Today’s Burning Question: YouTube’s Ramped-Up Ad Strategy


ADOTAS — Today, we sought responses from our community of industry experts to the following Burning Question:

“What do you think of the new Google Preferred ad program for YouTube, which it announced with great fanfare last week at  Digital Content Newfronts 2014?”

Here’s how they responded:

“The announcement of Google Preferred substantiates the trends we’ve seen with many premium publishers on the LiveRail platform who also create original content and offer audience guarantees via Neilsen OCR. The new offering will likely please YouTube advertisers who have long worried about their ads being associated with low quality, user generated content. That being said, the ad package of top performing content channels on YouTube with audience guarantees, while a unique proposition, has been quoted as incredibly scarce, meaning the amount of brands who will be able to utilize the feature and the impact it will have on the success of a brand’s campaign is yet to be determined.” — Mark Trefgarne, CEO and Co-Founder of LiveRail.

“When Google bought Youtube in 2006, they also tapped into the new era of branding: consumer-led approaches to marketing. Just as consumers have recently become the curators of brands (in co-produced branding) they are now the generators of advertising messages as well. We see this in the new YouTube creators of ads appearing across Google-owned properties as well as in TV, print and out-of-home signs. The latest ads are also in the NY metros.  So Google has moved from corporate-produced top-down TV spots one which advertised its comedy- and geek-themed weeks- to now plugging specific consumer creators who are drawing great attention via social media. Google is also very prescient and forward thinking in engaging women as the front runners of their new ad efforts. We note this in the women stars — Michelle Phan, Bethany Mota, Rosanna Pansino — they feature in creating two of the verticals: beauty/fashion and cooking – that appeal to a mostly female audience. Perhaps old establishments (and advertising is classically male dominated and top down approached) are being uprooted or at least redirected by these new bottom up and female led Google efforts. Could this be another example of the ‘lean in’ effect? — — Timothy D. Malefyt, Ph.D., Visiting Associate Professor of Marketing, Fordham University Schools of Business.

“YouTube’s preferred ad program makes perfect sense. We’ve been gradually seeing ad dollars move from traditional to online for a while now, but video has always lagged behind for large brand advertisers with a few notable exceptions (like automotive). Part of the reason for the slower pace of adoption was always the way in which big TV buys were made. When marketers want a big impact, they buy 30-second spots based on the top Nielsen rated programs. Now, YouTube is gunning for the same ad dollars since you can effectively buy advertising on the top 5 percent of YouTube content across several different verticals. This means if you are a large clothing brand, you can buy inventory on the top YouTube content in the fashion category. Guaranteed reach on video advertising will be a win in producing compelling content to drive awareness. Hopefully, as time goes on, we’ll see some unique and potentially interactive content made for YouTube rather than just re-purposed TV ad creative.” — Alex Funk, Director of Digital Media Strategy, Covario.

“Enabling advertisers to target the top 5% where supply will be significantly constrained in the scatter market, is what the upfront is all about.  It’s the equivalent of leveraging prime on TV to create scarcity and drive the investment discussions in the upfront negotiating process.” — Rich Routman, CRO of Sporting News Media.


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