How Video Discovery Ads Help Propel New Kids’ Show into YouTube’s Top 1%

After season one of the children’s animated cartoon Sunny Bunnies aired on the Disney Channel in Russia, the official Sunny Bunnies YouTube channel had just 1,200 subscribers. The creators – Belarus-based Digital Light Studio – were keen to take the brand to a much wider audience. Together with UK-based distribution company Media I.M., they approached WildBrain – one of the largest networks of children’s channels on YouTube – about growing the YouTube audience for the show.

About WildBrain
Management and creation of preschool and children’s entertainment content
Headquarters in London, UK
Introduce new kids’ series to large audience
Build brand for consumer products
Achieve sustainable monthly income from brand’s official YouTube channel
Optimised brand’s official YouTube channel for search
Launched more frequent publishing schedule
Used video discovery ads
A/B tested thumbnails and titles
Leveraged extensive library of remarketing lists
Generated more than 600,000 views per day on average
Grew channel subscribers to 325,000
Sunny Bunnies now occupies top 1% of global YouTube kids’ channels

“Our brief was to make Sunny Bunnies a success on YouTube and grow an audience in the US”, explains MIchael Carroll, WildBrain’s Sales Lead. “We set out to introduce this very entertaining kids’ series to a large audience, building the brand for consumer products. Ultimately we wanted to help the production company to achieve a sustainable income from the channel each month.”

When WildBrain took over management of the Sunny Bunnies YouTube channel, the team began by optimising it for search and launching a more frequent publishing schedule. Working to promote both full episodes and a variety of clips, WildBrain decided to use video discovery ads to capture the attention of a potential new fan base. The end goal was to engage a large US audience of parents with kids under the age of five.

“Our approach to building brands always begins with content. By uploading new content to our WildBrain channels and using a data-driven approach to buying ads, we can help propel brands more broadly into the market using YouTube.”

- Michael Carroll, Sales Lead, WildBrain 

“We wanted to introduce Sunny Bunnies in a non-intrusive way”, explains Jaanki Jivram from WildBrain’s paid media team. “Using insights from our network of over 500 channels on YouTube, we used our extensive library of remarketing lists. These lists, in combination with video discovery ads, generated the best results for channel growth. We ran A/B testing on thumbnails and titles, taking these insights back to the channel management team who could adapt our upload strategy.” 

The paid campaign promoted episodes published on the main WildBrain channel to a wide audience and directed organic views to the brand’s channel. Viewers were encouraged to subscribe to the official channel through a call to action in the advertised videos. “We quickly saw an increase in viewing within the official Sunny Bunnies channel”, Jaanki says. “Early success indicators were a high click-through rate and effective cost per view, showing that the content appealed to our target audience. We monitored the organic growth and measured an increase in suggested traffic within the official channel.”

Following the paid campaign and fully optimised YouTube channel strategy, the Sunny Bunnies official channel continued to grow exponentially. In just over 18 months it gained more than 600,000 views per day on average, 325,000 subscribers and 1.88 billion minutes of watch time. During 2017, 27% of the total views came from the US and Canada. What’s more, data from Tubular Labs shows that Sunny Bunnies is in the top 1% of global YouTube kids’ channels today.

Leveraging this enormous increase in awareness, the Sunny Bunnies brand has secured a master toy partner, while earnings from the channel are able to fund further content and support the brand's future growth.

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