YouTube launches new ad formats to seize on CTV audience growth

Alphabet Inc-owned YouTube has reported significant growth in its Australian connected TV viewing at its virtual marketing event, Brandcast.

According to its own internal data, eight million Australians streamed YouTube content on a connected TV in March this year.

The rise of Connected TV or smart TVs has prompted YouTube to add an e-commerce aspect to its ad offering. New interactive ads will allow viewers to click on a button within the ad they’re watching on a Connected TV, which sends a link immediately to their mobile device. For advertisers, it provides an opportunity to connect directly with a consumer on the big screen. Seeven West Media announced a similar proposition on its BVOD 7Plus at its upfronts last week.

Google Australia’s managing director of Sales, Rhys Williams, said Connected TV YouTube viewers were some of the most leaned-in viewers on the platform, with figures showing that on average, Australian YouTube viewers who tuned in on TV screens in March 2021 engaged with videos that were 30% longer than those viewed on mobile and desktop, and the average watch time was more than 1.5x longer.

“Brands are seeing a strong ROI by investing in YouTube as their core channel in their media mix,” he added.

According to YouTube culture and trends manager, Ashley Chang: “The days when a TV network decides what an audience watches are over.”

Recent campaigns on the platform by BWS, Samsung and Tourism New Zealand were highlighted by YouTube for the results delivered. CEO of Dentsu Media ANZ, Sue Squillace, stating that for the recent campaign for BWS YouTube drove significantly higher ROI than any other channel, 30% higher than social media and 150% higher than TV.

A campaign for Tourism New Zealand (Stop Dreaming and Go) that experimented with various YouTube formats and features reached two million viewers in just one week, and resulted in a 13.5% increase in brand lift, and contributed over 35% of unique reach coming from the TV screen from May to July this year, according to proprietary Tourism New Zealand campaign reports.

Google Australia head of video and display, AUNZ, Caroline Oates said YouTube was delivering advertisers “89% greater ROI than TV, 85% greater ROI than BVOD, and 64% greater incremental sales than TV”.

In regards to the Samsung campaign, she added: “Samsung and CHE Proximity used YouTube as a core channel to drive reach, consideration and action for their crucial Q2 Galaxy phone campaign.

“They reached over 4.9 million unique consumers in their target audience, and YouTube drove active consideration.”

Ben Jones, global creative director at Google’s Unskippable Labs, said advertisers need to learn the new language of advertising to capitalise on platforms such as YouTube, to maximise investment wen it comes to the ads.

“Learn this new language – don’t imagine you can outsource to your production partner or agency. If you are approving ads, you need to understand what is different about them in order to take advantage of this,” he said.

“One of the three things you need to understand about how ads work to take advantage is understand the surface of the ads… second thing is structure… the third area is the substance of the ads.”

“If you follow the guidelines we provide, you will see a 30% increase in short term sales”

The Brandcast event also saw YouTube announce the winning agency of its annual advertising competition, the Skippys. The competition saw four agencies fight it out to make the most memorable and compelling YouTube ad for local start up Zero Co.

TBWA Melbourne edged out entries from CHE Proximity, Tinkerbell and DDB Sydney to take out the top prize for their spot ‘The Ocean Is Filthy’.


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