A leading provider in the pest control industry, Orkin realized it needed to move beyond conversions to measure the success of its TrueView campaigns. By creating educational yet funny YouTube videos, it boosted brand search by more than 350%.


  • Drive awareness and consideration of Orkin's services
  • Test and learn how informative and entertaining branded content would resonate
  • Create an emotional connection with the Orkin audience


  • Created content specifically designed for TrueView with recognition of the skip function
  • Promoted content via TrueView in-stream ads, blogger outreach, and social ads
  • Captured additional traffic via search and social networks


  • Grew video views on Orkin's YouTube channel by 71%
  • Boosted video watch time on Orkin's YouTube channel by 275%
  • Increased brand search by more than 350%
August 2015

Entering last year's peak pest control season, Orkin decided to test a new approach to sharing its brand message. In partnership with The Richards Group, it developed unique-to-digital videos launched on YouTube.

This new content strategy was aimed at driving brand awareness by generating deeper engagement through a series of educational and funny YouTube videos that put a lighter spin on the "ew"-inducing business of ridding homes of pest intruders.


Cam Glover, the company's director of marketing, noted, "While digital marketing has been part of Orkin's marketing mix for quite some time, online video was somewhat new territory."

Although the company tested the platform in 2013 using pre-generated content, in 2014, it wanted to take a different approach by creating ads specific for this type of platform and technology.

Using TrueView to develop relationships, not just transactions

One of the great challenges of working in pest control is that it is largely a need-based industry, and therefore, consumer interactions are commonly transactional only. As Glover described, "You see a bug, you call your local pest control company, and we perform services to rid the home of the bugs."

As a result of the transactional nature of the business, much of the marketing for pest control services is largely focused on the product and/or services provided, and there is very little differentiation between competitors.

Glover explained that TrueView provided an opportunity to test and learn how informative and entertaining content would resonate with Orkin's potential consumers. Additionally, the company was looking to explore avenues for differentiation by creating emotional connections while avoiding the interruptive and intrusive nature of typical pre-roll ads.


Inviting the user in with TrueView ads

While Orkin had advertised with TrueView previously, it wanted to create new content specifically with this type of ad in mind. It focused on messages that let it capture viewer attention by providing a level of entertainment.

One of the most attractive features of TrueView is its ability to increase engagements since users are "given the power to decide whether they want to watch the video or move on," said Glover. "YouTube serves as a perfect platform for content engagement and exploration for our audience, particularly in TrueView buys."

The company also promoted its content through campaigns targeting search and social networks while partnering with bloggers to help promote two of the three campaigns.

Connecting with the light TV viewer

Using a combination of demographic and interest category targeting, Orkin effectively gained exposure among light TV viewers and better engage with its target audience.

"If we did not use TrueView, we would have missed the opportunity to gain awareness and engagement with our audience on a content-consumption platform."

Through the efforts of its campaigns, Orkin was actually able to shift its audience to align more closely with its core target. In 2013, more than 20% of its channel views came from outside of its target demographic. In 2014, more than 98% of its channel views came from its target.

"If we did not use TrueView, we would have missed the opportunity to gain awareness and engagement with our audience on a content-consumption platform," said Glover.

Beyond the conversion: measuring success with brand awareness

Pest control is an industry frequently measured on conversions; however, Orkin recognized a need to take a different approach when measuring the success of its TrueView campaigns.

"To measure success, we looked at multiple metrics: views and earned views, view rate, shares, clicks, brand study results, and media impressions," noted Glover. "Our primary goal was brand awareness for the TrueView campaign; with our content, we were able to receive not only the TrueView exposure but also added value through unpaid engagements such as earned views."


With these metrics in mind, the campaigns were a great success. Among viewers of its online videos, there was significant lift in brand awareness upwards of 60%, as well as branded search lift ranging up to 350%.

The effort resulted in a 71% lift in actual view, and a 275% lift in time spent watching online videos on its channel over the prior year. So, not only did it get more views, but people were also willing to watch more of the content. There were also significant lifts in subscriptions, likes, and shares, indicating a high level of engagement and shareability.

A new way of thinking going forward

According to Glover, Orkin's usage of TrueView campaigns has affected how it will think about releasing content in the future.

"Put simply, it worked," he said. "We found that producing educational and entertaining content lets us connect with our audience differently than our traditional media does. The opportunity is to create a shared (rather than forced) interaction between the brand and our audience, which we believe encourages future engagement."