How Volvic reached a mass audience with YouTube Bumper Ads

May 2017

YouTube’s Bumper Ad format provides Volvic with the perfect platform to help viewers ‘Find Their Volcano’.


Reach niche audiences on YouTube with a creative message that inspires and speaks to each user’s personal ‘volcano’ characteristic


Targeted 61 separate ‘micro-audiences’ using tailored creative and YouTube’s new six-second Bumper ad format


Over 10m views across 200 content categories

Average CPM managed to 25% below target

5% lift in brand awareness

Volvic, the popular water brand from Danone, kicked off 2017 with a multichannel marketing campaign, ‘Find Your Volcano’. Volvic believes that everyone has a natural strength (like the volcano) which allows us to overcome any challenge, however big or small. This new campaign aimed to inspire and encourage people to use this inner strength to achieve their goals and live life to the fullest. With a range of customised creatives designed around personality traits such as ‘Bold’, ‘Outgoing’ and ‘Passionate’, the brand took advantage of YouTube’s new Bumper Ad format as a way to reach a diverse audience at scale, and in a non-interruptive context.

At the heart of the campaign were eighteen tailored video creatives, targeted to appeal to ‘micro-audiences’ within 61 specific topic segments, such as music lovers and football fans. Viewers watching the latest pop video might see a “Turn Up The Volume” creative, while highlights from the week’s Premier League games were prefaced with an “Until The Final Whistle” message, all of which used YouTube Bumper Ads. These six second videos are a non-skippable format that allow brands to land a punchy, relevant message without disrupting the viewer’s journey. Here, Volvic could set an example, showing the brand to be spontaneous and pro-active. With the right creative and format you can actually enhance the viewer’s overall experience of the platform.

To land such highly targeted messaging you need to ensure you’re appearing alongside the right content, so Volvic’s digital agency, MEC, came up with a smart strategy to achieve this. “We chose Zeitgeist videos from Google Trends, and used managed placements to assign these as unique bids,” explains Chris Hallam, AV Account Executive at MEC. By targeting key events like the Oscars envelope mix-up or live performances at the Brit Awards, the brand were able to hit both new and established YouTube viewers, which Chris says helped the brand become “a digital water-cooler people wanted to be associated with.”

The Results

With such a broad spectrum of content and personality types to target, in-flight optimisation of the campaign was crucial, using budget reallocation and capping to ensure that popular categories like Music, Humour and Sport didn’t consume all of the campaign’s impressions.

In total, the campaign reached over 10 million viewers, across 200 different topic combinations, with an average frequency of 1.8 CPMs were actively managed, resulting in a 25% reduction against the target benchmark, ensuring that the campaign reached the largest possible audience. To measure viewer response, MEC used YouTube’s BrandLift survey feature, which recorded a 5% lift in brand awareness and a 31% lift in ad recall, with male mobile viewers showing the greatest improvement.

“Using bumpers was the right move for this campaign,” says Chris, reflecting on the success of ‘Find Your Volcano’. “They allowed us greater reach on relevant creative using Google’s topic algorithms, and gave us the freedom to manually capture key Zeitgeist moments.”

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