YouTube promises advertisers new ways to target audiences and measure the offline impact

YouTube's latest product updates include: Custom Affinity Audiences; Director Mix; Video Ad Sequencing

YouTube has kicked off its Ad Week New York activity by unveiling a host of updates which it claims will help advertisers better target audiences, structure their storytelling and then measure its effectiveness in driving sales both on and offline.

Diya Jolly, director of product management at YouTube and product lead for monetizing the site, detailed the launch of the new tools: Custom Affinity Audiences; Director Mix; Video Ad Sequencing; plus updates to how it works with measurement tools from Nielsen and Oracle.

Custom Affinity Audiences is a targeting tool that lets advertisers segment and target YouTube viewers based on intention signals derived from their search history or the kind of mobile apps they have installed.

YouTube has trialled the technology since the beginning of the year, with the online advertising giant claiming the use of intent-based audiences on mobile delivers advertisers 20% higher ad recall lift and 50% higher brand awareness lift relative to campaigns that only use demographic audiences.

Also among the raft of updates was Director Mix, a creative personalization tool that allows advertisers to tailor different versions of the same creative based on the audience segment they are targeting on the video sharing network.

“You give us the building blocks of your video ad, like different voiceovers, background and copy, and our system will create thousands of versions to match your various audience segments,” said Jolly in a blogpost.

It stated that early tests with the Campbell’s Soup brand delivered a 55% sales lift as well as 24% uplift in ad recall.

Included in the announcement was the introduction of Video Ad Sequencing to AdWords Labs, a feature that helps advertisers target users with different messages as part of an overall campaign.

“For instance, you could start with a fifteen-second TrueView ad to build awareness, continue with another, longer spot that communicates product attributes, then follow with a six-second bumper ad to keep top-of-mind and drive to purchase,” continued Jolly.

Finally, marketers can measure the sales impact of their YouTube campaigns using both Nielsen MPA (matched panel analysis) and Oracle Datalogix ROI.

“We’re rolling out a new, global approach to measuring sales lift with Nielsen MPA,” said Jolly.

“This geo-based solution offers a fast, media-agnostic way to determine which online ads drive offline sales.”

YouTube will also let US advertisers expand how they use Datalogix ROI to measure how its six-second ad formats also drive offline results such as over-the-counter sales, and in-store visits.

“And we’ll continue working to deliver more solutions to complement our Nielsen MPA, Oracle DLX ROI, MMM and store visit offerings today, so you’ll have the measurement that works best for your business."

Throughout the post, Jolly was also eager to stress how FMCG brands can use the newly launched features to drive a measurable impact on their results, a message that comes as such businesses demand more from their digital spend.

This increased scrutiny on how digital performs in their marketing mix has also been accompanied by FMCG's attempting to rein-in their overall marketing spend, with Unilever confirming some of the details of its efficiency drive in its latest financial results announcement.

Ronan Shields

I'm the digital editor at The Drum, and cover adtech and martech. Prefer news and analysis, over opinion pieces. Current fascination(s) are blockchain and media futures trading; also curious about transhumanism on a personal basis. NYC-based, but really London Irish.

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