Cannes 2013: The whole show on YouTube

By , Seminars, Cannes | In Digital | June 21, 2013
On Day 5 of the International Festival of Creativity, YouTube's global head of content Robert Kyncl, spoke on 'Why be the 30-second spot when you can be the whole show?' and gave insights on how YouTube content generated by brands has earned them rich dividends, at practically no extra cost.

In continuation of the seminars at the International Festival of Creativity that tried to decipher the social media buzz, YouTube's global content head Robert Kyncl shared his thoughts on 'Why be the 30-second spot when you can be the whole show?'. Kyncl spoke on how brands can exploit the platform to reach out to and engage with the digitally savvy audience.

Robert Kyncl

Kyncl started off with a comparison between television and YouTube and said that unlike the former, YouTube videos are watched not just by viewers but fans who are likely to share and re-share the videos. The medium also provides the most creative freedom in telling stories that are widely watched and shared. In fact, there are ad campaign videos that were put up 1-2 years ago, which continue to receive views.

Citing his favourite example, Kyncl said that Brazilian production company Porta Dos Fundos's videos poking fun at brands earned it more than 3.9 million subscribers within nine months of putting up the first video. When the production company was asked if they would do it for television, they declined the offer. The reason: unlike YouTube, there was no two way conversation on television. Besides, the videos could not be shared by the subscribers and fans alike.

Another example was that of GoPro, which was able to build direct relation with the consumers by generating content that not only weaved the brand's philosophy 'Be a Hero' but also allowed fans to generate videos of adventure sports that they had done. Sufficient to say, the brand received a lot of viewers and subscribers.

Dove's Real Beauty Sketches campaign,

In the case of the famous Dove's Real Beauty Sketches campaign, the video caught fire in a matter of a few days with CNN mentioning about the campaign 14 times - for free. According to Fernando Machado, global brand vice-president, Dove Skin, the video not only started a global conversation but by Day 3, many parody videos based on the campaign came up with one in particular receiving 3 million views. At present, the original Dove campaign has clocked 4.5 billion global media impressions and over 155 million views, Machado says.

Looking at the attention YouTube videos generated in the digital world, which in turn translated to consumers, brands have been partnering with YouTube to regularly provide authentic content and ensure that they create and nurture the fan base around the brand.

However, merely creating videos and putting it on YouTube is not enough. In addition, brand managers also employed paid media, social media and PR to get the content noticed.

Kyncl also suggested that while brands need to create content sought by the consumers, they also need to cultivate a community around the brand, which will amplify and shape what the brand's message is. And lastly, he said that once the brands get the attention of consumers, they shouldn't keep them hanging there. They need to regularly engage and put up fresh content by collaborating or tapping into the passionate community that has started building.

Kyncl also showed clippings of testimonials given by brand heads about how YouTube helped in building their brands. One of the clippings showed a brand manager admitting how they were enlightened by the fact that consumers were marketing the product for them. Another brand manager said that considering there is only one medium, the only way to differentiate content is by collaborating with like-minded people, which creates powerful impact.

To enable advertising agencies to tap into this potential, Kyncl said YouTube plans to extend its YouTube Partners programme to advertising professionals. This will allow them access to all the facilities offered by the digital brand by September.

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