Do YouTube stars help brand lift?

Google Canada's Christos Nikitopoulos on the launch of the You Tube-focused Google Preferred program in Canada and how it has performed stateside.

Google Canada is rolling out a new product in the Canadian market, announcing the launch of Google Preferred.

The product, which launched in the U.S. around the same time last year, allows agencies to buy directly by demo or content category, across the top 5% of YouTube content. Content categories in the program include beauty, comedy, food, music and sports. This upfront method is similar to buying models on TV, and differentiated from the DoubleClick ad exchange platform, on which other YouTube ad placement is done.

That top 5% is determined based on a Google Preference score algorithm that combines scale and engagement, which includes likes and video shares.

Christos Nikitopoulos, head of agency development at Google Canada, says U.S. results to date showed an 80% in brand recall and a 17% lift in brand awareness for clients who participated in Google Preferred. Nikitopoulos notes that there was a direct correlation between the Google Preference score of the YouTube channel and the brand recall boost for the client.

He says the launch of Google Preferred in Canada follows requests from partners asking how they can better use YouTube to drive sales strategies.

A maximum of 60 seconds per hour of commercials can be placed using Google Preferred. To date, GroupM, Omnicom and Publicis have signed on to participate in the early access beta of the Google Preferred program in Canada. Additional agencies who have a year-long investment with YouTube can also buy into the program in Canada, which isn’t yet sold out.