image credit: Streamy’s Instagram channel
With over a billion users (half on mobile) watching hundreds of millions of hours each day, video publishing platform YouTube has grown 50% year upon year for the number of hours viewers consume each month. In Nielsen’s Total Audience Report Q1 2015, the global information measurement company notes that between 2011 and 2015, traditional TV viewing for audiences 18-24 dropped close to 32%. MarketingCharts remarks, “in other words, in a span of 4 years, almost one-third of this age group’s traditional TV viewing time has migrated to other activities.”
As a result, many traditional advertisers and brands (including most of those featured here) have taken their marketing efforts online to social media and publishing platforms including YouTube to reach audiences where they are now consuming the most content consistently each day.
The 5th annual Streamy Awards, presented by Dick Clark Productions and Tubefilter, is an annual event celebrating the best in online video content and their creators. Awards are presented to influencers and content creators who produce video content on platforms such as YouTube, Vine, and Snapchat.
Brands including Nissan and Pizza Hut are partnering with top YouTubers to create content that resonates with online consumers and market to YouTube’s massive audience base. Brands are able to target specific audiences through influencers who have immediate reach to dedicated followers (many top YouTube influencers have hundreds of thousands to millions of subscribers).
Here are the frontrunners for 2015 best advertising campaigns on YouTube as nominated by the Streamy Awards:
Crazy Plastic Ball Prank #WithDad, Roman Atwood (Nissan) – WINNER
In this humorous and family focused video, prankster Roman Atwood (7M subscribers) completely fills the first floor of his home with 2.5 feet of plastic balls and a trampoline, to the surprise and delight of his girlfriend and children. Japanese automaker Nissan commissioned the help of Atwood to include his video as a teaser for their Super Bowl campaign, #WithDad.
The campaign focuses on intimate father/son moments with various YouTube influencers to show different ways fathers can balance work, life, and family. Atwood’s video has received over 47 million views to date, and Nissan’s Super Bowl campaign has over 22 million views. Atwood is known for his prank style of videos his other lifestyle-centric channel RomanAtwoodVlogs has over 3 million viewers.
Nissan’s strategy appeals to the socially conscious millennial demographic. A Forbes segment highlights the purchasing trends of Millennials, finding that they choose to align with brands that match their interests and that 33% of Millennials rely mostly on blogs before they make a purchase, compared to fewer than 3% for TV news, magazines and books.
Kitten Therapy, SoulPancake (Purina Tidy Cats)
In this video, Purina collaborates with the feel-good channel SoulPancake (1.5M subscribers) and creatively spins a new angle to produce authentic branded content that speaks to all, including non-pet owners.
While Purina is the brand sponsor for the video, SoulPancake produced the content which is specific to their own voice. Named as one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies of 2015, SoulPancake is best known for its “positive, uplifting content” that “resonates with Millennials.” The Kitten Therapy video has over 8 million views.
Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae), DanceOn (Silentó)
DanceOn is an MCN (multi-channel network — for more information regarding MCNs, see our post on MCNs vs. YouTube influencer agencies) for dance entertainment and also a community of influencers in the dance/choreography industry. They collaborated with artist Silento to produce a series of videos with dancers from different backgrounds dancing to his trademark song, Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).
The campaign enlisted the help of dance influencers such as Matt Steffanina (2.1 million subscribers) whose video has 30 million views to date and choreographer Jasmine Meakin (1.3 million subscribers) whose video has reached 7.8 million views to date.
DanceOn specializes in multi-channel content that is geared towards teens and young Millennials, with 86% of users in the 13-34 demographic. The network features influencers and user-generated content to attract a young audience, as mainstream celebrities continue to lose their appeal.
Totino Boy!, Tim and Eric (Totino’s Pizza Rolls)
Totino’s seemingly bizarre collaboration features comedians Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, collectively known as Tim and Eric (100K subscribers). Done in their distinctive, offbeat style, their videos are often haphazard with campy editing and a psychedelic feel.
While the video may seem outlandish and reminiscent of public access television, it certainly resonates with Totino’s targeted niche and Tim and Eric’s audience, teenagers to young Millennials. The video currently has over 600K views on the Tim and Eric channel, and over 1 million views on Totino’s official channel.
Totino’s and other food brands are looking to tap into the purchasing power of U.S. teenagers, who spend 20% of their money on food, according to Business Insider.
Signature Pizzas, Jack and Jack, Rooster Teeth and Andrea Russett (Pizza Hut)
Pizza Hut collaborated with three top influencers; Jack and Jack (1M subscribers), Rooster Teeth (8.2M subscribers), and Andrea Russett (2.2M subscribers) to develop their own signature pizzas. The campaign is an effort to rebrand its image as a fast-food pizza chain with more contemporary offerings.
The influencers sampled Pizza Hut’s newest menu items and then partnered with the test kitchen to develop their own creations which they documented on their YouTube channels, Jack & Jack 940K views, Rooster Teeth 364K views, Andrea Russett 377K views.
Pizza Hut joins the many brands that are incorporating influencer marketing into their strategy, in an effort to target Millennials and teens, who have become the most populous demographic this year.