Media investment sees ING Only Football YouTube channel score big

September 2017

ING aims to be a brand that consumers love. A particular challenge that ING Bank NL faced was reaching a younger population of youths, students and millennials in the Netherlands. Believing that traditional media wouldn’t resonate well with these groups, the brand launched a YouTube channel – ING Only Football – to generate interest, interaction and engagement around a shared passion for sport.


Grow ING Only Football channel audience

Drive interaction and engagement with viewers

Drive overall brand interest

Gain user insights to inform strategic decisions


Ran TrueView ads to promote ING Only Football channel and sponsoring content

Optimised campaign targeting, creatives and media allocation through data

Introduced poll cards and end cards to increase viewer interaction


Gained 5,000 subscribers in one month

6.4% uplift in brand favorability

46.6% uplift in brand consideration

ING Bank NL focuses on innovation in every aspect of their business. Creating and distributing content that sets the brand apart from others is a key component of their strategy. By launching ING Only Football on YouTube, ING set out to gain subscribers, views and social media followers while attaining excellent viewer retention.

A YouTube Lab lends deeper understanding

ING Only Football generated a fair share of views and subscribers organically without actively promoting any content. Interested in seeing how media investment could bolster the channel’s success, the team agreed to participate in a YouTube Lab with Google and their partners. The YouTube Lab covered a range of topics, including how to capture viewer attention through better creatives, improving targeting to gain more subscribers, ways to drive viewer engagement and ideas about using data to deliver better results.

The ING team decided to adopt several of the best practices that were proposed during the YouTube Lab. First, in order to gain audience insights and build remarketing lists, they promoted ING Only Football’s “City Challenge” content through two TrueView teaser ads. They opted to use broad targeting at first in order to learn which audience segments were most interested. They then adapted their creatives based on audience insights as a way to increase retention.

By also introducing poll cards and end cards, ING hoped to increase viewer interaction. Finally, as the campaign progressed and further insights emerged, they leveraged specific targeting to increase retention and viewership among segments most likely to want to watch ING Only Football.

New levels of success across all metrics

The ING team saw outstanding results after implementing these best practices. “By organising this YouTube Lab specifically for the ING Only Football channel, we experienced a boost in the number of viewers,” says Steven Sedee, ING Netherlands’ Manager of Sport Sponsoring. “Optimising on media, targeting and creative in real time meant we were able to achieve better results.”

Overall, the “City Challenge” campaign reached 878,690 unique users and gained 458,214 views, while the ING Only Football channel gained 5,000 subscribers in just one month. As for engagement, 86.6% of viewers interacted with the video by clicking on the poll cards. With the full video running almost 12 minutes, audience retention reached 52%.

Alongside these performance metrics, a Brand Lift survey helped ING to derive further insights. The activity produced a 6.4% uplift in brand favorability and a 46.6% uplift in brand consideration, affirming that a channel dedicated to a non-banking topic could successfully contribute to ING’s branding goals.

“They know how to better make use of data and how to translate our objectives throughout the entire funnel.”

– Steven Sedee, Manager Sport Sponsoring, ING Netherlands

“Google has good knowledge of the financial industry, branding and content,” Steven says. “They’ve given us insights on how to make more out of our channel and content, and we’ll be involving them to brainstorm about our plans for the future as well. They always think about the next steps and challenge us to think about new angles too.”

Looking to the future, ING Netherlands plans include pursuing a full-funnel strategy with data at the center, developing brand partnerships, creating real-time content around the World and European Cups and focusing on serious content as well as the fun stuff to appeal to the broadest possible audience of football fans in the Netherlands.

Building a brand in an age of hyper-targeted messaging