YouTube Q2 2019 Leaderboard

Every quarter, ThinkWithGoogle and YouTube release their Ads Leaderboard – a list that ranks the top ads on YouTube at the time. Details are sparse on the precise calculations they use to arrive at this list, but it’s certainly a who’s who of brands, agencies, and brilliant creative.

At Attently, we analyzed how 500 of our panelists across the nation responded to these ads. We looked for fluctuations in panelists’ attentiveness and emotional engagement while they watched, and identified the scenes and themes that were driving them.

Shot on iPhone XS – Don’t mess with Mother – Apple

Brand: Apple 
Creative Agency: Media Arts Lab 
Media Agency: OMD


At an average attention level of 70%, Apple’s iPhone XS video ad is amongst the top ads in Attently’s database. The attention increases in the last 15 seconds, ensuring brand memorability. Positivity increases throughout the video and spikes when the product is mentioned (57-60s), enforcing positive product association and recall.


Brand: Hulu 
Creative Agency: Big Family Table 
Media Agency: Universal McCann


Hulu comes out on top with the highest attention and engagement of all the top five YouTube leaderboard ads we analyzed. This funny ad keeps the audience laughing throughout as one can see with the many spikes in positivity.


Unfortunately, since the Ads Leaderboard was published, Hulu’s ad has been taken down and is no longer available.

What happens when the Gecko wears the Infinity Gauntlet

Brand: GEICO Insurance 
Creative Agency: The Martin Agency


With an emotional engagement score of 75%, Geico’s humorous video ad has very high engagement compared to the average ad. Interweaving funny moments throughout the ad ensures consistent spikes in happiness throughout. Similar to the rest of these top ads, there is a high spike in positivity at the end during the brand mention to increase memorability.

Hello Light | ID. BUZZ

Brand: Volkswagen USA 
Creative Agency: Johannes Leonardo 
Media Agency: PHD


Attention and positivity spike at the beginning, attracting audience attention and reducing the likelihood of skipping. Positivity also spikes when the car is unveiled, promoting positive product association.

Beats By Dre | Powerbeats Pro | Unleashed

Brand: Beats by Dre 
Creative Agency: Zambezi 
Media Agency: PMG


Beats by Dre’s video ad holds audience attention throughout the video with its series of exciting action shots. Positivity spikes the music and shots change tempo around 38 seconds, as well as in the last 10 seconds during the product and brand mention.

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