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This article was published on April 4, 2011

The 6 Best YouTube Brand Takeovers

The 6 Best YouTube Brand Takeovers
Lauren Fisher
Story by

Lauren Fisher

Co-founder at Simply Zesty. I love everything social and I think I have the best job in the world! I'm particularly passionate about bloggin Co-founder at Simply Zesty. I love everything social and I think I have the best job in the world! I'm particularly passionate about blogging and seeing innovative uses of social platforms by organisations. Feel free to drop me an email if you've got any questions, comments or you just want to say hi - [email protected]

There’s a form of advertising that is pretty much my favourite of all time and that’s the Youtube Takeover, an interactive YouTube experience. We’ve seen some brilliant examples of brands taking over YouTube channels for a day and doing the unexpected. What I like about the YouTube Takeover is you barely notice you’re actually engaging with a brand and it’s where you can really see brilliant technical and creative minds combining. Here I share what I think are some of the best YouTube brand takeovers, some old and new!

Samsung’s 3D Game

Samsung introduced a first with YouTube, when they used their takeover to develop a 3D game that the user was part of. The ad was part of a giveaway, incentivising the user to stay even longer on the page. The ad also worked to keep people’s attention, as it changed from a usual YouTube clip of their projection, to the screen falling apart, before releasing the game.


This is pretty much the daddy of Youtube takeovers! TippEx took things to the next level with their Youtube ad, when they invited users to interact with the ad in a very real way. I’m sure you know this one by now, so just behold the magic below.

Chrome Fastball

This is a very inventive Youtube takeover, this time by Google Chrome. They involved people in an interactive game across different websites, starting with a challenge using Google Maps. This is a great example of thinking a little bit differently, while also encouraing people to interact with other products of yours, all within an ad unit.

VW Black Beetle

I think this deserves its place on the list for the quality of the video, which was produced by The Mill’s London office. Volkswagen have focused on creating a visually impressive video, rather than just the trickery available with a Youtube takeover. It may not be remembered for really wowing people, but given that Youtube is a video channel, I like what VW has done here.  I don’t recommend you watch this if you get scared easily by creepy crawlies!

Wario Land – Shake It

Though by no means the first Youtube takeover, this campaign seemed to really make people take notice of Youtube advertising and at the time it was pretty innovative. The user experience was incredibly good and I remember being surprised when I watched this in its original run in 2008.


In just 3 days, the following YouTube video, part of Skittles Touch Series, has had nearly 1 million hits. The videos invite ask you to interact with the ad by touching your computer screen. Then, sit back and watch as your “delicious” finger gets licked by a cat… and then a man dressed as a cat… Is it funny? Creepy? Brilliant? You decide…

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