Libresse is a Nordic feminine hygiene brand owned by SCA Hygiene Products, a global company founded in Sweden. Because Libresse has a target audience of younger consumers and TV watching is on the decline in this demographic, SCA primarily uses digital media for brand communications. SCA decided to include YouTube TrueView in its video media mix. In common with many other advertisers, SCA initially had limited video assets available and consequently opted to repurpose a traditional TV commercial for use on YouTube.

The science of skipping

A central purpose of advertising is to drive mental availability for a specific brand so that the likelihood of someone buying that brand increases. With this in mind, the SCA team reasoned that you can’t drive mental availability – such as brand awareness and consideration – if people don’t know who the sender of the message is.

When running a TrueView campaign on YouTube, an advertiser only pays for full view-throughs that the creative generates (ie non-skippers), but this doesn’t mean that the exposure of the skippers has no value. The TrueView format would give audience members the option of skipping the ad, but SCA wanted to ensure that those who skipped would still know the ad was from Libresse. In this way, it hoped the ad would deliver a branding effect, driving awareness and consideration even among those users who did not watch the full ad.

In a controlled test, viewers were exposed to one of two versions of the Libresse ad. One version only contained branding towards the end (left). The other version was tailored to the unique environment of YouTube by incorporating the Libresse logo from the start (right).

In collaboration with Ipsos, SCA initiated a study. Two different versions of a YouTube ad were created and 1,200 Danish respondents were divided into two groups. Each group was exposed to one of the two versions of the ad. The first group saw the TV creative, which only contained branding towards the end. The second group viewed a YouTube remake that featured the Libresse logo from the start. In both cases the respondents could choose to skip the ad after five seconds.

Through this study we have evidence that branding from the start is a highly effective and quite simple way to drive brand awareness in a highly competitive communications landscape.”

Heléne Stenlund Gauthier, Nordic Media Manager, SCA Hygiene Products

Small change, big difference

Among those who decided to skip the ad, the fully branded version generated nearly 300% more brand recall than the one that was not branded from the start. Meanwhile, the inclusion of branding from the beginning produced no drop in engagement or metrics such as view-through rate. This meant that the threefold brand lift among skippers generated by the YouTube remake did not impose any additional cost on the campaign. Taking into account both skippers and non-skippers, overall brand recall rose by 200%.

With this small adjustment to the TV commercial delivering true impact on brand metrics for Libresse, this strategy has now been implemented across all YouTube videos from SCA in the Nordics.