Testing creatives for Vodafone using Brand Lift surveys

Jan Vohryzek / January 2017

Vodafone, in cooperation with the media agency MEC and Google, ran a Brand Lift study during their family plan campaign, the goal of which was to test the capabilities of online video in increasing Vodafone’s brand metrics. During the campaign, called ‘Awaken what's in you’, two creatives were prepared and tested on a sample of YouTube viewers using the Brand Lift study. The main goal was to test which creative was more effective for the YouTube audience, with the key learnings also used in the corresponding TV campaign.


To examine how using branding best practices influences viewing behaviour on YouTube:

To determine how the use of branding at the start of a pre-roll influences viewers

To test whether adding bumper ads brings additional value to the client

To test whether collaboration with YouTubers can help to add more impact to a campaign


Running two different creatives against each other – Creative A with branding at the start and at the end, and creative B with branding at the end only

Inclusion of a six-second bumper ad in the campaign

Collaboration with a YouTuber in the master brand campaign


The campaign produced the following results:

+127% higher Ad Recall uplift with creative A

+29% view rate for creative A compared to creative B

4x higher Ad Recall when a bumper ad was included in the campaign compared to just a standalone video

44% Ad Recall uplift for the young target group as a result of collaborating with a YouTuber

A red, semi-transparent overlay was used for branding purposes at the beginning of the video in one version (creative A). The purpose of this test was to find out if branding at the start of a video is perceived positively on YouTube, or if users were more likely to skip the video. Additionally, Vodafone also wanted to examine the impact of this on certain metrics, such as Ad Recall and View-Through Rate (VTR). The hypothesis was that the version with branding at the beginning should have lower results because the brand was visible for the first 3 seconds and more users would therefore skip the ad.


Thanks to the Brand Lift study, we were able to measure the impact of both versions of the video in real time. The version with the Vodafone branding included at the beginning (creative A) shows a clear lead in terms of a higher Ad Recall when compared to the second version that had branding at the end of the video. In other words, the increase in the number of viewers who remembered the Vodafone brand was 127% higher than the control group. Additionally, the view rate of the video was the highest at 29%.

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Secondly, the study also examined the impact that Bumper Ads have on a campaign – these are short, unskippable, six-second ads. Again, we measured the impact on the target audience both with and without the Bumper Ad format. The results show 4x higher Ad Recall for the audience that viewed the master video with the Bumper Ad.

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The campaign was promoting a family plan and therefore two age groups were targeted: Parents aged 25-34 and teenagers who also have a say in the decision regarding which plan to buy. The Brand Lift increases in the older target group were achieved by precise targeting on YouTube through a dedicated media budget, however, the younger audience was mainly targeted by use of a YouTuber who appeared for a couple of seconds as part of the crowd. As a result of this strategy, the Ad Recall metric showed the highest increase in the 25-34 male target group, as well as an increase of 44% in the teenager target group, which was the second highest increase.

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