YouTube is one of the key components of digital brand awareness that is underutilized by OTC brands. Despite YouTube having grown 40% year-over-year since 2014, and the online advertising industry reaching $13.8 billion, the OTC industry treats YouTube as a warehouse for storing old TV commercials. Seven of the top 10 most-viewed OTC brand YouTube videos L2’s Digital IQ Index: OTC Health Care are repurposed commercials. Always, Durex, and Tylenol are the only ones in the top 10 that created content specifically for YouTube.

otc-health-care-2016-top-10-youtube-videos-by-view-countAlso of note, most of the the top 10 videos obtain close to all (99% or 100%) of their views from paid ads. Exceptions are Always, Durex, and Tylenol – the same group that creates original content. Hashtag campaigns boost organic views for OTC brands. For example, Durex captured 26% of its 37.6 million views from it most-viewed #Connect video, demonstrating the potential for original, well-promoted content.  


Always has historically dominated in OTC Healthcare video views, due to creative content coupled with aggressive spend (95% of views for #LikeAGirl are paid vs just 74% of Durex’s #Connect). However, Durex surpassed Always in incremental views (to the paid campaign), reaffirming the importance of creative.

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