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Advertising Week 10th Anniversary Official Guide

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292 PERSPECTIVE AW: When a client says they want their product to go "viral," what does that mean now? What makes something successfully viral in today's landscape? TL: For as long as I've worked on YouTube we've tried to explain that "going viral" isn't the right success metric. Connection with your audience is better measured in consistent time spent with your ads, channel engagement, brand lift, etc. And now I don't hear as much about it, frankly. I hear people focusing on the right things like making something that a group of people is passionate about. Even the most niche interests tend to attract wide fan-bases on YouTube. Take for example gaming unboxing videos, which had over 40 million hours of watch time last year—on mobile alone. Now, brands can be at the center of people's biggest passions—whatever they might be—at the moments that matter most. AW: How has the art of storytelling been changed since digital became a key player in the industry? TL: We all know a great story when we hear it. The fundamentals of connecting with people and engaging them in great content haven't changed. What's exploded are the ways we can do it. Digital has become a key place where our favorite stories are told and one where new tools (e.g., interactivity, flexibility, speed, preci- sion) are available. The key for marketers is to successfully orchestrate the different components of the story in a consistent way that maximizes people's attention and matches their experience to their context, no matter where they are or what they're looking for. L'Oreal is a good example of this harmonic approach. They have launched their own content series, using YouTube influencers. They are consistently testing how storytelling style affects video ad effectiveness. And, they are embracing campaigns that orchestrate various ad lengths to tell a richer brand story. For example, their Maybelline Push Up Angel mascara campaign took a core creative concept, "the wing effect" and extended it into three related but different stories that scale across :06, :15, and :30s plus formats. All of this media performed well above the L'Oreal USA benchmark. AW: Attention is quickly becoming more and more scarce among viewers and consumers. What's the secret for engaging users within that shrinking timeframe? What makes great, efficient user experience? TL: The potential for attention is influ- enced by context. If viewers are on-the-go or engaging with short-form content, they often prefer creative that is more consistent with that experience. That's one reason the six-second ad format has been so effective. But if people are relax- ing at home with a playlist, they're very engaged. In fact, if you look at the top 10 most popular ads on YouTube last year, they averaged out at nearly 2 minutes long each, with one from Nike tipping the scales at nearly six minutes long. We recommend that marketers think about offering variable user experiences in the form of a "bite, snack, or meal," each of which offers the ability to tell differ- ent types of stories. On YouTube, we see brands embracing six-second ads as the bite, 15-second ads as the snack, and longer-form skippable ads as the meal. Brands are experimenting with the mix depending on the campaign. And people are paying attention. • When Netflix Singapore launched the new season of Orange is the New Black, they split their creative into bites, snacks, and meals. Their six-second ads shared only the essentials: main characters, recognizable branding, and a clever tag line. These short ads drove a 300% lift in search queries. They also created 15-second and 30-second versions of the season trailer. All three of the ads did extremely well, earning best-in-class ad recall and product awareness—and clearly working better together.

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