YouTube launches tools for advertisers to experiment, mark key brand moments and remix ads in real-time

YouTube has rolled out a set of creative and analytical tools for advertisers so they can test ads before a formal launch, target better and remix ads in real-time.

Panel (L-R): Matt Brittin, president of Google EMEA; Weinstein; and Bart Jenniches, director of Google VR/AR
Panel (L-R): Matt Brittin, president of Google EMEA; Weinstein; and Bart Jenniches, director of Google VR/AR

With the tool, Video Experiments, advertisers can test ads in a real-life setting at a "very low cost", Debbie Weinstein, vice-president of YouTube global solutions explained at Cannes Lions today. 

"They can either test different versions of an ad against the same target audience, or the same creative against different audiences," Weinstein added.

Another tool, video creative analytics, will allow advertisers to combine audience segmentation with retention reports to better understand how the creative captures the attention of different groups.

Later this year, YouTube which just hit 1.9bn monthly users, will also introduce a function so advertisers can annotate key moments in their video, such as logos or product shots, and analyse what percentage of the audience saw these key moments. 

Finally, Director Mix, is a tool (currently in alpha) for "taking videos apart and putting them together again based on the audience and the context the ads are appearing in", Weinstein said. 

An example of this is the work 20th Century Fox did around promoting the launch of its film The Greatest Showman

"Usually a film launch is handled with a hero film followed by optimised creative. But what they were able to do with us is launch a 30-second spot initially. Then, based on the people who watched through, they served that person with further content such as an interview with Hugh Jackman. Then, importantly, they followed up with very short-form message just before the launch to remind them to go and buy tickets," Weinstein said. 

However, if someone skipped the ad, they would next be served a shorter ad that unfolded just one particular part of the story that analytics has shown is most likely to resonate with the target audience. For most people, it was the romantic aspect of the film, she continued.

Another feature also in alpha, Video Ad Sequencing, will allow brands to tell their stories over a series of ads set in a specific order.

These tools are part of a Creative Suite that YouTube has launched for advertisers. In addition to these three new features, the Creative Suite also includes resources for agencies including a playbook for creative advertising, training and a framework for how to think about creative effectiveness son the platform. 

"Our agency partners have also asked for insights and tools to help them better scale their creativity and help storytelling be better," Weinstein said. 

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