Brand Advertisers Still Dominate On YouTube, But Direct Response Ads Are Up

As YouTube’s advertiser base diversifies, so too are the objectives brands have for homepage ads placed on the popular video platform.

Branding has dominated past advertising efforts on YouTube. It’s not very surprising when you consider the fact that media companies — such as movie studios and music labels — have long formed the bulk of YouTube’s advertiser base.

However, YouTube’s ad clients are diversifying to include more consumer-packaged goods, direct-to-consumer, and financial services brands, which means YouTube has had to accommodate a broader spectrum of ad objectives.

Download the chart and data in Excel.

Ads with a branding objective — such as promoting an upcoming TV show — declined from a 91% share of ad objectives on YouTube in the second quarter of 2012 to 71% in the second quarter of 2013, according to Macquarie, an investment bank.

Bii tv branding adBI IntelligenceExample of branding ad on YouTube

Direct response ads — which are intended to drive sales or traffic to a brand’s website — accounted for just 6% of ad objectives last quarter, but some variable combination of direct response and branding accounted for 23% of objectives among YouTube advertisers.

What does a blended direct response and branding campaign look like? We see Old Spice’s successful “Smell Like A Man, Man” campaign as a prime example. The campaign relied on YouTube’s oversized masthead ad unit to push users to a promotional video, and to garner more followers on Twitter. Old Spice sales reportedly increased 107% during the month the campaign ran, according to Nielsen.

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