Advertising Is Content… In The YouTube Era

from the rethinking-advertising dept

For many years, we’ve been discussing that ads are content and that content are ads — and thinking that the two are somehow separate limits your business model options. A few weeks back, at the Mesh Conference, someone asked the panel I was on how advertising would evolve on YouTube. Specifically, they seemed to want to know if there would be preroll or postroll ads to monetize YouTube. My response was that’s the wrong way of thinking about it. Most of the content on YouTube is an advertisement in some form — whether on purpose or not. It could be an ad for the person in the video or the maker of the video. Or, it could be an advertisement for something else. Take, for example, the case of the now quite famous Dove ad. They created video ad and tossed it up on YouTube where it’s received tremendous attention. The whole thing cost Dove about $50,000 and got them a ridiculous amount of exposure. Dove isn’t complaining that people are viewing their “content” for free online. They’re recognizing that it helps to sell other products.

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Comments on “Advertising Is Content… In The YouTube Era”

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Shohat (user link) says:

You are forgetting something again

Youtube is a very small platform to advertise on, and many of it’s visitors are from a very certain demographic.

It’s a nice small cute gimmick move to advertise on Youtube, probably to please the “hip” 30 yearold blogger marketing VP on the board, just to shove it in his face later on, that the video received only 4 million views in a whole year, meaning around 11k views a day, which is less than a fart in Dove’s advertising goals.
“Here’s your microscopic success… erm.. thingy…It’s name is Flooph. Now go to your corner”
Flooph* – hip Web2.0 buzz-generating microscopic success thingy.

Sanguine Dream says:

I wouldn’t say that success on YouTube alone is a sure fire bet for success but I will say that YouTube has help start a new era of marketing. Six or seven years ago the world at large did not know (or care to know) what viral marketing was. But now there are college programs that teach courses in viral marketing and term “viral marketing” is pretty much a buzz word that makes you sound like a hip insider when you say it, kinda like bloggers who use the term sku when talking about the Xbox 360 Elite.

crocoPuffs (user link) says:

Somewhat agree

That’s fine for a company like Dove who has a non-video product to sell. But if your product *is* video, you don’t want to give it away. Give away small chunks of it, sure, that’s what trailers and previews are for. But to have your entire piece of content available for free leaves you with nothing to sell. Which is where pre-rolls and post-rolls come in to play.

Chuck (user link) says:


While it might be a slight exaggeration to say that “most” of the content on YouTube is advertising something, much of the widely seen content is advertising something else. The Dove campaign is one good example. Even if Dove does not directly benefit from the YouTube ads (and I believe they have), their brand becomes identified with YouTube (youth-tube) culture, which is certainly beneficial.

It’s also quite obviously a calling card for comedy troupes and other performers who are trying to get their films/podcasts/performances/music noticed.

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