares)
The ad description asks, “What lies behind the traditional smartphone? Let’s find out. This is the iPhone 14 Pro.”
6. We are all dead | Official Trailer | Netflix” by Netflix (2:35 long, 22.6 million views, 518,000 shares)
The creative agency was The Refinery, and the media agency was in-house. Ad description says:
“We are all going to die. There is no hope.” School has turned into a bloody battlefield and our friends have become the worst enemies. Who will get out alive? “
7. Sadaf Sally (Extended) | Big Game Commercial 2022″ by Squarespace (1:07 long, 21.6M views, 67,600 shares)
The media agency was at home. Ad description says:
Watch everything Sally sells in this extended clip from the 2022 Big Game trailer. Starring Zendaya as Sally and narrated by Andre 3000.
The most important lesson marketers can apply in 2023
Looking back at YouTube’s lists of the top trending videos, top short films, and top ads of 2022, there’s a defining lesson marketers can learn: One size does. Not All fit.
Different metrics are important when measuring different types of video, and different types of ads are best for different marketing goals.
Or, as the British say, “There are horses for courses.”
Now, that’s a lesson we can all apply in 2023 and beyond.
- 13 Essential Elements of Successful YouTube Videos
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide to YouTube Video Advertising
- Social Media Marketing: A Complete Strategy Guide
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