Top 10 Most Popular Video Ads of All Time [Ranked]

May 23, 2024
10 minutes

Ever wonder which ads have captivated audiences the most and why? We dove into YouTube, a platform where millions watch and react to commercials every day, to find out. Here, ads from all types of media converge and gain new life through views, likes, and comments. 

In this article, we ranked the top 10 most popular ads based on these interactions, giving us a snapshot of what grabs and holds the viewer's attention. Let's discover which commercials have risen to the top and why they've resonated so strongly with audiences worldwide.


We searched for "commercial" on YouTube to identify and rank these ads and filtered results by view count to capture the most viewed examples. 

Then, we've developed an "Ad Score" to rank these ads based on three key metrics directly observable on YouTube: view count, number of likes, and comment count. Here's how each factor contributes to the overall score:

  • View count (60% of the score): Reflects the total number of times the ad has been watched, serving as the primary indicator of its popularity. 
  • Number of likes (20% of the score): This measures how well the ad was received by its viewers.
  • Comment count (20% of the score): Comments measure viewer engagement and interaction. In our analysis, we've set a threshold only to include ads with more than 1000 comments to ensure meaningful interaction data.

We assigned points based on each ad's placement in terms of views, likes, and comments. Ads were ranked from 1 to 10 for each metric, with first place receiving 10 points, second place 9 points, and so on, down to one point for tenth place. 

We then calculated the Ad Score using these points:

ad score formula

This approach provides an extra layer of analysis, allowing us to recognize ads that excel across multiple metrics even if they don't have the highest raw numbers.

Note: Some ads might have benefited from paid promotions, which could inflate their view counts. While we can't verify this factor through YouTube metrics alone, it's something to consider when assessing an ad's true reach and popularity. 

ad score calculation table

Top 10 Ads from YouTube 

1. I Want Sumo by Doritos

Views: 2.1 billion

Likes: 3.9 million

Comments: 50,424 

Ad Score: 10 ⭐

Short overview: In this Doritos ad, a young boy and a sumo wrestler engage in a playful encounter over a bag of Doritos. Initially, the wrestler teases the boy by offering a Dorito, then swiftly pulling the bag away. 

This leads to a humorous chase that ends with the boy cleverly trapping the wrestler in a wall. The commercial concludes with the boy cheekily mimicking the wrestler’s earlier teasing, offering him a Dorito while he’s stuck.

Why it works: 

  • Humor and surprise: The playful antics and unexpected twist of the boy outsmarting the sumo wrestler entertain viewers, leveraging humor to keep the audience engaged. It applies to a broad audience that enjoys light-hearted, comedic content. 
  • Relatability: The interaction between a clever child and a less savvy adult taps into a universally appealing theme of youthful cleverness triumphing over size and strength.
  • Brand engagement: Doritos are central to the storyline. The ad highlights the product's appeal and reinforces the brand's image as integral to fun and light-hearted moments.

2. Blow Granny Blow by Doritos 

Views: 414M 

Likes: 664K 

Comments: 4645

Ad Score: 8.6 ⭐

Short overview: The commercial sets a humorous scene at a family birthday party. The grandmother enjoys her Doritos, but then her daughter tasks her with blowing out her birthday cake candles. Her exaggerated effort to blow out the candles leaves family members "blown away," too. The ad ends with her triumphantly receiving her bag of Doritos back.

Why it works: 

  • Universal humor: The scenario of a family gathering with a playful challenge is relatable. The grandmother's over-the-top attempt to blow out the candles, turning a common birthday tradition into a comedic spectacle, captures the audience's attention with relatable yet exaggerated humor.
  • Cross-generational appeal: Set at a family event, the ad resonates across multiple age groups. It portrays Doritos as a brand that transcends generations and appeals to audiences from young kids to grandparents.
  • Character engagement: The grandmother's vibrant and spirited effort and the family's comical reactions create memorable characters. These characters enhance the storytelling, making the ad more engaging and relatable.
  • Unexpected twist: The grandmother's exaggerated action and the resulting chaotic yet funny aftermath add an element of surprise and delight – effectively tying back to Doritos' brand identity of fun and spontaneity.

3. Winner Stays by Nike Football

Views: 102M 

Likes: 447K 

Comments: 9651

Ad Score: 7.8 ⭐

Short overview: In a thrilling display of skill and imagination, the Nike "Winner Stays" commercial transforms a casual neighborhood football game into a star-studded event. The players morph into football icons like Ronaldo and Neymar, embodying the dreams of every young athlete wishing to play alongside their heroes.

Why it works: 

  • Star power and aspiration: Featuring legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr., the commercial captivates football fans worldwide. It taps into the aspirational dreams of young players and emphasizes the fantasy of rising from local fields to global stadiums.
  • Empowering narrative: Nike's branding is seamlessly integrated into the action, illustrating that their gear is not just part of the game but a catalyst for achieving greatness. The narrative empowers viewers by suggesting that with Nike, you're equipped to perform at your best. 
  • Cinematic quality and lasting impact: The high-energy, cinematic execution of the ad leaves a lasting impression – making it memorable for its visual spectacle and the emotional resonance of its storyline. It reinforces Nike’s motivational themes of perseverance and competition and encourages viewers to strive for greatness.

4. Peace and Quiet by Doritos 

Views: 175M 

Likes: 304K 

Comments: 1797

Ad Score: 6.8 ⭐

Short overview: In this humorous Doritos commercial, a father discovers a quirky yet effective way to calm his incessantly crying baby. The solution? Doritos. As he munches on the chips, the baby is mesmerized into silence. 

The scenario escalates when the father tries to quiet his shouting wife in the same way (and it works!), extending the joke and tying back to the ad's central theme. 

Why it works: 

  • Relatable parenting scenario: The ad connects with parents by depicting a familiar and stressful situation – trying to soothe a crying baby in any possible way. The relatable setting enhances viewer empathy and engagement.
  • Humorous solution: The unexpected use of Doritos as a "silencer" injects humor into a common parenting challenge. This clever twist not only amuses but also highlights the product in a unique way.
  • Universal appeal: The humor is gentle and accessible, appealing to a wide audience beyond just parents – especially with the final scene with a shouting wife. 
  • Brand integration: Doritos are shown as irresistibly captivating, even to a baby, which humorously exaggerates the product's appeal. This reinforces the brand's image and embeds the product deeply into the narrative of everyday family life.

5. Hands by Honda 

Views: 74M 

Likes: 197K 

Comments: 3045

Ad Score: 5.6 ⭐

Short overview: This commercial captivates with its imaginative concept, featuring a pair of hands that manipulates miniature versions of Honda's products, like cars, motorcycles, robots, planes, and more – from a single screw. 

Why it works: 

  • Visual storytelling: The ad uses minimal but stunning visual effects to transition smoothly between products, creating a visually engaging narrative that captures and retains viewer attention throughout.
  • Emotive appeal: The soundtrack is pivotal, with its whimsical and uplifting tones enhancing the magical feel of the ad – thereby deepening emotional engagement and complementing the visual story.
  • Simplicity and universality: With minimal dialogue, the ad relies on powerful visuals and music to communicate its message, making it accessible and appealing to an international audience without language barriers.
  • Strong message: The commercial begins with the thought-provoking prompt, “Let’s see what curiosity can do,” which sets the tone for innovation and seamlessly ties into Honda’s enduring slogan, “The Power of Dreams.” This thematic connection is skillfully maintained throughout the ad, illustrating how curiosity drives Honda's diverse technological advancements. 

6. The New Kid by Doritos

Views: 73M 

Likes: 181K 

Comments: 1947

Ad Score: 4.6 ⭐

Short overview: In this engaging Doritos commercial, a mother gives her son a bag of Doritos before he boards the school bus, advising him to "make friends." As he opens the bag, the irresistible allure of Doritos attracts all his classmates and even the bus driver, leading to comical chaos.

The commercial climaxes with an off-screen crash and ends humorously as the boy, now bandaged, sarcastically suggests his mother should try making friends instead.

Why it works:

  • Relatable theme: The scenario taps into the universal experience of being the new kid, making it relatable and engaging for viewers of all ages.
  • Humor and absurdity: Everyone's exaggerated reaction, including the bus driver, to the Doritos, adds humor and a touch of absurdity. It captures the audience's attention and makes the ad memorable.
  • Product centrality: Doritos are shown as irresistibly appealing and cleverly woven into the storyline to enhance the brand's fun and social image.
  • Unexpected twist: The sudden crash and the boy's sarcastic comeback provide a humorous twist that surprises viewers, adding to the ad's charm and replay value.

7. Shark by Nicorette 

Views: 75M 

Likes: 156K 

Comments: 1295

Ad Score: 4.2 ⭐

Short overview: The Nicorette commercial opens with a striking visual of a man sitting on a bench by the ocean, obsessively repeating "cigarette, cigarette, cigarette." Suddenly, a shark leaps from the ocean and bites his hand. The shock and absurdity of the scene emphasize the man's craving, which is so intense that he's oblivious to everything else – even a shark attack.

Why it works: 

  • Dramatic surprise: The sudden shark attack seizes the viewer's attention with its sheer unpredictability and bizarre context – making the ad exceptionally memorable.
  • Powerful metaphor: The shark serves as a vivid metaphor for nicotine cravings – powerful, invasive, and potentially destructive. This visual metaphor starkly illustrates the consuming nature of addiction.
  • Balanced humor: While the scenario is kind of dramatic, the ad injects humor to soften the message. It uses simple, relatable taglines, including phrases like “quitting sucks” and “makes it suck less.” 
  • Impactful messaging: By juxtaposing an extreme event with the everyday struggle of cravings, the ad effectively highlights Nicorette's role in helping individuals manage and overcome their urges. This way, it positions the product as a crucial aid in the quit-smoking journey.

8. Love Has No Labels by Diversity & Inclusion

Views: 60M 

Likes: 267K 

Comments: 15,733 

Ad Score: 3.6 ⭐

Short overview: The campaign is a poignant public service announcement that promotes diversity and inclusion. Using an X-ray screen setup, the ad initially depicts people as skeletal figures engaging in various acts of affection. 

This setup strips away visible identifiers such as race, gender, or age, focusing solely on human interaction. As participants step out from behind the X-ray and reveal their true identities, including a gay couple, an interracial family, and friends from different religions, the campaign powerfully underscores its message: true love transcends societal labels.

Why it works:

  • Visual metaphor: The use of an X-ray screen is a compelling metaphor, illustrating that we share common humanity underneath superficial differences. This unexpected visual strategy captures attention and profoundly reminds us of our fundamental similarities.
  • Emotional resonance: The ad taps into deep emotions by showcasing genuine moments of affection and joy among diverse groups. This authenticity elicits a powerful emotional response from viewers, making the message of inclusion resonate more deeply.
  • Element of surprise: The reveal of the participants' true identities challenges viewers' preconceptions and biases. The commercial effectively uses the element of surprise to foster a reevaluation of preconceived notions about diversity.
  • Broad relevance: The universal theme of love and acceptance ensures the message is relevant and relatable to a wide audience. It speaks to a fundamental desire for connection and acceptance and thus impacts various demographic and cultural groups.

9. Your Face Is Your Money Maker by William Painter's

Views: 70M 

Likes: 11K 

Comments: 1829

Ad Score: 2.8 ⭐

Short overview: The William Painter commercial uses a mix of humor and satire to address the familiar frustration with fragile eyewear. It opens with scenarios where both cheap and costly glasses break, contrasting these with the durability and multifunctionality of William Painter's glasses. 

The ad features quirky vignettes of characters using the glasses' unique bottle-opening feature, interlaced with nods to the brand’s namesake, William Painter, reinforcing his legacy of innovation. 

Why it works:

  • Engaging humor: The commercial's satirical tone and comedic elements, like using the glasses as a bottle opener, effectively engage the audience.
  • Innovative product features: By highlighting the glasses' durability and unique “hook” feature, the ad successfully differentiates William Painter's product from typical eyewear and showcases its super practical aspect. 
  • Distinctive brand personality: The historical references and bold statements linked to William Painter enhance the brand's persona, appealing to consumers who value non-conformity and character in the brands they support.
  • Functionality and fun: Demonstrating the glasses' bottle-opening feature in various fun scenarios bridges practical utility with entertainment, emphasizing the product's dual benefits in an amusing way.
  • Direct consumer appeal: The straightforward promotion of the direct sales model targets consumers who prefer simple, direct-to-consumer purchasing experiences.

10. Pizza Hut Javenge, 99 Mein Khavenge by Pizza Hut

Views: 48M 

Likes: 79K 

Comments: 1897 

Ad Score: 1.6 ⭐

Short overview: This commercial features popular Indian YouTuber Bhuvan Bam, engaging his large follower base with a lively and humorous ad. The commercial promotes Pizza Hut’s pizzas for just 99 rupees – aiming to attract a younger, cost-conscious demographic with its quirky and vibrant presentation.

Why it works:

  • Celebrity influence: Leveraging Bhuvan Bam’s substantial popularity taps directly into his established fan base, which is predominantly young and online-savvy and aligns perfectly with the target audience.
  • Catchy music and dynamic choreography: The ad’s energetic soundtrack and dance sequences enhance its stickiness. Because of its infectious music and choreography, viewers are likely to remember and talk about the ad.
  • Visual appeal: Surreal elements, like Bhuvan being carried by a dinosaur or transforming into a video game character, inject a fun, fantastical quality that captivates viewers’ attention throughout the ad.
  • Cultural connection: The ad’s exaggerated yet relatable dance sequences and situational humor resonate deeply with the Indian audience and can embed the brand into culturally familiar narratives.
  • Compelling value proposition: Highlighting the 99 rupee pricing with vibrant visuals and Bhuvan’s engaging presence effectively communicates the affordability of the offer.

What’s Common Between These Ads? 

A look at these top-performing commercials highlights a common strategy: leveraging humor, relatability, and surprising twists within emotionally rich narratives. Instead of focusing purely on product features, these ads integrate products into captivating stories that deeply resonate with viewers.

Doritos, with four out of the ten most viewed ads on YouTube, brilliantly demonstrates this formula. Their ads are particularly effective at merging everyday scenarios with unexpected, often humorous outcomes, highlighting the product's appeal.

So, the key to lasting impact in advertising is clear: it involves more than just showcasing features – it's about creating a story that weaves the product into simple life moments, surprises viewers, and provokes strong emotional reactions. 

Bonus List: Top 10 Most Viewed Ads 

In addition to our main list, we’ve compiled a bonus roundup featuring the top 10 most viewed ads on YouTube, irrespective of comment count or other engagement metrics. 

This list provides a broader view of what grabs mass attention globally without our initial selection criteria constraints. Here, we explore a spectrum of ads that have soared in view counts – potentially with the help of paid promotion. 

1. I Want Sumo by Doritos

2. Sumo by Doritos

3. Big Game Ad Encore by Temu

4. The Last Second by Clash Royale

5. Shop Like a Billionaire by Temu

6. Free Connoisseur by TurboTax

7. Jelly Bottles by Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly

8. Peace and Quiet by Doritos

9. Tina Fey Books Whoever She Wants to Be by 

10. Ride of the Hog Riders by Clash of Clans

Philip is the CMO of Eskimi. When he’s not busy growing the Eskimi brand, he spends his time with family and playing ping pong.
Philip is the CMO of Eskimi. When he’s not busy growing the Eskimi brand, he spends his time with family and playing ping pong.
Share this article

Level Up Your Advertising with Eskimi

  • Reach 96% of Open Web
  • 2,500+ Targeting Options
  • 100% Managed or Self-Service
  • In-House Creative Studio Team
  • Display, Video, In-Game & CTV
  • #1 Rated DSP on G2

Create Your Next Ad Campaign With Us

Suggested reading