Commentary

The Nerve! YouTube Tells Advertisers To Advertise On YouTube

There’s a little bit of an eyebrow-rising story out there now about a YouTube presentation earlier in the week in London at which advertisers were told that if they were smart, they’d give YouTube about a quarter of their business.

According to Business Insider, Eileen Naughton, managing director in UK and Ireland, told them: "Advertisers reach their target audiences far more efficiently by adding YouTube to their media plans ... especially the hard to reach 16-to-34-year-olds, where cost per reach point is optimized when 24% of your TV budget is allocated to YouTube."

Naughton later explained to the Web site that for some older demos, advertisers might want to adjust that mix just a little. But over there, that 24% seems about right for the younger demographic, she said. “If you're going after young 16 to 24-year-olds, they are 100% on YouTube in this country and 98% have smartphones, so that's the kind of behavior we're seeing — and it's actually across every demographic; the UK happens to be a very video consumptive country," she told BI.

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Imagine the effrontery! There was a media executive telling advertising executives how much they should spend with her company.

It seems to me that except for the size of the audience where she made her pitch--around 1,000 people--her bold statement was just about as bold as what an account executive would propose over lunch in Manhattan.

Especially now, ad sellers have so many pieces of data they can trot out something to smooth over any rough spots.

At MediaPost’s Publishing Summit earlier this week, in a roundtable discussion a media director for a large advertising agency talked about how a hard liquor client wanted to mount a campaign partnered with a luxury, upscale crystal-glass maker, and wanted to know the best places to put those ads.

What do you know? The ad exec was pitched by an outlet whose data showed they were the unusual place where, specifically, those luxe crystal glass users hung out.

As if.

The Buy YouTube pitch was brutally refuted, again on Business Insider, by Lindsey Clay, the CEO of Thinkbox, the marketing body of UK’s commercial TV channels. And, of course, she doubts the research that led Naughton to her 24% solution, or least see where it came from.

“We’ve asked to see the data itself, but usually Google doesn’t share,” she wrote, and then continued,  “We understand the TV elements are based around a panel of Google users managed by Kantar that does not measure all TV and that the YouTube element is provided by Google themselves. If that isn’t flaky and biased enough, it is also unaudited. They even called it the ‘Google Extra Reach Tool’; it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

A lot of research is like that, particularly, it would seem to me, research produced by a company about itself. Probably Thinkbox has some selective marketing stats of its own. Explaining YouTube’s advice, Naughton said: "Our positioning is that YouTube has really become this fantastic platform for distribution and one where you get real engagement, particularly with ads. Four of the top 10 trending videos last year were ads. That's telling you something."

That’s probably true. But what it’s telling you is another question.

pj@mediapost.com

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