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Asda's head of social questions effectiveness of traditional media as working with YouTubers is like “PR on steroids”

Asda’s head of social Dominic Burch has questioned why marketers continue to spend heavily on traditional media after working with the UK’s top YouTubers – like Jim Chapman – for the past nine months.

Speaking at The Drum Live in London, Burch questioned the importance of ROI.

He said it costs £150,000 a day for print advertising, but Asda has only invested circa £100,000 thus far in its partnership with YouTubers and has already seen “incredible” results.

“You miss out the medium of TV, newspapers and go straight to your audience with really targeted content,” he said.

He explained that the brand turned to social talent after its initial foray into YouTube “failed dismally.”

In a bid to “be relevant” on YouTube and engage with a new audience, the supermarket decided to hand over control of a new channel ‘Mum’s Eye View’ to YouTubers and has since seen engagement soar. In the past, an Asda video would get a thousand or so views, but content on the Mum’s Eye View channel has pulled in one million total views and is averaging around 40,000 per video after only 14 weeks – although Burch has set a target of 75,000 views per video.

He said working with YouTubers has been like “PR on steroids” for the brand and he achieved these results “without spending a penny on media.”

Joining Burch in the panel session was Jim Chapman, a YouTube sensation who has amassed 1.5 million subscribers to his channel.

He receives offers from brands every day to work with him, but revealed 90 per cent are turned down down because companies “want to make an ad” and not content that will resonate with his audience.

However, those brands that do work with Chapman can expect, with a call to action, a 40 per cent click through rate from links embedded into his channel compared to the industry standard of around 0.2 per cent on banner ads. On Twitter, where he has 728,000 followers, that figure stands at 10 per cent.

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