Intel's a momentary lapse YouTube contests blew past original goals in three weeks

March 2013

Intel launched a five-month series of time lapse photography and slow motion videography contests on YouTube, supported by TrueView ads and Promoted Channels. The campaign resulted in the highest conversion rate from ad to response the team had ever seen, and was so successful that the team had to revise its original goals after targets were hit within 3 weeks.


Launched “A Momentary Lapse”, a five-month series of photo and video contests held on YouTube

Encouraged participation by developing their own “how-to” YouTube video and launching other inspirational videos featuring popular YouTube content creators

Used TrueView and Promoted Channels


Generate awareness for Ultrabooks™ while engaging consumers


YouTube ads delivered over 200% original video view goal

Campaign received 200% the number of expected video submissions

Highest conversion rate from ad to response the team had ever seen; team had to revise original goals after targets were hit within 3 weeks

Intel Momentary Lapse

In 2012, Intel launched a new category of products, the Ultrabook_ Inspired by Intel, to fill the gap between lightweight laptops and tablets. For the launch, Intel needed to not only generate awareness, but also engage their consumers.

Building on the insight that their audience was interested in content creation, Intel developed A Momentary Lapse, a series of contests that invited users to upload their photos and videos on YouTube. To inspire greater creativity, Intel focused specifically on time lapse photography and slow-motion videography.

The team planned 3 video contests and 18 weekly photo contests over 5 months, with prizes worth more than $50,000. Perhaps most exciting of all, the 3 grand prize winning entries would be used in online Intel ads.

Igniting the YouTube community

Search "time lapse" on YouTube, and you'll see over 500,000 video results, and from there, millions of views. There is clearly a passionate audience, and YouTube would be the perfect home for A Momentary Lapse.

To propel viewership, Intel leveraged paid media on YouTube, including TrueView and Promoted Channels. TrueView, a group of ad formats in which advertisers only pay when the user chooses to watch the ad, stood out to Laurie Koehler, Consumer Campaigns Activation Manager at Intel. "It works very well for both the client as well as the consumer. Everybody wins... it's an amazing principle," Laurie asserted.

Intel also needed to inspire their audience to create content. To do so, they launched a how-to video with director and photographer Vincent Laforet. This gave users more reason to engage with Intel, and allowed the team to leverage the popularity of how-to content, as views of educational content on YouTube had doubled in 2011. The four-minute video was also directly used as a TrueView in-stream ad.

Intel Momentary Lapse

Intel also engaged YouTube content creators who already had a strong following, including Alex Goot, Tyler Ward and Devin Graham. Graham, for instance, has over 800,000 subscribers and 150 million video views. For A Momentary Lapse, he directed an inspirational slow-motion video of athletes wingsuit racing, again a video that was used as a TrueView ad on YouTube.

Intel Momentary Lapse

Breakthrough results within weeks

With all the right elements in place, A Momentary Lapse quickly blew past original targets, and the team had to revise their goals. "Based on last year's campaign, we had created what we thought were really aggressive metrics... Three weeks into the program, we were bumping our heads up against those metrics," Laurie noted.

YouTube is an amazing partner because they have the content, the resources, the engine, the audience... Everything I want to do can happen right here.

All in all, YouTube ads delivered over 200% their original video view goal, and view-through rates for TrueView exceeded benchmarks for the vertical. As a result, the program received 2x the number of expected video submissions. "The metrics were out of the park. It was the highest conversion rate from ad to response that we'd ever seen," Laurie added.

Laurie also applauded the flexibility with which campaigns can be optimized on YouTube Analytics and Adwords for Video. "We can get in and dial up or down, adjust who it is we want to talk to, and how we want to talk to them," she described.

Given the success, the team extended the YouTube campaign for 8 additional weeks. An internal study also saw brand lift as a result of the campaign.

Looking forward

Moving ahead, Intel seeks to continue taking a leadership role in pleasing its users, and Laurie sees YouTube as a great partner for these efforts.

"The numbers we received were amazing to me and absolutely set the bar for what we should be doing in 2013," Laurie emphasized. "YouTube is an amazing partner because they have the content, the resources, the engine, the audience... Everything I want to do can happen right here."

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