Advertising to millennials is a difficult gig. They skip, block, or outright ignore ads on TV, the web, and YouTube.
It’s an especially difficult job for a YouTube network like Machinima, whose revenue depends on developing and planning effective ad campaigns for the platform.
“Brands desperately want to talk to these kids that can smell bull**** a mile away,” Jamie Weissenborn, Machinima’s Chief Revenue Officer, told Business Insider. “Brands know disruptive advertising isn’t the way to do it any more.”
To create “meaningful and engaging” advertising, Weissenborn says Machinima has been developing new strategies, chief of which is partnering YouTube stars with particular brands and allowing the stars to develop a video around the brand independently.
“We work with brands to find a way to use our network and our creative capabilities to deliver something that is right for their audience,” Weissenborn said. “If you put something out to this audience that isn’t authentic, they can sniff it. They won’t watch.”
These videos tend to incorporate brands and their messaging without sacrificing a YouTuber’s creative control or voice. It could mean a parody video that makes fun of the brand or even a music video that incorporates it. The videos are transparent about their purpose, while also entertaining viewers. The authenticity and the quality of the video keep advertising-averse millennials watching.
A prime example is a partnership that Machinima engineered between General Mills’ Lucky Charms and YouTube musician and remix artist MelodySheep. For the video, Lucky Charms gave MelodySheep access to all of its old commercial archives, which he then remixed into a fantastic music video that got more than 1.6 million views.
“It’s become one of the five or six case studies we show brands what can come from partnering with us,” Weissenborn said. “We tell them, ‘Come to us and we’ll build something and it won’t be what you expect.’ Advertisers respond to that.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.