YouTube pitches reach, attention and brand building credentials during Brandcast event

Video platform details brand campaign examples across its platform and its growing might in the increasing connected TV space

Mel Silva at Brandcast 2022
Mel Silva at Brandcast 2022
  • Mel Silva at Brandcast 2022
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A direct challenge to linear and catch-up TV competitors for attention on the big screen, diversity and credibility of creator content, and short and longform campaign outcomes are three ways YouTube is hoping to win more advertiser spend to its platform.

The video platform’s local executives hit the stage last night at the annual Brandcast event in Sydney, touting adaptive advertiser solutions and fresh platform and audience credentials in amidst the increasingly fragmented and competitive TV and video content landscape and battle for viewers.

YouTube said new figures showed connected TV (CTV) as the fastest growing screen in Australia, noting 11 million Australians streamed YouTube on their connected TV screens in May this year. The company also pointed to research claiming viewers on YouTube were more engaged compared to other channels. The figures came from a local Kantar/Eye Square/Google study, which found ‘eyes on screen’ for advertising is 10 per cent higher on YouTube than when viewing on catch-up TV. It’s also reportedly 15 per cent higher than results on free-to-air.

In her opening address, Google Australia managing director, Melanie Silva, said people have more choices about what to watch and where to watch it than ever. But she was bullish on consumers continuing to choose YouTube to satisfy a broad array of interests and needs.

“We’re talking big audiences – 17 million Australian and 3.5 million Kiwis streamed YouTube during May this year,” Silva told attendees. “Those audiences are consuming content on every screen – desktop, mobile and increasingly the largest screen in the house.

“Connected TV is still our fastest growing screen… Not only that, they are watching for longer. We can see YouTube on the TV screen makes people watch videos up to 80 per cent longer. This audience is vast, it’s multi-screen and it’s highly engaged. People are paying more attention to this content to YouTube – they are keeping their eyes on the screen. And they’re watching the ads more than on catch-up TV – 10 per cent more.”

Silva also pointed to figures indicating 85 per cent of Australians and 96 per cent of New Zealanders say they find ‘good content’ on the platform.  

The Brandcast event was dominated by presentations and data points endeavouring to back up YouTube’s broad multi-screen reach as comparable to linear TV reach, as well as viewer and creator credentials against competing social and next-gen video platforms. In a direct hit to next-generation video platform, TikTok, for example, YouTube executives said its shortform video format, YouTube Shorts, was the fastest-growing product offering in its 17-year history. Silva added 30 billion views of YouTube Shorts daily, four-times the global figure a year ago.

In a further push to emphasise the credibility of content on the platform, YouTube culture and trends lead for YouTube APAC, Ashley Chang, detailed diversity and quality of content, along with the creative options available to creators. The platform has 2 billion logged in users, while its creators are uploading 500 hours of content every minute.

From an advertiser perspective, YouTube recently launched a CTV frequency management solution in display and video 360 globally allowing advertisers to control the number of times people see their ads across YouTube and other CTV apps. While already available in Google Ads, it’s now confirmed this will be available to Australia and New Zealand on display and video 360 later in the year.

Short and long-term campaigning

In a section featuring Mark Ritson, several case studies were used to demonstrate brands employing YouTube as a supplement and complement to linear TV. The campaigns included instances of gaining reach across younger audiences, as well as delivering against short-term performance and long-term brand building ambitions.

KFC group marketing manager, Julia White, for example, detailed a recent campaign aimed at supplementing the QSR’s linear TV buy with connected TV, with specific content delivered through YouTube. The aim was to target younger audiences increasingly disappearing from linear TV.

“We have a long and short objective. The long is to increase unaided awareness by 2 per cent in both general population and younger audiences. The short objective was to maintain screens’ overall contribution to sales without any change in investment,” White explained.

To do this, KFC used long format creative aimed at building an emotional connection with consumers on the big screen. Secondly, it employed long layer creative platforms, including ‘Did someone say KFC’ and ‘Shut up and take by money’, which it’s been using consistently to build brand equity and salience.

The results included a 10 per cent increase in mass reach and 2 per cent increase in top-of-mind awareness. White said KFC was also able to maintain the big screen’s contribution to driving sales without any change to marketing investment.

Tourism New Zealand consumer marketing manager, Penelope Ryan, meanwhile, detailed a campaign designed to change the behaviour of local consumers to stimulate domestic travel. Armed with research on holiday behaviours that found kiwis to be very habitual, the body launched the campaign, ‘Do something new, New Zealand’, which included long and short-form content in the form of a hero song and video, launched across all channels simultaneously.

“We needed to raise awareness and challenge perceptions of what a kiwi holiday could look like. We had to make sure we got cut through, to do that the strategy was to launch a ‘blockbuster’,” Ryan explained.

Results included a 4.4 per cent brand uplift among the general population was the result of the campaign, and 14 per cent view through of longform content on YouTube, which was higher than other platforms used, Ryan said. And 63 per cent of kiwis went or did something new, results it’s still seeing today, she added.

Canva global head of paid social, display and programmatic, Kho Lumpur, was also on-hand to talk about the creative software vendor’s brand building efforts. Having original relied on organic growth and only started paid advertising three years ago, there had been a heavy emphasis on performance marketing. As Canva more recently began turning to brand advertising in order to build awareness in key markets, it also used YouTube as a channel.

Lumper said three main objectives drove these efforts: Increase brand awareness, increase total addressable market, and growing brand love of Canva. “We were also keen to see how long-term brand activity would impact key business metrics, such as revenue and monthly active users,” he said.

Lumper noted Canva saw a 7 per cent increase in brand awareness, 21 per cent increase in signups and a 1:1 return on investment through YouTube.

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