Scotch & Soda succeed on YouTube with a testing and targeting strategy

December 2017

Fashion innovators Scotch & Soda bring their creativity to bear on a YouTube video campaign, working alongside iProspect and the Google ZOO to A/B test and perfect campaign creative.


Brand awareness in Scotch & Soda’s target audience


Early involvement of Google, The ZOO, iProspect and Scotch & Soda

Four different creatives, tested pre-campaign per gender

Best performing creatives then run in main campaign flight


Above benchmark results for the total campaign compared to previous activity

23% lift in brand awareness for best-performing creative

Established in Amsterdam in 1985, fashion brand Scotch & Soda now have over 200 shops, a thriving ecommerce site, and a presence on the racks of 8000+ department stores worldwide. Operating in a creative industry where new trends are emerging all the time means that awareness is a key marketing goal for the brand. To achieve this, Scotch & Soda use a variety of traditional and digital marketing channels including print, outdoor and online video to ensure they remain front of mind with their customers.

The Place for Creative Storytelling

For Ozlem Birkalan, Head of Brand Marketing at Scotch & Soda, online video is a particularly valuable channel because of its ability to reach highly targeted audiences at scale. “We recently designed a campaign explaining how our signature Amsterdam Couture draws from different cultures and takes inspiration and fabrics from faraway lands,” explains Ozlem. “We knew that YouTube was the right platform to tell this brand story, as we’d already seen from previous campaigns that our videos there have much higher completion rates compared to other platforms.”

Plan, Test & Iterate

To push the performance of their ads on YouTube further, Scotch & Soda and their agency partner iProspect began working with Google’s in-house agency, The ZOO, early in the creative process. “With Google and The ZOO’s help, we decided that we would A/B test our campaign creative before launch, which is not something a lot of fashion brands do,” recalls Ozlem. “So, six months ahead of that date we began building out variations, with the Google ZOO providing creative consultancy on audio and visuals.” A small amount of budget was then set aside to run pre-flight experiments targeted at gender-based segments, measuring the effectiveness of each variation.

“We significantly outperformed YouTube’s industry benchmarks and the performance levels set by the previous video campaign we ran,”

- Ozlem Birkalan, Head of Brand Marketing, Scotch & Soda

Designing Success

In the pre-flight A/B-test Scotch & Soda discovered which video creative resonated most with which demographic, measured by view & completion rates in combination with Brand Lift Study results. For the main campaign flight, Scotch & Soda took these learnings into account with the most relevant video creative per demographic, resulting in above the benchmark results of 36% and 29% on view and completion rates respectively. Brand Lift Studies continued to be run during the course of the campaign, showing a strong lift in brand awareness of 23%. To ensure optimal targeting of their chosen creative, Scotch & Soda used affinity segments and remarketing lists based on viewership of their previous video campaign.

“We significantly outperformed YouTube’s industry benchmarks and the performance levels set by the previous video campaign we ran,” says Ozlem Birkalan, reviewing the success of the campaign. “This shows the value of collaborating widely as early in the process as possible.” With YouTube set to be a key component of Scotch & Soda’s future campaigns, Ozlem says that the most important lesson drawn from these tests is learning to trust data: “If you’re unsure about a video creative, always A/B test!”

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