This month’s debunked blog explores staying safe with video advertising.

Video advertising has been, and continues to be, the cool kid. It is one of the most popular ways to reach audiences at scale, playing an important role in consumers’ lives, not just for their entertainment, but also as a source of information for purchases.

In fact, over 90% of people surveyed by Google are discovering new brands and products or services on YouTube, with 40% having made a purchase. And, even more interesting, YouTube ads are 84% more likely to receive viewers’ attention than TV ads. That isn’t something to be shy about. With more than 2 billion users logging in to YouTube every month, and over 7 billion hours of video watched each week, YouTube Ads have huge potential for brands.

But, the question is, do brands really know where they are delivering ads on YouTube? And can they be 100% certain their brand is in suitable and safe environments?

Let’s dig a little deeper.


Are Brands Really Safe on YouTube?

This has long been debated throughout the industry, and not just within the youTube environment – the open web and social media arenas all present a platform of huge opportunity, but one full of uncertainty.

Who is responsible for that? This is where the debate gets sticky. Lets not forget back in February this year, the BBC (and many others) released the news  regarding the family of Nohemi Gonzalez, 23, who was shot by Islamic State gunmen in Paris in 2015, accusing the internet giant of aiding and abetting the terrorist group by recommending its videos to users. Google, owners of YouTube, unsurprisingly, has argued it is not liable, referring back to a decades-old law.

Now, I totally get that this is an extreme example, and I am not by any means saying that brands’ ad campaigns will always fall into the dark web. However, it is something brands are (and should be) focusing on, with 40% expecting to witness an increase in brand safety concerns and subsequent actions. For me, the responsibility lies across everyone; on the platform level, YouTube itself, and on the strategic level it’s us – the products, vendors and agencies –  who are working on behalf of the brands themselves.


Do Brands Really Know Where Their Ads Are?

Often brands will use tools such as Google Audiences to identify their target market, however they’re not taking into context where the intended ad campaign was delivered. This is mostly down to the fact that Google won’t tell them. However, another part of the issue is that many brands don’t take the time to explore it further. And I don’t blame them – they have a million things to do with a million deadlines, and sometimes taking the simple route (which appears to be fine on the surface), is a ‘good enough option.

My argument is, is ‘good enough’ really, well, enough?

Let’s take an example. Say you are a ‘High-end, Luxury brand’. You would most likely select a ‘luxury’ audience to target, and other than a few other baseline parameters, you’re good to go. Now yes, a large portion of your ads will be delivered within relevant, luxury content. But there will be a significant portion that will go off-piste, slipping through the gaps and being delivered in contexts such as gaming, for example.

I’m pretty confident that if brands actually looked into where their content is being delivered, they’d be shocked. And let’s not forget the humble consumer in all of this. According to the IAB, 87% of consumers believe brands are responsible for ensuring ads appear in safe environments.

So come on brands! Let’s do things that are beyond good enough. Let’s do things that are brilliant.


How Can Brands Gain More Visibility?

Fear not, there is an answer! For many years now, there have been channel based options which allow a certain level of granularity. However, in order to truly understand where your ads are being delivered, you need to do this at a video ID level and tap into other data signals that may help protect your brand further.

And this is where 4D comes into play!

Simply put, 4D’s advanced computer vision technology ensures that your brand is protected at a video ID level. This means 4D is accessing, analysing and classifying video level data on YouTube to ensure nothing slips through the net! This enables your brand to know exactly which channels and videos your advertising will appear on, ensuring your brand is protected and that your ads are served in the right environments, to the right audience – in the moments that matter.

Drop me a line if you want to find out more!

My LinkedIn: HERE