Branded Entertainment

Here at Google, we're always trying to come up with innovative ways to support the discovery and monetization of partner content and provide positive advertiser experiences. One good example of this is Google Branded Entertainment (BE), a cross-functional initiative that combines the appeal of original, advertiser-friendly YouTube partner content with the distribution power of the Google Content Network to present a win-win scenario for content creators and their sponsors.

Last month, Google BE got a big boost with the launch of two new campaigns. The first, Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, consists of 50 2-minute animated comedy shorts produced by Media Rights Capital and crafted by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane for exclusive release on the web. The second, PopTub, is Embassy Row's daily dish show covering the latest and greatest in the world of online video. For both projects, Google worked with the content creators to put together a pitch package outlining the mega-distribution options available for potential sponsors. The BE media plan options available include Google Gadget Ads, YouTube InVideo and banner ads, YouTube homepage ads, and YouTube Promote Your Video units.

A key component of the Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade and PopTub campaigns is the 300x250 Gadget Ad, which can be demo-targeted and blasted out across YouTube and Google Content Network (GCN) sites in areas reserved for AdSense ads in order to reach the content's most likely audience. While MacFarlane's shorts and PopTub's videocasts are being hosted on their branded YouTube partner channels, the videos are being distributed in gadgets across the web in order to deliver impressions and get the content out to users on multiple sites.

Another important element in these campaigns is the ability to integrate the sponsor's brand. In the case of Cavalcade, MacFarlane drew up customized animated pre-rolls for sponsor Burger King that feature "The King" running away from multiple dangers - including being chased by tribesmen trying to shoot him with poison darts – and wrap with a "Presented By Burger King" logo. The whole intro takes about 15 seconds and is entertaining to watch. A Burger King brand channel was also launched on YouTube, featuring the 10 Cavalcade shorts they are sponsoring, plus drawn MacFarlane logos and a sweepstakes where the winner will be given a chance to buy Seth MacFarlane dinner at Burger King; it's a prize certain to make fans of The Family Guy salivate. For PopTub, branding for sponsor Pepsi was incorporated into the banner design of the partner channel and into links that appear within the videos encouraging viewers to visit the channels of the YouTubers being reviewed in the show. The Cavalcade/Burger King and PopTub/Pepsi brand integrations represent exactly the way advertisers should be looking to integrate themselves into online video to minimize drop-off and maximize unaided recall with viewers.

As we continue to review the successes of these current campaigns, we see significant promise in Branded Entertainment as a creative and technology-packed solution for creators and advertisers looking at online video. Through BE, Google looks forward to seeing more entities like these bring fresh, engaging content experiences to users.

The YouTube Content Partnerships and Google Branded Entertainment teams

Friday, October 24, 2008 at 11:00 AM

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