Last week, YouTube provided a show of sparkle at its presentation for advertisers and agencies, YouTube On Stage. The event was impressive and inspiring; altogether a brilliant showcase that brought to life the multitude of opportunities the platform offers to deliver engagement and meaningful connections with audiences. Held at the Tate Modern, it was a celebration of the human creativity and freedom that is played out on the platform.
In fact, platform is a misnomer and diminishes YouTube, it’s a powerhouse. In one hour it demonstrated how YouTube can deliver macro and micro-moments that engage with an audience in a way that primes them to be more than just viewers - it gives them the opportunity to delve deeper into their passions and interests.
From the Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan to Gareth Southgate’s valiant World Cup charge we were reminded of the moments we have all watched, shared and talked about across multiple platforms, including YouTube.
Proof of YouTube’s ability to deliver powerful cultural moments can be seen in the Childish Gambino video for This Is America – now viewed a staggering 434,937,238 times (at the time of writing). We heard from the choreographer Sherrie Silver, who worked on the video after Gambino saw her performances of African dance. She explained how dance trends explode and scale across the platform.
Silver, like another of the evening’s guests, Mr Bruff, used the platform to build her profile and fame. In Mr Bruff’s case, he has built a business from the ground up with videos that help students with their studies. From tiny beginnings, he now has 173,376 subscribers. The ability to access advice and learning on YouTube is one of its greatest strengths. 83% of people polled agree that YouTube helps them to find useful tips or to learn how to do something (source Flamingo/Tapestry YouTube Cultural Impact Study 2017). This opens the discussion about intent-based marketing and how smart planning can target situations and states of mind, beyond just segments.
Brand safety remains a big issue for brands but it’s not a quick fix. We and our clients need constant updates and reassurance and Ronan Harris, CEO, Google UK & Ireland, touched upon some of the necessary changes being made.
It was made clear to the audience that big investments continue to be made in people and technology to fight this ongoing issue.
The ecosystem around YouTube continues to expand and media agencies will always try to extract as much value as we possibly can for our clients - all with the aim of delivering creative and effective communications in a safe and trusted environment.