With UK viewing habits changing amid the growth of online video, there is a huge opportunity for brands and agencies to achieve a competitive advantage with the reach and impact that YouTube delivers

March 2016

With UK viewing habits changing amid the growth of online video, there is a huge opportunity for brands and agencies to achieve a competitive advantage with the reach and impact that YouTube delivers:

  • Research shows that adding YouTube to TV plans, and allocating budget more effectively, can efficiently add reach to campaigns
  • Research also demonstrates the brand impact of seeing an ad on TV and YouTube is greater than seeing the ad the same number of times on TV alone.

Since the launch of commercial channels in the UK sixty years ago, TV has successfully enabled brands to reach mass audiences through the power of audio-visual advertising. Yet, as a recent Enders Analysis report put it: “there is a sense of transformation in the air as broadcast TV gives ground to limitless video on multiple screens.”1

The objective for marketers hasn’t changed. Reaching the right audiences with compelling creative that delivers their marketing objectives is still the goal. But we are moving to a world where platforms like YouTube offer entertainment when, where and how audiences want it. As audiences shift online, and especially to mobile devices, advertisers need new planning tools and approaches to achieving reach and impact.

Reach audiences efficiently with YouTube

It is possible to optimise your reach without spending more on media.

Google has worked with Kantar to build the UK Cross-Screen Panel, a ‘single-source’ market research panel that allows measurement of TV & online consumption from a single representative set of more than 3,000 UK broadband households.

Data from the panel has been combined with Ebiquity TV ad spot data and YouTube data to simulate the impact on campaign reach of adding YouTube to TV campaigns, and infer how to maximise target audience reach for a given budget2. Analysis was carried out for 1,124 campaigns in order to draw conclusions about the optimal split of TV and YouTube for different audiences, categories and campaign sizes.3

The analysis revealed that 88% of large campaigns analysed4 would have benefitted from having YouTube added to their TV plan. The average recommended budget share for YouTube for these campaigns was 16%.


YouTube was also extremely efficient at delivering reach for campaigns targeting 16-34 audiences. 95% of campaigns targeting 16-34 women showed a positive impact of adding YouTube, with an average recommended budget share of 24%. 89% of campaigns targeting 16-34 men also showed a positive impact of adding YouTube, with an average recommended budget share of 25%.5

Target audience and campaign size were the biggest factors affecting the results, with the biggest impact of adding YouTube to TV campaigns seen for large campaigns and those targeting 16-34 year old audiences.

Deliver impact with YouTube

Reach is critical, but online advertising formats also need to deliver proven impact. Google’s Brand Lift product, which measures the impact of campaigns on brand metrics, proves the impact of YouTube: 86% of Brand Awareness studies for Google Preferred campaigns in the UK have reported a significant lift.6

Research commissioned by Google and conducted with Ipsos and GfK has also demonstrated that a combined YouTube and TV plan increases brand impact. An ad seen once on YouTube and once on TV generated higher brand impact than an ad seen twice on TV alone.7

Viewability is key to delivering impact

YouTube is a natural home for audio-visual advertising as videos, including ads, can be seen and heard in full.

We take the viewability of ads very seriously. In April 2015, Google, DoubleClick and YouTube data was used in a study to better understand video ad viewability on YouTube and across the web8. It found that in the UK the average viewability of online video ads, not including YouTube, was 58%. The viewability of YouTube was in a different league - 91% viewability across devices and 94% viewability on mobile devices. YouTube is leading the way with ads that viewers choose to watch and ad formats that deliver full audio-visual experiences.


Many leading advertisers and agencies are embracing the reach and impact that YouTube can deliver, with brands like EE, who are targeting the audiences that are becoming harder to reach efficiently on TV, seeing great results.

As consumer behaviour continues to evolve, it is important to plan and buy media for where audiences are watching. Our Cross-Screen Panel data and Brand Lift Surveys are already being used in conjunction with UK media agencies to help advertisers understand how to reach audiences efficiently and effectively across TV and YouTube.

So, as you plan your next media campaign consider testing how YouTube, along with its insights and tools, can help you maximise your reach, impact and results.


1 Enders Report ‘Watching TV and Video in 2025’, here
2 The panel does not yet include mobile viewing, so any results are likely to be conservative.
3 Campaigns ran between July 2014 and June 2015, with between 100 and 1000 TV target audience ratings and at least 55% of ratings in peak time (indicating that they were brand campaigns focused on delivering reach, rather than mainly daytime campaigns focused on delivering response). Over £0.5bn in UK TV dvertising spend was under consideration, with the distribution of spend across industry verticals matching the distribution for all TV campaigns during the time period which had at least 55% ratings in peak time. The analysis was run to optimise the number of people in the target audience who would have seen the ad at least once (“1+ reach”) across TV and YouTube, without changing the campaign budget.
4 Large campaigns were counted as those with between 600 and 1000 TV ratings.
5 The average budget shares include the 5% of campaigns targeting 16-34 women and 11% of campaigns targeting 16-34 men for which the recommended budget share for YouTube was zero.
6 UK Google Preferred Brand Lift Analysis, June 2015
7 Meta-analysis of YouTube & TV research studies: by Google in conjunction with Ipsos & GfK, Aug 15
8 The study used the IAB standard definition of viewability, where 50% of an ad’s pixels visible on screen for at least two consecutive seconds counts as a viewable.