How to emerge from the 4 billion videos seen every day on YouTube?
On Thursday 9th of October 2014, Dutch firm LEGO announced the non renewal of its contract with oil giant Shell. This decision followed the publication on YouTube of a video released by NGO Greenpeace in July. The video showed a polar landscape made of LEGO bricks, drowning under a black-ish liquid, with a background music playing a song from recent LEGO movie, called everything is awesome. With this video, Greenpeace wanted to report the exploitation of Arctic land by the oil and gas company, and the use of the leading toy company for publicity. The video was seen over 6 million times. This success put LEGO in a bad position, and led them to stop their partnership with Shell.
This campaign is the perfect example of an effective campaign, thought for YouTube. Greenpeace not only targeted LEGO through the video, but also heightened awareness about its cause among the users: it is the audience that pushed LEGO to make this decision.
Brands react NGOs are not the only ones to use YouTube as a communication platform. Some brands have understood long ago the importance to be on YouTube, and more importantly how to use it. For instance, Nestlé recently enjoyed great success (+7M views) with its Fitness BraCam to support the fight against breast cancer. Similarly, Smart also innovated with its campaign #WhatareyouFOR, talking about road safety in a playful way (+7M views). Last, you most likely heard of the IceBucketChallenge, a typical YouTube phenomenon.
While lots of celebrities accepted to rise to the ice bucket challenge, some brands also got up to it, such as car models fiat500 or renault twingo. Mixing responsiveness and boldness, these last examples show the importance of a controlled and effective presence on YouTube.
YouTube should not be seen as storage space for your adverts
Storing all your adverts on YouTube is not a winning strategy. You must offer an original experience to your viewers, and take them to unexpected places. The campaigns mentioned above were engaging for the audience, and used the potential of YouTube as a social network. This is the way YouTube should be considered, and it implies a thorough understanding of its mechanisms. You need to be bold, even if you are not trying to support a specific cause. An example: to announce the release of its news catalog, Ikea targeted Apple by parodying its adverts (+12M views). All the ingredients for a successful campaign were here : contextualisation, originality and optimisation. This is the path all brands should follow!
Published the 15 october 2014