Genevieve Walker / Staff Writer -

The year is being reviewed across the web from most watched YouTube videos to news mashups and Facebook’s dedicated “Stories” site – the feature allowing users to create their own year-in-timeline. Incidentally, you can also find the year in memes (Linsanity at number 10 and TBH, aka “to be honest,” at number 1). So TBH people – in 2012 ads, brands, and social media were kind of a big deal.

Take a look at our roundup of can’t-miss lists of 2012 in ads. From the most viral to the most unforgettable to YouTube’s ads people “chose” to watch – and our cherry-picked snippets from sources on what are the marketing takeaways. Ads in review:

1. Forbes:Here Are The Top 20 Ads You Actually Chose To Watch On YouTube This Year” These ads are long, well-crafted, and more often than not, beautiful. “The message: Create an ad that’s good enough, and the supposed short attention span of online viewers vanishes.”

2. Ad Age:"Brands Were Big in 2012, According to Google's Zeitgeist Film" This is the year in searches, thanks to Whirled and Google. Writes Ad Age: “Although we didn't count, it’s interesting to note how many brands, like Red Bull, adidas, NatGeo, figured into the big news of the year”

3. New York Times Media Decoder: “Four Old Spice Ads Make YouTube’s List of Most Popular Ads of 2012” Here you'll find commentary on the ads that made YouTube’s list of “ads people chose.” “Whatever the origin of the commercials, once again consumers demonstrated that they will gladly watch a commercial if it is their choice to do so.”

4. Ad Age:"Samsung Tops Red Bull, Google, Apple and Nike as Viral Brand Of 2012" Not just viral, this list is about videos created by brands. “These are more than one-hit wonders; these brands made video a central part of their marketing strategy, the ones that made the videos people chose to watch.” But in case you want to see what Ad Age chose as its viral video campaigns of 2012, you can check that out here.


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