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Upload video, light fire, add petrol

With more than a billion video views every day, 400 million monthly unique browsers and 24+ hours of video uploaded every minute, you’ve got to believe that YouTube is a major opportunity for advertisers. Certainly the 300 attendees that packed into the Crown Plaza early Tuesday morning for the Marketing Association’s Brainy Breakfast, exclusively sponsored by Jericho, thought so.

Fresh off the plane from Tokyo, Karen Stocks, Google’s head of media solutions, YouTube and display Australia and New Zealand, gave a succinct but highly informative dissertation on the art and business of online video.

The statistics are impressive: 65 percent of those who watch video online, most frequently do so on YouTube; 74 percent don’t mind the advertising, since it allows the site to be free; 30 percent pay more attention to ads they watch on YouTube than ads they see on TV; and 73 percent enjoy watching video ads if they are related and entertaining. But it is the engagement of brands with this medium that the fans came to hear about.

Stocks regaled the audience with example after example of big-spending advertisers who have seen the light and succeeded in engaging with YouTube. Many of the success stories involved using YouTube as a multiplier of the effectiveness of TV advertising, often using YouTube for its halo effect.

Why is it then, as Stocks rhetorically asked the audience, that with 38 percent of media consumed online, only nine percent of ad budgets are spent there? Probably because there are so few in the advertising and marketing world who know how to use the opportunity effectively.

Help is at hand, and in a very short space of time Stocks demonstrated some highly effective best-practice strategies. From homepage takeovers and in-stream integration to promotion videos, brand hubs and videos gone viral, big brands are spending big bucks with YouTube. There are even local examples with Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand at the forefront of the new way.

Local car advertisers must have been impressed with Volvo’s 17,000 hours of brand engagement in 24 hours or the Mitsubishi Outlander promotion videos in Search. With 88 percent of new car buyers searching online before buying and 44 percent watching video before purchasing a vehicle it surprising more aren’t using this approach.

As Jules Lloyd, head of the creative shop at Air New Zealand said in her follow-up presentation on the airline’s now famous Nothing to Hide campaign that went viral an broke all records: “Light the fire and add petrol”.

Content creation is the new way to build brands and online video is a critical part of content distribution. But beware, advertisers can’t just create and expect the audience to come. The trick is to collaborate with creative partners, as Air New Zealand did with .99, to find new ways to embrace the new realities.

Too many are still out of sync with how consumers are consuming media.

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