NZ's most loved YouTube clips of 2011 (watch)

Auckland skater Levi Hawken spawned the catchphrase 'nek minnit.' His video has clocked up 1.7 million views on YouTube. Picture / supplied, still from video.
Auckland skater Levi Hawken spawned the catchphrase 'nek minnit.' His video has clocked up 1.7 million views on YouTube. Picture / supplied, still from video.

The so-called "worst song in pop history" has pipped local viral videos for the title of New Zealand's most-watched YouTube clip of the year.

American teen Rebecca Black's much-maligned debut single, Friday, topped the list of popular community videos both in New Zealand and globally after being watched nearly 170 million times.

The runner-up spot went to the nine-second video featuring New Zealand skateboarder Levi Hawken, which generated the home-grown catchphrase: "nek minnit". It clocked up 1.7 million views this year.

New Zealand-made clips made up eight of the top 10, including harrowing amateur footage taken just after the February 22 earthquake in Christchurch.

The figures were released by Google, which owns the video-sharing website. Although YouTube began as a grassroots forum for home videos, it is increasingly the domain of shrewd marketing videos.

Four of the top ten clips were from large companies.

Air NZ, which has channelled much of its advertising energy into celebrity-studded viral videos, made the top 10 for the third year running.

Google New Zealand spokesman Johnny Luu said the results showed Kiwi creators were taking to YouTube with much success, and their inclusion in the top 10 list showed that local content creators could hold their own on a global stage.

The New Zealand Transport Agency could claim it commissioned the most popular public service video in the country, after its "Legend" drunk-driving clip became the eighth most-watched video in 2011.

YouTube trends manager Kevin Allocca said the videos showed "that around the world, whatever language we speak, there are certain things that bring us all together around a computer screen or mobile phone - adorable babies, talented performers and clever advertising."

California-based Google also published a list of the music videos that attracted the most attention in New Zealand in 2011.

American group LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem, which has been watched an astounding 324.5 million times around the world, was the most popular YouTube clip uploaded by a major record label.

The only New Zealander to feature on the list was Kimbra, whose cameo performance on Australian artist Gotye's single Somebody That I Used to Know, has been seen 24.1 million times.

Google-owned YouTube this year had 48 hours-worth of video content uploaded to the website every minute.

Most-watched videos:

1. Rebecca Black - Friday

2. Nek minnit

3. Stand in Black

4. Mile-high madness with Richard Simmons!

5. Ultimate Dog Tease

6. Major earthquake has hit Christchurch, New Zealand

7. Samsung Smart TV TVC, New Zealand

8. Legend

9. Cadbury Share the Joy Song

10. Flash Haka @ Sylvia Park, 4 Sept 11

(search these terms to find videos on YouTube)

Most searched-for terms

Jan - Ricky Gervais

Feb - Christchurch earthquake

Mar - Charlie Sheen

Apr - Party Rock Anthem

May - Someone like you

Jun - Man down Rihanna

Jul - Moves like Jagger

Aug - Stereo hearts

Sep - Flash haka

Oct - We found love

Nov - Ghost chips

Dec - Fight for Life

- NZ Herald

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