Brand Storytelling: Where the world chooses to watch

As day one of Innovation Week really gets going, Lucy Banks (Google’s Head of Content Solutions EMEA) came in to talk to us about where the world chooses to watch cultural events.

The walk-in entertainment for the audience was the strangely hypnotic ‘Another car ride with Motoki’ and this highlights one of Google’s two key insights about people:

  1. people are weird
  2. people are wonderful

YouTube is self-described as “the most exciting and socially liberating platform to have been introduced in the last 20 years. One which has 1 billion users and no commissioning editor” highlighting that it is the people who use it who have made YouTube great, over the platform itself.

We all know that YouTube has massive reach, but crucially, it’s not just eyeballs, but hearts and minds that are the key. And through its democratisation of content, it has tapped into people’s passions by both incubating new content formats (such as live streaming of major sports and musical events) and surfaced niche culture to the mainstream (e.g. vloggers, ‘how-to’ videos, unboxings).

YouTube also brings new audience to traditional content – a recent example being YouTube having almost twice as many views of Clinton vs Trump than TV. Ben Winston (executive producer on The Late Show with James Cordon) highlights the value of the digital audience by saying that when they wake up in the morning they check their YouTube views before their TV overnights.

Examples of brands who have embraced the platform and worked with YouTube to create some strong content series include Whiskas Kitten College and L’Oreal’ Paris BeautyTUBE based on insights about their audiences gained from Google.

Looking forward to 2017, YouTube has three pillars that they believe will be key to brands being at the forefront of this evolution:

  1. Human stories: understanding what’s inspiring people to search for types of content; then finding your ‘Red Thread’ on YouTube through insights.
  2. FOMO: Big Cultural moments
  3. Incubation projects: Making new things together with brands, such as:
  • Yule Tube – Christmas ads/content
  •  FanFest – YouTube creator festivals
  • [insert your cultural YouTube event here]


Ultimately the key is to connect brands to culture AND deliver engagement at scale – which YouTube are looking to perfect in partnership with brands.


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