On the occasion of the Cannes Lions 2022 international festival, Google unveils its global YouTube Culture & Trends report. Presented by Kevin Allocca, Head of YouTube Culture & Trends, this report explores emerging creative trends and their impact on the future of video. The interactive video report is available on the dedicated site. This year, the report focuses on the expectations of Gen Z video consumers and content creators, to assess how their behaviors are impacting current video trends.
Several trends emerge among the most viewed ads:
- Most liked videos: Apple’s video, Escape from the Office, plays on the back-to-the-office trend. Despite being the longest video on the list (8 minutes), it is the second video by number of likes (111,000), with the trailer for the Netflix series Squid Game coming out on top with nearly 850,000 likes.
- The use of celebrities: the influence of celebrities continues to be a factor of visibility. Most of the ads in this ranking feature the likes of Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Roger Federer, Brie Larson, Eugene Levy, Scarlett Johansson, and two Sopranos actors.
- Emotional storytelling is a choice that pays: the ads featured in the list play on anticipation, nostalgia, empathy, inspiration, wonder, and joy. Brands then establish an authentic emotional connection with their DNA.
- Good content takes precedence over time and space: the second most viewed video, that of Apple, lasts 8 minutes while the fourth, a video of Samsung, lasts 45 seconds. All ads, except the Apple one, are around 1-2 minutes long.
For brands, telling a great story is essential, so users will find time to watch their creations.
- Music and soundscape play a key role: the creations of Omega, Netflix, Turkish Airlines and Imagine your Korea are sonically rhythmic and use music as a narrative force.
- Capturing the spirit of the times promotes commitment: in the context of a pandemic, tourism brands are fueling the thirst for travel, and Apple is playing on The Great Resignation in a short film dedicated to corporate life. Samsung, Amazon and Chevrolet celebrate the marvels of technology with nods to the past, present and future. Finally, brands are capitalizing on current series and films by using key characters.
Finally, Google took advantage of the Cannes Lions to unveil its innovations in accessible and inclusive marketing. Launched in 2021, the All In inclusive marketing toolkit is enriched with new insights. Aimed at marketing, advertising and creative professionals, this toolbox enables them to improve the accessibility of their marketing actions and the representation of people with disabilities in their campaigns.
YouTube Culture & Trends Report 2022
With the explosion of new video formats and new technologies, coupled with the impact of the pandemic on usage, content consumption is changing: Generation Z is increasingly turning away from generic discourse. 65% of them believe that relevant content for them as an individual is more important than popular content that everyone is talking about. Instead of following fashions, young users are therefore looking for content that makes sense to them. Pop culture is no longer monolithic and becomes increasingly varied and personalized.
85% of Gen Z have posted video content online. A hugely popular format, video empowers everyone to create disruptive moments, and pop culture today (and tomorrow) is shaped by content experiences that need to be deep and relevant.
According to the report, three new genres are emerging when it comes to creativity:
1. Community creativity which is expressed within online communities that share identity signs or common interests and together produce their own culture. From niche aviation channels to a massive community of K-Pop fans, organized online activity within communities is becoming a driver of creativity and cultural conversation. Creators and viewers then become our eyes to observe and understand pop culture.
Highlight : 61% of Gen Z describe themselves as true or super fans of a personality or something.
2. Multi-format creativity involving the dissemination of new concepts on different digital media in a fluid way. Today, users are as comfortable creating video content as they are watching it.
Highlight : 63% of Gen Z have followed one or more meme accounts in the last 12 months.
3. Reactive Creativity, a trend that comes from the use of video platforms by users to view content according to their emotional needs. Generation Z uses video to shape a pop culture based on what they expect from it. In a highly anxiety-provoking context, users let themselves be carried away by highly aesthetic content and find moments of liberation both with soothing content and content to scare themselves.
Highlight : 83% of Gen Z use YouTube to watch soothing content that helps them relax.
For brands and creators, it’s about understanding user expectations and consumption patterns, to make their content more relevant. Creativity must then be expressed in connection with the conversations within the communities, live in complete fluidity regardless of the format and respond directly to the needs of the audience(s).
Google also introduced his special edition of the YouTube Ads ranking Leaderboard 2022 which celebrates the world’s most popular video ads. The list is available here. All of the YouTube ads in this report add up to a total of more than 565 million views at the global level.