At YouTube, we love to see videos that engage and often inspire viewers. Some of the best content on our site comes from advertising agencies, who flex their creative muscles to build inventive campaigns that help clients make a human connection with consumers.While agencies combine their understanding of client brands with a healthy dose of imagination to conceive these campaigns, YouTube works to connect science and art by building open technology platforms on which these campaigns can be executed in a scalable, measurable way. Doing this well involves a lot of collaboration with -- luckily for us -- some of the smartest, most creative agency minds out there, to make sure our platforms are addressing the most critical agency and client issues.For the latest installment in the YouTube Biz Blog's Five Questions series, we talked to Rob Davis, Leader of Ogilvy's Interactive Video Practice, to get his take on the role of online video in client campaigns, the myth of "viral videos," and the tools that make his job easier.1. Ogilvy has worked with several clients to launch brand channels on YouTube. How do you work with clients, Google, and YouTube to come up with an idea, and ultimately build and run the channel/campaign itself?Ogilvy's philosophy is to integrate interactive video work into the core creative and strategic elements of the agency. Therefore, when we are working on a YouTube brand channel or campaign, we take a team approach that includes the client, YouTube, and Google as part of the working unit. Initial ideas may come from anyone on the team, but it's when we start ideating with YouTube that the big ideas gel. We look across all the YouTube offerings, from paid media and takeovers to annotations and widgets, to make sure we are crafting an experience that meets the expectations of the audience and makes full use of the latest toolsets.
2. What have you learned about video advertising from YouTube, and how has this affected how you build campaigns for your clients?YouTube is an integral part of paid and earned media strategies. Integrated VSEO (video search engine optimization), VSEM (video search engine marketing), and display planning allow us to take advantage of YouTube in a mix that is right for the client. Not everything warrants a YouTube homepage ad, and not everything can live on VSEO alone. The trick is to find the balance that builds the audience -- the right audience -- that the client is looking for. How we achieve that balance is part of our secret sauce, but I can say that it stems from a "one Ogilvy" approach where our different disciplines unite to do what is right for the project.3. Google and YouTube provide lots of tools that help agencies build creative campaigns. Which tools do you find most useful or valuable?YouTube Insight and the Keyword Suggestion Tool are obvious answers for marketers, but for creative campaigns we look to the value that annotations, captioning and widgets like YouTube Direct can bring to a campaign. Our multi-discipline approach gives us a fresh perspective on all of YouTube's offerings. Ironically, one of the most valuable tools is the simplest, but in our opinion, the most overlooked: the playlist.4. How important is it to have an engagement component in an online advertising campaign? Is that more or less important than the content itself?Nothing is more important than content. That said, our multi-discipline, integrated approach allows us to consider engagement on the same level as content. Both need to be equally well-planned and executed. Engagement can be big, like a contest or a vote, or it can be as simple as content so compelling, so noteworthy, that is gives people a reason to share it. In that sense, content itself can equal engagement.Defining the kind of engagement appropriate is a key element in success. I don't believe in "viral videos." The "post 'n' pray" fantasy of putting a video on YouTube and having it magically spread to a zillion users ignores the importance of engagement and placement. I guarantee you that the million-views-a-day video has good content and at least one of three other elements: a channel with an existing audience, a strategic placement (paid or earned), and the appropriate level of engagement.5. What's your favorite YouTube video?I have a life-long passion for railroading, especially when it involves steam locomotives. This has led to many adventures, not the least of which was joining 49 folks of similar interest in Michigan last summer to rent two vintage locomotives for a dawn-to-midnight weekend of private photo runs designed to recreate railroading from the 1950s.I am primarily a still photographer, but I did shoot some movies that weekend. However, YouTube user JoMiFu, an under-20 artist with a tremendous eye for the moving image, captured the weekend with one of the most stunning railroad videos I have ever seen. Don't miss the sunset scene at 7:20. I can't stop watching it.Posted by Lisa Green, Senior Agency Relations Manager
[Note: this post has been reprinted from the YouTube Biz Blog]