I know, I know, I’m back with another clickbait title, and I apologise for it. Nothing’s revealed, I just ran out of ideas for an article. If you feel cheated, I hope you stay because I think I advertised my product quite well by Youtube’s standards. And I do have good content to make up for it. But before we begin, I want to give a quick shoutout to my sponsor, The Cannon Newspaper. Established in 1978, The Cannon Newspaper is the official serious newspaper of Skule™, providing the absolute top quality real time news reporting, at least 5x better than generic store brands like Toike Oike. Use code “RK” now for a free 4 year +PEY (+1 if you’re into that) subscription. Thank you to The Cannon for sponsoring this article.
See how annoying that gets, especially when you have to watch nonsense like that 20 times a day? That’s Youtube advertising in a nutshell now. I remember when Youtube used to be a place to showcase your passion projects. Times when you could spend all night watching your favourite content creators distressfully track through Japanese forests, or cry about how life randomly creates their problems as they shovel more food down their throat. And all that without Manscaped trying to sell you razors that you’ll probably never use in the winter anyway. But those days are long gone. Youtube’s dominance is so big that you can’t even effectively quit it anymore as a creator or a viewer, making it a great place to slap ads on without customers leaving. Where else are you going to get your daily fix of diss tracks, apology videos and Mr Beast giving away entire planets to others?
The adpocalypse as we have now come to know it cemented Youtube as one of the most lucrative monetisation platforms. There is no changing it. In any case, it is my final article for this year, so instead of ranting as I usually do, I will take the low (effort) road and make a Watchmojo ranking of the most annoying Youtube ads. Here, I have compiled a list of Youtube ads using (imaginary) stats and (non existent) community feedback which you can safely instantly skip without wanting to know what they are selling you. To be fair, all ads are skippable, but some are more skippable than others.
Number 10: HelloFresh (and other similar food subscription apps)
This one barely makes the list as I never considered it to be particularly annoying and, if anything, it is helpful during a pandemic in which you are trying to maintain your body without having to move an inch. But it’s still useless in my opinion because an app like Hello Fresh will never be able to carve out a market for themselves; there are too many factors working against them. A small number of people actually do not plan out their groceries, an even smaller number of them do not have a grocery store accessible to them, and a further smaller number can’t get groceries delivered to them via umbrella apps like Uber. Funnily enough, if you are among the final demographic, chances are you live in a location where HelloFresh does not deliver anyway.
Number 9: Nord VPN, Express VPN, Surfshark
Now a VPN is an extremely useful thing for sure. But here’s the thing: you make a privacy software and these are the names you come up with? That alone makes me not want to buy these. Besides, if you have seen one of these ads, you have seen all of them. So keep skipping, the content never changes.
Number 8: Skillshare and Masterclass
I quite enjoy these ads to be fair. I guess the ads bother me because they start off with industry experts hyping up their subjects and then start providing small lessons… but they never finish them! I know you want me to pay for the rest of it but don’t tease me like that. I’d say these were the ads I came the closest to actually buying the product and that makes me hate them for working. Skip it because it will make you spend 100 bucks a year.
Number 7: Cardi B UberEats, John Hamm Skipthedishes
By themselves, UberEats and Skipthedishes have done nothing wrong. I use their apps and they are perfectly good apps that exploit local businesses and make us pay 30 bucks for a 10 dollar meal. What I can’t stand are these celebrities acting like they are selling off their kitchens and cookstaff because they order from Skipthedishes every meal. Are you seriously telling me that you will order overpriced fast food if you have a chef at home who can cook you world class food? If you don’t, then stop lying to us. If you do, then just send the chef to me. I’ll pay for your UberEats deliveries.
Number 6: TikTok Reels
Quite literally the “Obama putting a medal on Obama” of advertisements, these annoy me not just because it’s one app I waste an ungodly amount of time on asking me to waste time on another app, that essentially serves the same purpose, but also because the more TikTok ads I see, the more I am convinced I should never download TikTok. Tiktok serves no useful purpose. I go to Facebook to sell my old furniture to idiots, to Twitter to watch intellectuals act like idiots, to Instagram to see idiots act like models, to Reddit to see idiots act like intellectuals. It’s amusing. But TikTok ads make it look like it’s just idiots acting like idiots. That’s just sad. If I want to see idiots, I already have the Paul brothers on Youtube. I guess if you don’t want to download TikTok, don’t skip these ads?
Number 5: Wealthsimple
Wealthsimple is a decent beginner-level trading app, but does not work at all for big investors due to restrictions on stock limits. Funnily enough, they never mention that in the ads. Their ads are also horrid. Terrible jingles, disastrous acting, the plot makes adult films look Oscar worthy. I mean I understand it’s a trading app, not a Marvel movie, but is it too much to ask for some effort? This might be the only entry in the top 5 that makes me not want to try the app because of how terrible the ads are, not for their actual content.
Number 4: Horrible Mobile Games
These honestly started out quite funny with the Mafia City “lvl1 crook” to “lvl100 boss” ads. They were obviously exaggerated and were, if not persuasive, original enough to get a pass. But over time the quality has degraded so much that I now see them copying sprites and models from actual PC games like Age of Empires or shows like Attack on Titan. And that is something I can’t accept. I already use UberEats, I can’t in good conscience support another exploitative piece of software. Needless to say, the ads don’t match the actual gameplay in the slightest. Everytime I see some ad showing next generation PS7 level gameplay only for the actual game to be another base-building Clash of Clans clone, I wish I could burn these ads with fire.
Number 3: Headspace/Calm (Sleeping apps)
This one I just don’t get. An app to make me sleep? Seriously. AN APP… TO MAKE ME SLEEP? What is this, the adult version of or my nan singing me lullabies? Especially when I am watching Youtube to NOT sleep. I’m not gonna pretend that the engineering schedule has not caused sleeping problems for me. But I’d actually rather stay up all night than turn this app on and let Jerome Flynn or Andy Puddicombe ASMR talk me to sleep. And yes I know it also has meditation features but they rarely ever mention that in their marketing. I can only judge on what I see.
Number 2: One Plus phones
Let me tell you all something. A phone is possibly the most useful thing to buy in this list. But buying a phone is a well thought out process. You look all your options up, compare them, work with your budget and then get your phone. I sincerely doubt anybody looks at a Youtube sponsorship of a phone and plans on buying it. It’s the same as car ads on Youtube but at least those are less egregious because they don’t have a set repeated dialogue. Like I get it, you have the fastest refresh rate and the greatest battery. Can I know a bit more about your phone? I’d rather watch a car drive through 20 seconds of nothing. At least that’s visually pleasing.
Number 1: Raid: Shadow Legends
Finally, the most unbelievably annoying Youtube ad of all time. Raid: Shadow Legends ads are everywhere. It seems they sponsor every youtuber, make ads for every time length, and have high budget productions. And that’s what makes my blood boil. It seemingly corrects all the mistakes the other standings on this list make. Good production value, decent acting, gameplay is somewhat accurate to what is depicted. But how do they have so much outreach? Who is playing a game this much? It’s not even a particularly good game. So who is funding this. If radio friendly music became an ad, this would be it.
If you’ve made it to the end of this article, you’ve probably seen enough ads just in this article to fund these companies for a lifetime. So do yourself a favour and get an adblocker. Admittedly it blocks smaller creators from getting revenue, but then they put these ads as sponsorships in the videos which you can fast forward so… win-win? Trust me, it’s an instant quality of life improvement for the rest of your life. God, I’m getting annoyed just writing about these ads. Guess I will just end it here and go watch PewDiePie screaming some more to calm down. Oh look, I got an ad for an adblocker!