Google’s online video giant YouTube is supposed to be disrupting television. But the company still needs TV to get the message out there that it’s not just for cat videos anymore. YouTube is about to embark on one of its largest ad campaigns ever to promote some of its biggest stars as it attempts to sign more lucrative advertising deals.
The new ads, which will include TV commercials, print media, and billboards in addition to online ads across Google’s sites, will profile individuals who have developed large followings on YouTube. The first TV spot focuses on Bethany Mota, a teenager who makes videos about beauty and fashion. The other stars being highlighted initially are Michelle Phan, who offers makeup tutorials, and Rosanna Pansino, who runs a popular food channel. The campaign will be extended to include stars in other categories later this year.
Google is taking several steps this year to make YouTube content more appealing to advertisers. Businesses can now easily buy ads against the top 5 percent of YouTube content across various verticals, as measured by views, watch time and shares across social media. Starting in May, brands will be able to use data gathered by Nielsen to buy ad time against specific audience demographics, as is common with TV ad buys. Google has long tried to convince advertisers to trust their own audience data but demand for metrics from a third-party led to the new Nielsen integration.
YouTube generated an estimated $5.6 billion in ad revenue in 2013, according to research firm eMarketer.