In recent years, YouTube has used festivals like South by Southwest and Sundance to showcase work intended to teach marketers how to become better storytellers on the platform. This year, YouTube will continue that tradition, but instead of spotlighting different ad formats or introducing six-second spots as it did in 2017, YouTube will show marketers how to create better targeted spots.
In partnership with the Ad Council, YouTube briefed six agencies on three causes including emergency preparedness, hunger and STEM. YouTube will debut the work this weekend during SXSW at an intimate gathering where the agencies—BBDO, Energy BBDO, Amp Agency, Hecho Studios, We are Unlimited and Grey—will present their own work.
“In years past, it was much more of an open-ended approach,” said Sadie Thoma, director of creative agency development at Google. “This year, we wanted to get a little closer to a business story and showcase how storytelling on our platform is not just storytelling to storytell. It can evoke action. What better way to evoke action than by aligning with the Ad Council and focusing on incredible causes?”
The six agencies were tasked with creating a total of 12 spots that aimed to get viewers to either visit a website about a cause or donate. The agencies were asked to tailor spots that promoted the same cause to different targeted groups, like two by BBDO focused on hunger tailored to gamers and outdoor enthusiasts, respectively. By pushing the agencies to create more tailored ads that are relevant to the viewers watching them, YouTube argues, the creative will be more impactful.
“The fact is people appreciate more relevant ads, meaning ads that are more relevant to their passions,” Thoma said. “We know that relevant video ads get three times the average attention.”