YouTube looks to boost perceptions of its quality content with major push

YouTube is launching its first multi-platform UK marketing campaign as it bids to challenge the “narrow view” that many advertisers and consumers have about the range and quality of content on the platform.

YouTube has launched its first major multi-media marketing campaign, featuring its stars, such as the Slow Mo Guys.

The campaign, created by Adam&EveDDB, will showcase the work of three of YouTube’s most popular UK “creators”: Zoella, Vice News and Slow Mo Guys. Ads will run on TV, print, outdoor and across Google-owned properties.

Each creator will have a dedicated 30-second TV spot, running during the breaks of primetime TV shows such as the X Factor.

Ben McOwen Wilson, YouTube partnerships director, told Marketing Week the main aim of the campaign is to challenge market perceptions as well as to boost the audiences of the creators involved.

He adds: “We are looking to reach both a b2b audience in terms of media buyers and brands who maybe still have an all too narrow view of the range of content on YouTube, and users who may not know about the quality of the content.

“We are trying to show that broadcast TV is not the only route you can go down to reach large audiences and engaged, passionate groups of consumers around almost any niche of content. Irrespective of your brand or the topics you want to talk about, we are able to find it on YouTube.”

UK TV ad spend grew 3.6 per cent to £4.6bn in 2013, according to AA/Warc. Total internet spend grew 15.6 per cent to £6.3bn, although this figure also includes broadcast VOD and digital revenues for news and magazine brands.

The YouTube campaign launches a week after the platform announced it is to make another “important investment” to fund new original content and formats, as it faces increased competition in the video space from the likes of Facebook and Twitter. YouTube launched its first original channels in 2011 with a $100m investment, an initiative that was expanded to Europe in 2012 with further multi-million pound global content commitments.

Facebook and Twitter have made considerable video charges in recent months. Both companies have launched premium video advertising propositions as they look to harness the growing interest in online video from both consumers and brands.

McOwen Wilson acknowledges the growing interest around video, but says YouTube has “always had massive competition in every market” – versus broadcast as well as newer video players and that the new campaign was not in response to recent progress made by rivals.

In recent months Google has been looking to position itself as a competitor to TV in the eyes of marketers. In April, the company’s former senior vice president and chief business officer Nikesh Arora said the industry is at a “significant” pivot where marketers who historically built their brands on TV are reorienting their creative, planning and investments with digital at the centre.

Last year Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt even declared the “battle” between YouTube and and TV was over, with his company the victor.

In total, digital video ad spend in the UK is forecast reach £673m this year, according to researchers eMarketer, doubling from the £325m spent on the format in 2013. Separate foreceasts from AA/Warc estimate UK TV ad spend will reach £4.9bn in 2014.

Google does not split out income from its YouTube business in its financial results. Its UK revenues rose 10 per cent year on year to $1.62bn in the three months to 30 June.

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