Dairy & food company Almarai revealed in May 2016 its biggest product innovation of the year – powdered milk. Due to the high consumption of the product during the holy month of Ramadan, Almarai wanted to launch the product during the 10 days preceding Ramadan.

With a short period of only 10 days to build awareness, Mediavest devised an efficient plan to reach Saudi consumers at the right time. Since TV reach would require a longer period, Mediavest, together with Google, orchestrated a 10-day YouTube blast campaign that provided Almarai with the opportunity to build fast, frequency-capped and efficient reach in a matter of days.

“We knew from numerous studies done in the last few years that YouTube provides one of the highest levels of incremental reach. As a result of over 90% reach on the mobile population in Saudi Arabia, YouTube was the platform for such a campaign. The YouTube blast was a new take on YouTube – it provided us with an opportunity for the first time to build high levels of targeted frequency-controlled reach in a short time frame,” says Ramzi Ghanem - EVP - Managing Director Publicis Media – KSA

Mediavest built the campaign using the TrueView format, whereby an advertiser is only charged when a user watches 30 seconds of the ad (if the ad is shorter than 30 seconds, the brand is then charged when a user watches the full ad.) Additionally, Almarai conducted a brand lift survey alongside the YouTube activity, which provided insight into what was working well and what could be optimized.

“This campaign involved a large investment for a short duration, so it was key for us to work with Google and Almarai on a daily basis to report and fine-tune opportunities,” says Khaled Abou Sleiman, General Manager Mediavest Riyadh. “Our planners went into the account every day to look at the hard metrics. That meant we could modify the strategy along the way and introduce frequency caps.”

The engagement model between Mediavest and the Google team contributed significantly to the outstanding impact of the campaign over the narrow timeframe. On the first day alone, the ads reached 3.5 million unique users in Saudi (27% of YouTube population). By the end of the 10-day campaign, the campaign reached 6.5 million unique users in Saudi. Among the target audience of men and women aged between 18 to 65, the reach was approximately 50%.

Among females, the campaign generated a 15% lift in ad recall and 25% lift in purchase intent – a best-in-class result against benchmarks. “There was a significant impact on brand metrics produced by our controlled blast on YouTube. We plan on leveraging the YouTube blast in the future for major product news, and for periods when building high, fast, controlled awareness makes sense, such as pre-Ramadan, back-to-school season, National Day and Mothers’ Day,” says Brendan McCann - Marketing Manager – Milk category