As a sign of the times, views for guided meditation videos on YouTube rose 40% since mid-March, while DIY face mask tutorials have been viewed more than one billion times. The site now counts more than 30 million music and premium paid subscribers, and 35 million when counting free trials.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai released the numbers Thursday during the company’s earnings call, when he announced that revenue on the platform rose 32% to $5 billion year-on-year, driven by growth in direct-response and a rebound in brand advertising.
Some of those brands will participate in a video series YouTube launched Friday called CMO x Creator Conversations, which gives CMOs the opportunity to host one-on-one interviews with top YouTube creators. The idea is to exchange advice and share thought leadership opinions.
“It was energizing to have a conversation with Marques Brownlee as part of the launch,” Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, Procter & Gamble, wrote in an email. “We had a great exchange of ideas on how to build trust with the people we serve, how to build authentic brands, and how innovation and tech can build brands while making the world a better place.”
Brownlee, with 12.7 million YouTube subscribers, reviews tech products, and in the video series talked with Pritchard about challenges.
“Our challenge is we make these everyday products that are cleaning health and hygiene [that] people use every single day and they got to be the absolute best,” Pritchard said. “We also want to do good, because we reach five billion people on the planet with products and advertising.”
Brownlee said sometimes he is so blinded by a great product that he is willing to forgive shortcomings behind it. But that’s not a tradeoff consumers have to make.
Pritchard said Tide, for example, developed a way to get clothes clean in cold water, which reduced the required energy.
To launch the video interview series, YouTube reached out to CMOs and executives across all verticals. The CMO or the executive picked the creators to have the conversations that related most to their key business challenges.
By pairing some of their most popular YouTube creators with brands in this series, both sides were able exchange advice on marketing challenges and learn from each other.
The insights from both parties demonstrate the power of YouTube creators to address the tectonic shifts in today’s world, including sustainability, authenticity, and building trust with new digital audiences.
Levi CMO Jen Sey, in her discussion with YouTube Creator Liza Koshy, said the relationship between the brand and the consumer is much more public and Levis is a form of authentic self-expression.
While Sey said the idea is to wear what you love and live with it longer, Koshy acknowledged that these days it’s all about getting more bang for other’s bucks. For example, thrifting and upcycling to reinvest with jeans as many times as the consumer wants is key.
The idea is to re-wear and re-rock the goods in a new way.