Blessington To Head YouTube Brand Strategy, New Design Revealed

YouTube is having a big week. On the heels of relaunching its flagship app, the video giant is bringing in Tom Blessington to lead its brand strategy and integrated marketing campaigns across its full line of businesses.

A respected industry veteran, Blessington most recently served as managing director for W+K Portland.

As vice president of brand, media and experiences, he will report directly to YouTube CMO Danielle Tiedt when he begins in mid-September. In Blessington, Tiedt said she’s looking for a rule breaker, or, at least, a “rule-breaking spirit.”

At W+K, Blessington’s clients included Levi’s, Chrysler/Dodge, Target, Sony, American Express, KFC, Verizon and Samsung. He also counted Facebook as a client, which is notable considering the intense rivalry between Google and the social giant.

Before running W+K Portland, he set up several regional offices, including W+K Amsterdam and W+K New York.  

Earlier this week, Google’s video unit unveiled a new design. Along with a cleaner look, YouTube’s app added library and account taps to give users easier access to what they want. A “gesture” lets users double tap on the left or right side of a video to fast forward or rewind in 10 seconds. It also has the ability to speed up and slow down the playback of a video.

Looking ahead, YouTube says it will soon change the shape of a users’ player to match the video format they are presently watching -- such as vertical, square or horizontal.

YouTube also unveiled a refreshed logo and icon, which it says was designed for today’s multiscreen world.

With smaller screens dominated users’ digital times, a brightened icon as an abbreviated logo is expected to be seen more easily and read more clearly.

On a daily basis, YouTube users now watch more than 1 billion hours of video, according to an estimate released in May by Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Mobile accounts for 60% of YouTube’s total watch time, Muli Salem, a product manager at YouTube, said in March.

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