Driving brand awareness through video ads

The big question: should you be spending your hard earned money advertising Video Ads on YouTube, and does it drive any increase in brand awareness?

Firstly YouTube advertising is just that: Advertising! We don’t define YouTube as Performance or Direct Response marketing like we do with search, YouTube is all about putting video ads in front of a relative audience, raising your brand awareness and generating sales further down the funnel, very similar to what we used to do with TV.  The one big advantage of YouTube over TV is the ability to hyper target your customers with audience and keyword targeting allowing you to show your video ads to an extremely relevant audience.

YouTube Advertising:

Reach potential customers when they watch or search for videos on YouTube and only pay when they show interest. Reach the people who matter to you, you don’t need to get your ad in front of everybody just the people likely to be interested in what you have to offer.  Sports fans around the block. Fashionistas around the world. And everyone in between. They’re all on YouTube.

What is YouTube advertising

Any video uploaded to YouTube can be an ad. Pre-roll video ads appear before other videos on YouTube. Other video ads appear beside playing videos and in search results.

How to advertise on YouTube

But the big question is: Does it really work? Well we’ve run the experiment to find out!

The Experiment:

Working with one of our long time clients Trusted Dealers they wanted to increase brand awareness within their car buying audience. We decided to show 3 of their video ads to a targeted audience on YouTube in specific cities and track the increase in the search impressions of the term [trusted dealers] in those cities to see if there was an increase in searches and therefore an increase in brand awareness. No other advertising was to be done in these cities or a control group that might affect the brand search impression volume.

Using these 3 videos:

Targeted to both Males and Females over the age of 45, looking at car reviews on YouTube, in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle & Nottingham.

We tracked brand search impressions over the proceeding months against a control group of Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Sheffield and Stoke:

Impact of Brand Awareness graph

We can see that the 2 groups, Group 1 (test group) and Group 2 (control group) tracked consistently over the 4 months before the test was started.

The Results:

Looking at the search term [trusted dealers] over the last 6 months for the same 2 groups we can see a marked increase in searches for [trusted dealers] and therefore an increase in brand awareness in those cities:

Impact of Brand Awareness graph


If you want to increase your brand awareness then using Video Ads on YouTube, targeted to a hyper relevant audience will achieve this.

We would fully recommend that your targeting be as tight as possible, also copying what we did with a city based test first should yield great results.


If you would like to discuss this experiment, its results or have a general chat about Online Advertising then please do get in touch.

Written by Rick Tobin Managing Director at Circus PPC Agency

Rick Tobin
Managing Director

Over 20 years dedicated PPC experience working with some of the world's biggest brands.

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