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Zoella Youtube Charity

Mind preps YouTube advertising as it turns sights on programmatic

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By Natalie Mortimer, N/A

December 22, 2014 | 4 min read

Mental health charity Mind is prepping a YouTube advertising drive as it turns to programmatic ad serving to improve "efficiency and value for money” for its donors and beneficiaries.

The automated ads are set to launch in the new year and follow a pre-Christmas online direct marketing campaign, which ran programmatically served ads. The media strategy, which was designed to boost fundraising and legacy donations, underlines the charity’s ambitions of implementing a savvy advertising model, said Mind’s digital communications manager Chris Cox.

He told The Drum: “The focus on programmatic underlines [the fact] that we are trying to get more value from our donors' investmentand anything that can increase our efficiency for money is what our donors want to see, and it helps us better reach people.

“If real time bidding (RTB) can improve our efficiency and value for money for donors and the people we’re trying to help, then it’s all for the good.”

The current activity is the first time that Mind has committed to programmatic advertising, which now accounts for around 50-60 per cent of the charity's digital media plan.

Set for a March release, YouTube ad activity will be run using the video platfrom's TrueView platform, which allows the charity to pay per view its pre-roll, skippable ads in a cost saving exercise.

Cox also revealed that Mind is interested in using new emerging channels to communicate with supporters, a move indicated by the appointment of YouTube star Zoella as the charity’s first digital ambassador earlier in the year. The role was created to help Mind connect with a younger, digitally active generation, which Cox commented is “anecdotally more able to speak openly” about mental health issues, particularly via social media.

“There are studies and statics we see about the increase in prevalence of mental health issues in society and that goes hand in hand with the increase of people using digital media to stay in touch and connect with each other and those two things tell their own story.

“Its anecdotally true that young people are able to speak more openly about mental health issues than other generations historically, and its increasingly important for charities like mind to be where people are having these conversations and talk about mental health issues rather than being passive and digitally conservative.”

Via the pre-Christmas campaign, designed and run by equimedia, Cox said Mind is testing out a “stronger creative” to help inform subsequent campaigns and gauge public reaction, an opportunity he admits Mind has previously failed to capitalise on.

“Speaking theoretically in the past we’ve done campaign tests using an illustration or a photo of the same thing that perhaps weren’t quite strong enough in terms of really discerning what works.

"So, for example, for the Christmas campaign we’re running we have one campaign but two quite significantly different creative. One is quite strongly photographic and story led and the other is a straight forward, to the point, appeal message about acting now. I don’t think in the past we ran tests as geared towards finding out what works and the using of the insight into subsequent campaigns.”

A second strand of activty is aimed at encouraging people to create a memory space on Mind’s fundraising platform, where people can share memories of their loved ones and raise money at the same time. Most of the campaign activity is display and pay per click focused.

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