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Google Philippines Country Marketing Manager Gabby Roxas
in Philippines by

Google Philippines’ Country Marketing Manager: the secrets to launching phenomenally successful ads on YouTube

YouTube announced today the launch of the first YouTube Ads Awards in the Philippines to honor the best creative storytelling in YouTube ads in the country.  The new awards span 17 categories: 10 of Video entries are judged based on content, engagement, effectiveness, and campaign results. In this Q and A, Google Philippines’ Country Marketing Manager Gabby Roxas discusses how the YouTube Awards will impact the Philippine market, the secrets of phenomenally successful ads, and the elements that capture audience attention within those all-important first eight seconds:

 Q: Tell us more about the YouTube awards you will be launching next year. The videos you had shown in the press con come from many countries and drive home a lot of messages. But perhaps the common things they had were a lot of emotion and a sense of urgency. They were compelling. People who watch the first few seconds cannot help but be drawn into them. At the same time, these are brands that are seeking to engage their market, or capture a greater share of it. Do you see the Filipino ads that do advertise in YouTube following the same trend? Using your own metrics in YouTube, what are the ads that do engage the Filipino market uniquely?

Q: YouTube Ad Awards is our way of recognizing the great creative storytelling seen in the Philippine ads on YouTube. Throughout the years, I have seen how advertising in the Philippines has shifted to really compelling and memorable stories that connect well with Filipino audiences. I believe that creative storytelling is even more fully expressed in YouTube. YouTube is where the audiences brands want to reach are engaged — focused, leaning in, and watching the video with audio on!

The best ads I have seen are able to draw you into the story within the first five seconds and are able to sustain interest through brilliant character and plot development – even if the ad lasts for more than 30 seconds. Aside from that, a lot of great ads also fully leveraged on great audio that synced well with the story – a great host of ads used music to help further strengthen the story being told. Most importantly, these ads don’t just tell great stories, but are able to fully establish the unique proposition and express the unique connection that they want to have with their audiences.

Brand placement matters. Include your brand early on by either putting your logo on the product you’re featuring for the first five seconds of the ad.

Q:  It only takes 8 seconds to capture a person’s attention – either through video or the usual content. If you lose that window, you lose them forever. How do you initiate that spark in the first 5 seconds and hook your audience?

GR: There is no perfect formula for creating unskippable ads but there are some creative choices that brands can make to hook their audience:

  • Viewers tune in to the right tone. Grabbing your audience’s attention for the first five seconds can be done by starting with the right tone. Establishing that tone earlier on, whether humour, suspense, or an emotional one, helps build anticipation and create excitement that would make people want to see the story till the very end.
  • Brand placement matters. Include your brand early on by either putting your logo on the product you’re featuring for the first five seconds of the ad. A Google study showed that viewers are less likely to watch and remember brands and ads when they feature floating brand logos that aren’t actually on products.
  • Feature people that will keep your audience watching. Having a recognizable face in the first five seconds of your ad also helps drive higher viewership and better brand lift. Ensuring that the personality, whether it is a YouTube creator or a celebrity, exudes authenticity is critical.

Q: What does Google Philippines hope to accomplish by launching this award, aside from increasing the viewership for YouTube? Is the award primarily aimed at ad agencies and/or corporate brands – or can more innovative parties like indie filmmakers and vloggers join?

GR: We launched the YouTube Ads Awards to honor the best creative storytelling in YouTube ads in the country. Any individual or organization, including creative agencies and brands, can join the awards as long as they have intellectual property rights in their entry and that they did not copy it, in whole or in part, from any other existing work. Videos must also be marked as ads on YouTube.

Q: Which brands or industries are making the fastest transition to video advertisement through YouTube? What are your top 3 most phenomenally popular ads? What’s the secret to their success?

GR: I am seeing the transition to online video ads across various industries. Whereas in years past, multinational companies were leading the charge in the transition to online ads – right now, I am seeing that a lot of the growth is also coming from local conglomerates and brands.

There have been a lot of great, compelling and moving ads that I have seen in this past year – and it is really hard to pin down to just three examples! I think what’s consistent across the great work is that they are based on deep consumer insights, expressed in creative work that develops compelling stories, unforgettable characters and moving music and audio.

Whereas in years past, multinational companies were leading the charge in the transition to online ads – right now, I am seeing that a lot of the growth is also coming from local conglomerates and brands.

Q: Are there solid metrics that do show that playing a YouTube ad can increase a brand’s revenue, market share or consumer engagement?  Are there numbers that quantify the success? Can you give examples?

GR:  Throughout the globe, we have seen a lot of examples of companies and brands attributing their revenue growth to their campaigns running on YouTube. We have a lot of case studies available on thinkwithgoogle.com across multiple industries, brands and markets. Moving forward, I am glad to report that we have a lot in store in the coming months that delve specifically into the local Philippine success stories on YouTube.

Q: Creativity obviously plays a huge part in an ad’s success. But how else can digital platforms like YouTube be maximized or optimally used to help an organization achieve its business objectives? Any tip or advice you can give marketers, CMO’s, and CEO’s?

GR: YouTube can be fully leveraged to help drive your campaign’s efficacy and efficiency. We are working with numerous media agencies across the Philippines and we have shared best practices on how to strategize, design and execute campaigns on YouTube. Your media agency partners can share insights on the unique role that YouTube can play in helping drive your ultimate marketing and business objectives. Learn more about YouTube from your media partners and others who may have the experience and expertise. On top of that, there are a lot of learning resources available online which can help you establish a solid foundation on YouTube.

Use videos as a story-making tool, rather than a storytelling mechanism, in which the audience can participate in. This makes your message more authentic and relatable.

Q: They say that the rules of the game change at an accelerated pace as far as digital platforms are concerned. You can’t rely on the winning formula of today to get you another victory tomorrow. How can marketers and advertisers keep up with the trend and continue to perform competitively, especially as far as videos are concerned?

 GR: Brands must know what their audiences care about and combine that with what their brand stands for. There are three things they can do, especially as far as videos are concerned:

  • Create: The content must capture the brand’s tone and story and make it relatable to the audience.
  • Collaborate: Brands can increase their relevance by collaborating with influencers and creators with a uniquely engaged fan base.
  • Curate: Use videos as a story-making tool, rather than a storytelling mechanism, in which the audience can participate in. This makes your message more authentic and relatable.

Q: Today, even elementary-school kids are creating their own video logs as a hobby. Pretty soon, they might be part of the curriculum or their lifestyle. There are also reports (mainly from the US) that companies are shifting their advertising monies from mainstream media like commercial TV to more niche YouTube channels. How are you addressing and educating this rising new group of young vloggers and video producers as they make their own personal brands in digital media?

 GR: YouTube is committed to help up-and-coming creators take their content creation skills to the next level. We have a program called “YouTube NextUp” which we launched for the first time in the Philippines this year. Just recently, we named 12 NextUp finalists comprised of promising YouTube creators. As part of the program, they participated in a  weeklong creator camp where they teamed up with production experts to learn video production techniques and receive coaching from the YouTube Partnerships team on how to grow their audience.

We also held the 2nd YouTube Pop-up Space in Manila last October, a temporary space for collaboration, creation, and connection among YouTube creators. The Pop-up Space is a venue for them to improve their video production skills through training and workshops.

To join the YouTube Ads Awards, participating organizations must submit their YouTube videos posted between January 1, 2017 to January 15, 2018 and entry forms showing business metrics and post-campaign results. Entries can be submitted until February 22, 2018 through https://events.withgoogle.com/youtube-adsawards-ph2017/ .