This week DigitasLBi is hosting the 2014 NewFronts, an annual event that brings together content creators, distributors, talent, and brands to harness the latest digital content opportunities for marketers. On Wednesday, Google took the stage and delivered its third annual Brandcast in which it announced the launch of its new initiative, Google Preferred. This feature allows brands to serve pre-roll ads against the top 5% of the most popular content on YouTube.
In addition to exposure across top videos, brands will have access to data from YouTube partners comScore and Nielsen that will not only monitor video performance, but will also measure actual interest in brands based on lift in search.
Brand and advertising giants skeptical of video marketing in the digital realm need some kind of assurance of reach and measurement to justify increased spending—and Google Preferred was just that. Select brands and advertisers will have access to the best inventory on YouTube along with the guarantee that they will be able to reach the scale of audience they’re targeting.
To further entice advertisers in attendance, Google COO Margo Georgiadis commented on YouTube’s ability to reach millennials.
“Today’s 18-to-34-year-olds, they just live differently,” she said. “They’ve grown up in an always on, connected world. …YouTube is the number one place (they) go to learn about a product or passion that interests them. They’re four times more interested in watching ads on YouTube than anywhere else.”
Unfortunately, Google Preferred would be an “incredibly scarce offering,” admitted Google VP Robert Kyncl. However, it will be worth it for big brands, like beta-testers Johnson & Johnson and Heineken, that add it to their media mix.
With its advanced targeting capabilities and in-depth measuring tools, Google Preferred may be enough to entice big brands to shift budgets online. Ultimately, companies that refrain from investing in online video marketing are running out of excuses to avoid it any longer.