Google Links Brands With YouTube Creators: Are Agencies and Influencer Networks Threatened?

Over the years we are seeing YouTube video bloggers and independent producers growing and becoming a part of marketing brands through content creation. These marketing contracts are between Youtube and the sellers, but sometimes they are brokered by third parties. Recently Google became a part of this by connecting YouTube video production talent with brands and their agencies to make video ads for the site.
YouTube Labs is an initiative of Youtube, through which Google linked L’Oreal brands Essie, Maybelline and Dark & Lovely with YouTube creators and agency Code & Theory in order to make a series of videos for each brand.
In 2016, L’Oreal USA had exclusive use of YouTube Labs in USA, which the Google president-client and agency relations, Kirk Perry described as an alpha test.  In Europe, Johnson & Johnson, BMW and Mondelez have been tested for the same approach. Kirk also said that the this year Youtube Labs will be opened to other companies.
This gives Google a chance to turn itself into a talent brokerage sort of a thing, which links brands with content creators on YouTube. What we talked about earlier about Google linking L’Oreal brands with Youtube Lab, that just didn’t mean that it got them connected to beauty bloggers, that is already happening in other places through content and promotional deals, instead this link is meant to bring creative talent from others areas together with brands.
If you wonder how much commission Google is making out of these connections, then you should know, none. Who gets he commission are the content creators. Google only benefits from the revenue it gets from paid advertisement,  by placement of the videos on it’s site. Youtube puts no restriction on the brands regarding where they can use the videos, it can be any social media platform such as Facebook, or can be given to publishers or to their own sites.
The effort came out of brainstorming sessions earlier last year on “the next generation of content,” said In discussion with L’Oreal USA Chief Marketing Officer Marie Gulin-Merle, it was learned that this idea came out of brainstorming sessions former year. He said “The idea was to put in one room in a beauty hackathon the YouTube creators, our marketing teams and our agencies. We would behave as publishers and invent the web series.”
After all this happening many thought this can be a threat for agencies and other influencer networks but Howard Collinge, group creative director at Code and Theory, said that he doesn’t see the help from outside being any kind of threat. Howard is the same person who worked on the videos for Essie and Maybelline with the YouTube creators. He further added that the collaboration was great and it gave them a lot of freedom in creativity. He told that the their emphasis was on speed. First the content and script came from a long way, but now the agency went straight to production once the scripts were approved and then YouTube creators guided them according to the insight and their learning about the market. He said. “But we essentially wrote scripts and went and shot them. So we used them as a springboard. We had a lot of creative freedom to do what we thought was the right thing.”
The brief was simple, Mr. Collinge said: “Be entertaining and really get their attention and be relevant. That’s a great brief for any agency. It was a very experimental lab approach that felt a lot freer and more fun, nothing like a typical ad agency where you get briefed and have six weeks to work and then research and go shoot a commercial.”
Also described by Ms. Gulin-Merle the process is “less linear than before,” unlike the usual process of involving copy testing. “It was a fast and furious way of working with one motto: Better done than perfect. It’s OK if you don’t take another week to polish the content. You put it online and optimize from there and listen to the conversations and feedback from the consumer.” Among many other ideas one was to tell the stories behind the names of Essie nail polishes, she said. One video tells a story behind the nail polish “Jamaica Me Crazy,” which was named after an annoying vacation-intensive coworker and her trip to the Jamaica island.
In the past, companies like Gen.Video, have also done the same thing like Google, with different projects for Procter & Gamble’s Olay, but with a slow progress, so it is not clear yet if this act of Google of channeling Youtube creators with brand with help such companies. Jessica Thorpe the president of Sen.Video said, “This is a logical and inevitable evolution of Google’s facilitation role in the YouTube marketplace. It will put added pressure on companies (platforms and agencies) to provide more services than simply matching to support and amplify the impact of influencer video.”
Gen. Video is already doing that, she said, in part by facilitating distribution of videos created by the producers it represents on e-commerce sites.
“The players that only provide exchange-based matching will quickly die out, and those that can differentiate will thrive as leveraging influencers becomes more universal,” she said. But she said Google’s involvement will “be another catalyst for growth for the video generation.”
“I don’t think we compete in any way, shape or form with the Gen.Videos of the world or the Tongals of the world,” said Google’s Mr. Perry. “We obviously have a little insight on the YouTube business and the creator ecosystem. We also have access to a lot of data and analytics about where consumers are and what they’re watching. So we have that unique insight others wouldn’t have.”
While Google gets no money directly from making the introductions, the idea, he said, is an investment to make brands more comfortable so they’ll want to reach consumers on Google media.
Source: AdvertisingAge