A video about depression beat Apple’s iPhone XS ad to become Singapore’s most-watched YouTube ad of late 2018

The ad saw two patients, formerly diagnosed with clinical depression, interviewing members of the public about their opinions of people with mental illnesses in Singapore.
YouTube/National Council of Social Service

These days, it seems people really like watching government ads.

Ads from local government agencies formed the majority of Google’s list of the top 10 most-watched YouTube ads by Singapore users from Jul to Dec 2018, the company said in a statement on Monday (Feb 18).

Six ads on the top 10 list were by government agencies, with the remaining four by Apple, RedMart, McDonald’s and Changi Airport.

Together, the 10 ads scored over 3.8 million views, Google said.

The company added that these were ads that people chose to watch on YouTube, despite having the option to skip them – and the viewership ranking was based on a combination of the videos’ popularity and paid promotion.

In the top spot was a an “emotional and hard-hitting” ad on mental health by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), which saw two patients, formerly diagnosed with clinical depression, interviewing members of the public about their opinions of people with mental illnesses in Singapore.

It racked up over half a million views.

NCCS’s video even beat out Apple’s ad on the iPhone XS, which came in second on the list, with over 337,000 views.

Other ads from public agencies included ads from the Singapore Kindness Movement, Health Promotion Board, the Economic Development Board, Smart Nation Singapore and Gov.sg.

“Ads by the public sector are no stranger to the YouTube Ads Leaderboard. But this time, public service ads dominated…with a winning formula of using ‘edutainment’ to appeal to Singaporeans,” YouTube said in a statement.

Google Singapore country director Stephanie Davis added that it was “particularly impressive” that ads from public agencies made it on the top 10 list, adding that this indicated they possessed “deep” audience insights and  “incredible creativity”.

NCSS corporate communications director Pearlyn Tseng said that the agency was “heartened” that the ad “resonated with viewers” and “started conversations” to reduce the stigma against mental illness patients.


Here’s the rest of the top 10 ads on YouTube’s list:

#3: “Freshness promised. Or your money back.” by RedMart (1 million views)

#4: “Are your antibiotics in the wrong fight?” by the Health Promotion Board (160,507 views)

#5: “My Smart Ahma” by Smart Nation Singapore (157,641 views)

#6: “Gunting The Series: Episode 5” by Gov.sg (106,154 views)

#7: “McDonald’s Samurai Burger” by McDonald’s Singapore (51,602 views)

#8: “Singapore: The Impossible Story” by the Economic Development Board (862,748 views)

#9: “Love at First Flight Trailer” by Changi Airport (687,586 views)

#10: “Be Greater” by the Singapore Kindness Movement (27,215 views)


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