Advertising on Youtube takes very expected forms and is easily avoidable. The Brands that explore taking existing tools and using them differently or that explore untapped real estate are those that can really gain value from the platform.
One of the common areas of experimentation is with the pre-roll. Most of these are clicked and ignored, even if Youtube will proudly share impression and view numbers. Therefore, recognising the desire to skip or ignore can be leveraged in messaging to make an ad unit work surprisingly well. Examples include “the fasted Pre-roll in history” by VW, the “self-skipping Pre-roll” by VW, the “skip the behaviour challenge” by a Chilean water conservation NGO, or the “Missing Persons Pre-roll” by VML Australia.
Now Mini has entered the mix with their “Youtube Pre-Roll Race”. The goal was to market its new Mini John Cooper as an incredibly fast and fun car. As such they challenged people to click the “skip” button before the car had a chance to drive off. A brilliantly simply idea by Kinetic Singapore that got the message across, drove great engagement, and turned the irritating medium into a fun one.
One untapped opportunity within Youtube are the black bar areas that are created if you film in portrait on your phone and post the video. Apparently 1 in 6 videos have this “defect”. The “Black Bars Donation” campaign is a superb idea where you give up that real estate as advertising space for NGOs to promote their causes. As such, you are not only showing your creativity, you are also helping a cause that you believe in. Super. Have a look at the case study.