Even in uncertain times, when consumer behaviour is shifting at speed, the right blend of creativity and use of technology can drive powerful results.
The 2021 YouTube HomeShows Awards were all about recognising standout video campaigns in the U.K. and Ireland and the teams behind them — those harnessing tools and implementing best practice to deliver tangible business results.
“I have basic expectations for good marketing which are rarely, if ever, satiated,” says Mark Ritson, Marketing Week columnist and judge on the YouTube HomeShows panel.
“I love creative, disruptive, distinctive execution that delivers the strategy with flair and a whoosh of elan and impact. And these award-winners do exactly that.”
Here, we share some of last year’s winning campaigns to offer insights and inspiration to any marketer looking to shape an effective YouTube strategy in 2022.
1. Create sequential campaigns to reach viewers (night and day)
Brand: Sheba; agency partner: AMV BBDO
Sheba needed to reach a digital native audience to connect with a new generation of pet owners. They worked with YouTube to deliver an innovative sequential campaign based around cat owners’ dreaded “4am wake-up”.
According to Search data and YouTube analytics, one-third of these owners were turning to their mobiles in the early hours for comfort. Sheba used a multi-faceted approach to reach them: a “subliminal” bumper ad in the daytime and tailored assets for the middle of the night, all directing them to a five-hour sleep video for those early wake-ups.
The results were extraordinary: 84% of the video’s views happened around 4am, leading to a 100% uplift in ad recall among satisfied cat owners.
Top tip: “Technology can bring great creative to life. Using the Director Mix tool allowed us to deliver more personalised, relevant ads. Our data-driven approach led to 8 million views on the sleep video within four nights,” says Matthew Henry, Account Director & Innovation Lead, AMV BBDO.
2. Combine Google Search and YouTube for growth
Brand: Littlewoods Ireland; agency partner: Wolfgang Digital
Littlewoods Ireland saw an opportunity to raise awareness of profitable areas in higher demand, such as toys and gifting, during periods of lockdown.
A full-funnel campaign ran across YouTube and Google Search to engage new audiences and, ultimately, convert them into customers. Smart ad formats, such as Trueview for Action and Discovery ads, made sure the budget was used efficiently, putting the right products in front of customers that showed a high intent to buy.
Top tip: “YouTube isn’t just an effective brand awareness tool but one that can have a substantial impact on performance — especially when integrated with Google Search. For this campaign, our return on advertising spend from YouTube was 51, compared to 8 for TV and radio combined,,” says Beth Quigley, Head of Growth, Wolfgang Digital.
3. Test and tailor to capture demand
Brand: Avon; agency partner: Croud
Avon set its sights on driving brand reappraisal through a message of female achievement to reach lapsed and new customers alike. A multi-channel campaign highlighted YouTube as a key platform for product discovery and education.
Avon saw a 200% higher return on advertising spend on YouTube than the average for the brand campaign by tailoring messaging and delivery to specific audiences based on intent.
Top tip: “Keep testing features and formats to generate new insights. When testing connected TV, we saw the lowest cost per lifted user — proving that it’s not a device to shy away from,” says Felicity Cusack, programmatic media director at Croud.
4. Think YouTube plus TV to connect with harder-to-reach consumers
Brand: Motorway; agency partner: Manning Gottlieb OMD
The used car market is a highly competitive category. Motorway’s launch goals were to explain the unique selling point of its product and build brand awareness.
A multi-layered YouTube campaign was developed to complement the wider AV launch, utilising a range of MG OMD and YouTube planning tools. Formats and reach were optimised for specific KPIs: non-skippable ads to maximise reach around premium content at launch, followed by a mix of TrueView for reach and TrueView for action for identified key audiences. This approach was a success, with YouTube delivering 10.5% incremental reach to linear TV — and helping the campaign to resonate with the harder-to-reach 25-35 adults and light TV viewer audiences.
Top tip: “Ensure you’re set up to measure your wins. We combined Nielsen-TV campaign data and YouTube post-campaign insights to track performance across both platforms,” says Alex Crisp, Programmatic Director, Manning Gottlieb OMD.