As you seek inspiration for new ways to take your marketing strategies further in 2023, it’s important to be on a platform that matters to your audience. And in India, the people have spoken — YouTube is their channel of choice.
Ninety-one percent of YouTube viewers agree YouTube has unique content they can’t find anywhere else, and it’s the No. 1 video service young adults aged 18 to 24 would miss the most if it wasn’t available. Moreover, it’s the No. 1 video platform that viewers say helps them decide what to purchase.1
So we analyzed award-winning online video campaigns and spoke with the brands behind them to learn how they unlocked growth. Here’s what we found: They used time-tested marketing strategies, but tapped into the power of marketing automation and creativity to drive business results.
We pull back the curtain on how they did it, and share tips for how you can sharpen your 2023 marketing strategy.
Deliver personalization and creativity at scale with automation
Ad personalization is an old but gold strategy. When a campaign appeals directly to the interests and needs of individuals, it builds deep customer relationships and drives repeat purchases. Yet for some marketers, delivering hundreds of thousands of personalized ad experiences across India’s diverse consumer market efficiently can be a challenge.
One YouTube Works Awards 2022 winner, Mondelez India, was able to use marketing automation solutions and machine learning to do just that, and it enjoyed sweet results for its Cadbury chocolate campaign in 2021.
To promote its Cadbury Celebrations gift boxes during the Diwali festive season, it used voice artificial intelligence and machine learning to create ads fronted by megastar Shah Rukh Khan, where he says the names of local stores selling the gift box. With the technology, 130,000 unique videos were generated for individual stores efficiently.
It then used YouTube’s advanced contextual targeting to automatically deliver a version of the ad that features a local store near the viewer. This increased the brand’s engagement on YouTube by 60%, grew sales at mom-and-pop stores by 42%, and a total of 33 million gift boxes were sold during the festive period.
Mondelez India also brought ad personalization to new heights with its campaign for Perk, a chocolate brand popular among youth for its crunchy taste and playful image.
The brand wanted to gently poke fun at the trending “cancel culture” and get people to lighten up with a Perk. So it used artificial intelligence to identify 2.5 million videos with the most searches, and created custom, tongue-in-cheek disclaimers that warned people of “triggers” ahead in the video, such as carrots being violently chopped in a cooking video. The six-seconds, pre-roll ads were added to each of the millions of highly searched videos using Google’s custom-built API and Director Mix (Ads Creative Studio) technology.
Viewers were so tickled by the highly creative and contextualized campaign that it generated 84 million views, 635 million impressions, and a 20% increase in sales.
Collaborate with creators authentically to drive reach and consideration
Another video marketing strategy that brands use to win over audiences and drive results is collaboration with creators. Afterall, 94% of viewers agree that YouTube creators give recommendations they can trust,2 and by collaborating with YouTube creators, you can be 4X more effective at driving lift in brand familiarity than engaging celebrities for your ads.3
But knowing how to have the creators speak about your product naturally and persuasively in a video campaign is key. The last thing you’d want is branded video marketing that sticks out as inauthentic. Two YouTube Works Awards 2022 winners show how it’s done right.
Hindustan Unilever, for one, drew on the different strengths of four creators to showcase the rich flavors of its Knorr chicken cubes to urban audiences in Tamil Nadu, a new regional market that the brand was looking to enter.
To drive buzz around the product’s launch, Knorr tapped the star power of YouTube creator Mr MaKaPa to create a YouTube Live cooking show. He learns how to make traditional slow-cooked chicken curry from celebrity chef Damu, and proves to viewers in the process that even a self-proclaimed helpless cook like him can whip up a tasty classic dish with the help of Knorr’s seasoning cube. The lively show attracted 9.1 million views on YouTube and boosted repeat purchases by 10%.
The brand also collaborated with two popular home cooks behind the YouTube channels Sherin’s Kitchen and Hema’s Kitchen, to get their stamp of approval on the product. Their cooking videos showed how they used Knorr’s seasoning cube to easily recreate the authentic, homemade taste of well-loved local dishes.
Another example of an authentic creator collaboration is Amazon’s partnership with content creator Janice Sequeira to promote the voice assistant Alexa. The campaign was rooted in the format of the lively YouTube talk show that Sequeira hosts, and this made the collaboration “special,” she says. A dedicated segment was created in the talk show for Alexa to assume the role of a witty sidekick to Sequeira, and banter with celebrity guests while playing games with them.
The natural and entertaining interactions between the guests, host, and Alexa led the video campaign to attract over 25 million views and more than 400 million impressions — 4X more than expected. Better yet, it boosted consumers’ affinity with Alexa as the go-to product in the still-nascent voice assistant category in India.
To move your marketing strategy forward in 2023, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Winning brands show that you can unlock growth in the year ahead by collaborating with YouTube creators in authentic ways, and using marketing automation to deliver creative, personalized ads at scale.