YouTube Labs pairs brands & agencies with creators to produce platform-relevant content
Google says the program aims to help brands like L'Oreal create episode-driven videos designed to hook and retain viewers.
In an attempt to help brands and their agencies create more relevant video content, YouTube has launched an experimental program called YouTube Labs that pairs advertisers with YouTube creators.
According to a Google spokesperson, the initiative aims to help brands and their agencies produce episodic content designed to build an audience, while executing a “test-and-learn” approach.
“The YouTube Labs motto is better done than perfect,” said a Google spokesperson in an email to Marketing Land.
The program launched last year with L’Oreal as the exclusive brand partner within the U.S. Over the course of four weeks, L’Oreal produced two episodes that were shared on its Essie, Maybelline and Dark & Lovely YouTube brand channels, and ran as TrueView Instream ads.
The Google spokesperson said that the program offers a new way for brands to work with creators.
“The YouTube creators weren’t beauty experts, but rather cross-industry talent who were used behind the camera as a creative consultant, as opposed to being the talent,” said the Google spokesperson, “Creators were selected specifically according to brands’ challenges, ethos, and brief.”
Google says it didn’t directly connect the creators to the brands, but worked with the influencer network, AwesomenessTV, to locate creators whose talents best fit the brand’s creative needs.
According to a report from Ad Age, while L’Oreal had exclusive use of YouTube Labs in the U.S. last year, BMW, Johnson & Johnson and Mondelez were part of YouTube Labs test run in Europe. The Ad Age story says the program will be open to more brands in the U.S. this year.
Google’s president of client and agency relations, Kirk Perry, told Ad Age that Google doesn’t make any money or charge a fee for the brand-creator arrangements, but the creators do. Perry says Google makes its money from the paid ad revenue generated by the videos on YouTube. Brands are also free to use the video content on other platforms or their own websites.