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When Data Meets Creative: Why Audience Insights are Critical for Video Publishers

When Data Meets Creative: Why Audience Insights are Critical for Video Publishers

One of the largest panels at Advertising Week 2017 tackled one of the classic topics in the advertising, marketing, media, and related creative industries: The strategic symbiosis of data and creative. The panel was moderated by Quynh Mai, Founder of Moving Image & Content. Her panelists included some of the best and the brightest stars in the business, namely:

  • Richard Alan Reid, BuzzFeed’s International Executive Creative Director & Executive Producer.
  • Renee Plato, the SVP of Media Solutions and Innovation at Nielsen.
  • Becky Wang, the CEO of Crossbeat New York.
  • Michelle Klein, Facebook’s Marketing Director for North America.
  • Kristen D’Arcy, who runs digital marketing, social and media for AEO.
  • Maureen Traynor, the Global Director, Creative Solutions at Spotify.

Since I know you’re incredibly busy, let me share the session’s conclusion at the beginning of this column: Successful brands and disruptors are inverting the traditional “top down” approach that was driven by Creative Directors, who ruled the industry for decades. They are also abandoning the siloed organizational structure that has become a barrier to success in the digital age.

Instead, they are becoming better listeners and internalizing their data-driven audience insights across teams. That means they are adopting a data-driven approach to creativity and letting these insights drive the creative process instead of sticking with the old “Mad Men” approach. Instead of retrofitting strategy to support creative, the panel urged attendees to let data and insights lead creative. That was the big takeaway. Get it? Got it? Good. Now, most of you can get back to work.

But, for those of you who want to dig deeper, there were 10 other observations that Mai was surprisingly able to capture and summarize at the end of the session:

  1. Plato: Differentiate yourself.
  2. Wang: Establish your data approach.
  3. Plato: Learn about your audience.
  4. Traynor: Create for your audience.
  5. Reid: Engage with your audience.
  6. Klein: Use your resources to optimize online.
  7. D’Arcy: Use your resources to optimize offline.
  8. Wang: Think about the data in three dimensions.
  9. Traynor: Consider the context.
  10. Reid: Grow with your audience.

And for those of you who are now kicking yourself for missing this session, relax. Watch the video: “Data <3 Creative: A Strategic Symbiosis.” Yes, it is 41:46 long, but watching it will put you about a year ahead of most of your busy competitors, who stopped reading this column after the first 250 words.

Now, for those long-time readers who know that I tend to keep the good stuff on the top shelf or at the end of the column, whichever is hardest to reach, let me share the following strategic insights, critical data, tactical advice, and trends in the digital video marketing business. Hey, if I can be replaced with a video that’s 41:46 long, then I should stop writing now and start talking into my laptop’s webcam.

Audience Insights for Online Video Campaigns

Why is it so hard to get the left-brained data geeks into the same room with the right-brained creative types when digital campaigns are being incubated? Don’t both sides realize that using your whole-brain is more likely to be successful?

Well, the panelists decided that outdated organizational structures and “top down” approaches were to blame. And, it’s true that too many senior executives at ageing agencies still put too many talented people into silos like the “creative services” department or the “research” unit of the “marketing services” department. And then they put these different departments on different floors of tall buildings with slow elevators or even in different buildings in big cities – and are shocked, shocked to find that’s it difficult to get their employees to collaborate.

And too many senior executives at big brands have similar barriers to overcome. They’re still using org charts that are generally modeled after the classic military structure used by Napoleon from 1793 to 1815. Seriously. And marketers use a lot of military terms, including strategies, tactics, campaigns, objectives, officers, divisions, and territories that reflect the thinking of Albert W. Emery, an American advertising agency executive born in 1923, who said, “Marketing is merely a civilized form of warfare in which most battles are won with words, ideas, and disciplined thinking.”

So, it’s not surprising that the best and the brightest stars in 2017 would reach that same conclusion that Pogo, a possum in the classic comic strip by Walt Kelly, reached back in 1953: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” But, will a simple reorg save big brands and aging agencies from a similar fate? Is that the only way to ensure that you get the left-brained data geeks into the same room with the right-brained creative types when digital campaigns are being incubated?

There is an alternative approach that was discussed the day before this session was held. And, unfortunately, none of the rising stars who are familiar with this alternative approach were members on one of the largest panels at Advertising Week.

I’m talking, of course, the moderator and three panelists from the session entitled, “#Sponsored and The Rise of Celebrity Influencers for Subscription & E-Commerce Marketing.”  Ashley Iaconetti, a reality TV personality who first appeared on ABC’s The Bachelor, Paul Desisto, a senior talent agent at Central Entertainment Group, Jolie Jankowitz, the Director of Influencer Marketing for FabFitFun, and Caitlin McLarnon, the Growth Marketing Manager of the US division of HelloFresh would have added a radically different perspective to the session on “Data <3 Creative: A Strategic Symbiosis” – if they could have squeezed an extra chair on the Shutterstock Stage at the Liberty Theatre.

They understand that tens of thousands of social media influencers and video content creators are not only data geeks, but also creative types. And these data-driven influencers and creators already work naturally and effectively in small teams – and generally outperform the traditional approach to producing engaging video content in less time and at a lower cost. All big brands or ageing agencies need to do is figure out:

  • How to identify the right influencers.
  • How to find the right engagement tactics.
  • How to measure the performance of your programs.

Critical Data for Audience Insights 

Is this even possible? Yes, it is. I’ve already written about how Chobani uses sponsored videos to stir up yogurt sales and market share, GE’s sponsored videos electrify B2B and B2C audiences, and Dollar Shave Club’s video campaigns are doing just great.

In addition to these examples, I just looked at Tubular’s DealMaker and saw that 9,994 brands have sponsored 11,100 content partners, who’ve uploaded 49,500 videos in campaigns across 24 industries, 21 genres, and 123 countries in the last 90 days. So, it appears that lots of brands are kicking the tires of this alternative approach.

Tactical advice for Video Marketers and Creators

Even after you identify the right influencers, you still need to find the right engagement tactics. I provided a number of tips and best practices in “Schmooze optimization: What it is and why it expands views, engagements, and earnings on YouTube” as well as in “Schmooze optimization 2: The search for more B2B video success.” Yes, both of these articles were written back in 2013. But, I was either ahead of my time, or (more likely) no electronic-communications superhighway, no matter how vast and sophisticated, will ever replace the art of the schmooze. But, you also need to know how to measure the performance of your programs. Well, you’re in luck. I wrote a three-part series last fall on the:

In other words, long-time readers of Tubular Insights already know how to overcome these hurdles.

Trends in Digital Video Marketing

So, let me close with this honest analysis of these latest trends in the digital video marketing business. Unfortunately, they appear to be remarkably similar to the trends in the advertising business that David Ogilvy wrote about in 1983 in his classic book, Ogilvy on Advertising. Back then, Ogilvy lamented “the cult of creativity” and declared, “When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that by buy the product.” He added that creative types who have a contempt for research “occasionally luck into a successful campaign, but you will run the risk of skidding about on what my brother Francis called ‘the slippery surface of irrelevant brilliance.’”

And my favorite chapter in Ogilvy on Advertising is Chapter 15: “18 miracles of research.” It begins with this warning: “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”

So, it’s sad that we still need to discuss the strategic symbiosis of data and creative in 2017. I would have thought that we’d already learned this lesson a long time ago. But it looks like the “Mad Men” era never ended.

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Why Paying Celebrity Influencers $500,000 for a #Sponsored Video Ad May Not Give You the Best ROI [Advertising Week 2017]

Why Paying Celebrity Influencers $500,000 for a #Sponsored Video Ad May Not Give You the Best ROI [Advertising Week 2017]

On Monday, I attended several sessions at Advertising Week, including #Sponsored and The Rise of Celebrity Influencers for Subscription & E-Commerce Marketing. If you want the read the top news stories from Advertising Week, I can recommend Adweek’s coverage of the event. But, you already know that Tubular Insights is no longer be reporting news. Instead, we are focusing on delivering strategic insights, critical data, tactical advice, and trends in the digital video marketing business. And the biggest epiphany that I experienced while listening to panelists talk about #Sponsored content and the value of celebrity influencer marketing for small businesses, subscription boxes and services, and e-commerce was the answer to this question: “Is it worth paying Kim Kardashian West $500,000 for a #sponsored #ad?”

Celebrity Influencers & Sponsored Content

Now, no one actually mentioned Kimberly Kardashian West during the sessions that I attended. But, none of the influencers on any of the panels that I attended disclosed how much they get paid by brands to create a sponsored video. But in the session moderated by Ashley Iaconetti, a reality TV personality who first appeared on ABC’s The Bachelor, it became clear why Paul Desisto, a senior talent agent at Central Entertainment Group (CEG), Jolie Jankowitz, the Director of Influencer Marketing for FabFitFun, and Caitlin McLarnon, the Growth Marketing Manager of the US division of HelloFresh, have all worked with Ashley before and would love to work with her again.

Yes, Iaconetti is a fan favorite because she is very open with her emotions. But, CEG’s clients, FabFitFun, and HelloFresh are all trying to leverage influencers to improve their company’s bottom line. And Iaconetti provides a better return on marketing investment (ROMI) than Kardashian West, who is also a reality television personality, would. Wait! How do I know that? Nobody even mentioned Kim Kardashian West during the session on The Rise of Celebrity Influencers for Subscription & E-Commerce Marketing. And nobody mentioned what they had paid or would pay Ashely Iaconetti, either. But, we do know what the Kardashians ask for.

According to “This Is How Much the Kardashians Get Paid for One Instagram Post,” by Sarah Karmali in Harper’s Bazaar UK, Michael Heller, the CEO of digital-marketing firm Talent Resources – the company that arranges many of the reality-TV family’s deals – told US Weekly that some companies have been known to pay up to $500,000 to get access to Kim Kardashian’s (103.3 million) Instagram followers, while sisters Khloé and Kourtney can earn up to $250,000 a post.” (They have 69.1 million and 58.7 million followers respectively).

So, there you have it: You could call it the Kardashian Standard. But, it should come with the following warning: This is what you’d have to pay if you measure influencers on only one dimension: Reach.

Engagement: The Influencer Metric That Matters

But, Desisto, Jankowitz, and McLarnon don’t use any of the Kardashians. But, they all use Iaconetti. Why? Because they measure more than reach; they also measure engagement. And based on my analysis of what they did and didn’t say during the session, they know how to calculate ROMI.

Now, return on marketing investment (ROMI) is calculated using a different formula than the typical return-on-investment (ROI) formulas that most chief financial officers (CFOs) use. It’s different because ROMI measures operational expenditures (OPEX), while ROI measures capital expenditures (CAPEX). But, the amount spent on marketing is typically expensed in the current period (quarter); it isn’t “tied up” in plants and inventory. So, when most CFOs ask their chief marketing officers (CMOs) to report the ROI of an influencer marketing campaign, they’re asking for the wrong measure of success.

Here’s the formula for calculating ROMI: / Marketing Spending ($).

So, Kim Kardashian West charges brands $500,000 for a single Instagram video post like this one. It appeared Aug. 22, 2016, and got more than 16 million views.

Instagram Photo

Well, SugarBearHair, the sponsor of Kim’s Instagram post, charges $79.99 for a 3-month supply of Gummy Hair Vitamins. And, let’s say that SugarBearHair’s contribution margin is 50%. This is a scientific wild ass guess (SWAG). So, Kim’s #ad needed to generate over 25,000 orders to deliver $2 million in incremental revenue – / $500,000 – for SugarBearHair to get an ROMI of 1. In plain English, Kim’s Instagram post needed to generate $2 million in orders for SugarBearHair to see $1 in profit for every $1 it spent on her sponsored content. Usually, marketing spending will be deemed as justified if the ROMI is positive.

But, what if Desisto, Jankowitz, and McLarnon had identified 10 micro-influencers who didn’t have Kim’s reach, but had an even greater impact on the purchase decisions of their followers. And let’s say they paid these micro-influencers an average of $25,000 apiece to generate $3 million in orders. Do the math and you’d get / $250,000 = an ROMI of 5. In other words, they got $5 in profit for every $1 they spent on sponsored content. Yes, it took more work to find 10 micro-influencers with above average engagement rates, but that effort resulted in more revenue and higher profits.

That’s the strategic insight that I had while listening to panelists talk about #Sponsored content and the value of celebrity influencer marketing for small businesses, subscription boxes and services, and e-commerce. That’s the biggest takeaway that I’ve had so far from Advertising Week. Let me know what you think about my big epiphany. Share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

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Facebook Tests Pre-loaded ‘Instant Videos’

Facebook doesn’t want you burning through your mobile data plan just to keep watching its videos. That’s why it’s testing a new feature called Instant Videos that downloads and caches Facebook videos to your phone while you’re on Wi-Fi so you can watch them on the go for free. Users will see lightning bolt icons on pre-loaded videos ...

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Superheroes and Nostalgia Drive Warner Bros. Social Video Strategy

Superheroes and Nostalgia Drive Warner Bros. Social Video Strategy

Since 1923, Warner Bros. has been one of the leading entertainment brands in the film and television industries. Founded by four brothers whose family had emigrated to Canada from present-day Poland, Warner Bros. is known for contributing some of the most famous entertainment titles to date, such as the Looney Tunes animations and characters and the World War II romantic classic Casablanca. The company was originally named Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. but now operates under the title Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. Regardless of what it’s called, the company not only knows its way around the silver screen, but around the small, social one, as well.

Across the main social video platforms, all Warner Bros.’ properties boast more than 200 million followers and subscribers. These fans routinely visit the brand’s social video accounts for content related to their favorite franchises, like Harry Potter, The Lego Movie, and anything having to do with Superman, Batman, and other DC Comics characters (more on that in a bit). We took a deep dive into some of the top-level Warner Bros. film and entertainment-related social accounts to see how the company operates its online video strategies as well as what content performs best on various platforms. Here’s what we found:

Warner Bros. Has a Sweet Spot with Comic Book Content

Warner Bros. is closely tied to its comic book property DC Comics, which recently contributed the blockbuster hit Wonder Woman to Warner Bros.’ summer repertoire. As of now, the Gal Gadot-starring flick has pulled in just over $407 million in the U.S. alone, a good $77 million more than DC’s 2016 Batman v Superman. Clips based on Wonder Woman didn’t perform so shabbily, either, with official trailers and teasers for the film pulling in millions of views each.

But it’s not Wonder Woman videos which have landed in the top ten spots on official Warner Bros.’ social video channels. Instead, that distinction belongs to some of the Amazonian warrior’s fellow counterparts in the DC universe (despite some of their films performing less favorably than hers). Five out of the top ten clips, in fact, relate to either Batman, Superman, or the gang of ruffians from the Suicide Squad franchise.

The Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad films were highly anticipated in their own ways over the last few years, so it’s unsurprising videos related to these flicks are some of the most popular Warner Bros. content to date. For example, the first official trailer for Suicide Squad, posted on January 20 of 2016, has garnered over 82.7 million views to date, as well as a favorable 30-day average engagement rate (ER30) of 1.2x and an average 30-day view count (V30) of 38.9 million. The trailer currently holds the third position of most-watched videos across all Warner Bros. social accounts.

While the trailer for Suicide Squad was certainly impressive in terms of views and ER30, fans of comic book content watched the film’s first-look teaser even more. That clip, released at Comic-Con in 2015, generated an impressive 48.1 million V30. The video with the next-highest V30 was the 2015 Comic-Con trailer for Batman v Superman, at 42.7 million. This teaser also claims the title of most-commented video of all time for Warner Bros. Pictures with just over 98k comments on YouTube alone.

Ed Sheeran Contributes His Talents for Warner Bros.’ Most-Watched Video of All Time

At this point, it’s obvious Warner Bros. is closely linked to DC Comics. In many cases, the two can almost be considered inseparable. However, the entertainment company’s most-watched video of all time actually stems from another well-loved franchise which has more to do with hobbits, elves, and dragons than it has to do with flying men, vigilante superheroes, and Amazonian warriors.

The clip in question is the music video “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran (whose recent album release helped land him top positions on the leaderboards for a few months running earlier this year). The song was created for the Warner Bros.-distributed film The Hobbit, and the combination of the wildly popular British singer-songwriter and one of the most beloved book and film franchises of all time ensured the clip’s long-term success. The music video claims almost 85.2 million views to date.

“I See Fire” also hit home with viewers around the world, as the clip generated great engagement rates across various social platforms. On YouTube, the Sheeran-led song saw 590k total engagements, while on Facebook, the video pulled in 218k engagements in the form of likes, shares, and comments.

Don’t Forget the Cat and Mouse Duo of Tom & Jerry

When analyzing most of the top-level properties of Warner Bros., including some of its home entertainment division and television outlets, we discovered another interesting viewing preference of the company’s audiences. Years ago, viewers turned their attention to the old cartoon Tom & Jerry.

Originally launching as a series of short films in 1940, Tom & Jerry has become one of the most well-recognized animation brands in the entire world. In 2006, Warner Bros. created a new series based on the cat-and-mouse duo which is always battling each other for superiority through slapstick humor. Now, three of the top ten clips on Warner. Bros. social accounts stem from Tom & Jerry content.

The second most-popular video of all time, for example, is a March 2010 snippet from season one of Warner Bros. Tom & Jerry Tales. This video currently boasts 83.3 million total views, roughly 2 million short of Sheeran’s “I See Fire” music video. Additionally, spots #8 and #9 on the top ten Warner Bros. videos belong to Tom & Jerry clips, too.

Much like Warner Bros.’s #1 Hobbit-related video, the nostalgia of the Tom & Jerry franchise is likely a contributor to these clips’ success. When these videos were published to YouTube in 2010 and 2013, other platforms weren’t the big video destinations they are today, and both Gen X-ers and millennials who grew up with Saturday morning cartoons were already familiar with the Tom & Jerry label. Therefore, it only made sense for Warner Bros. to distribute these clips on YouTube. Speaking of which…

YouTube Is the Platform of Choice for Warner Bros. Fans

While publishers around the globe have flocked to Facebook for its promise of massive audience reach, some have found their fans still want to spend time on YouTube with their content, and might even prefer to watch videos on that platform first and foremost. The U.S.-bsed Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube channel, for example, appears to be one of these brands, as the company boasts a large following of 4.4 million on that platform alone, accounting for 37% of Warner Bros. Pictures’ total social reach. And if you haven’t already noticed from the embeds in this article, all of the top ten videos across Warner Bros. social accounts from around the world are YouTube videos.

Here’s some more Tubular data showing the popularity of Warner Bros. Pictures content on YouTube

  • 105 million total video views in July 2017, roughly 96% of all views on Warner Bros. content for the month
  • 3 billion total views since the channel’s inception
  • 2642 videos uploaded to Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube channel as of this writing
  • 1.1 million average views per video
  • 35.6% of YouTube audience hails from the United States
  • 88.3% of total YouTube subscribers are male, with 42.5% of them aged 18-24

These stats can almost be replicated across all of Warner Bros.’ social video accounts. Even if the company has more followers on other social sites, the majority of its views still stem from YouTube. The Warner Bros. Entertainment account, for example, claims 62% of its social reach on Facebook, but still 96% of the company’s nearly 8.7 million July 2017 views came from YouTube.

The success of Warner Bros. on YouTube could be attributed to a number of factors, but the most likely cause is that film aficionados have been defaulting to YouTube for years when it comes to watching movie trailers and teasers. That habit can be hard for any other platform to break when YouTube is ingrained in fans’ viewing behaviors. Instead of fighting this situation, however, and trying to push similar content onto other platforms, Warner Bros. has embraced what format works best for its company on each social site, knowing YouTube is where its audience will go when it comes to watching 2- to 5-minute clips surrounding franchises its viewers love.


Warner Bros. Entertainment is a prime example of a brand which knows exactly what it stands for (entertaining viewers through movies and television) and serves that type of content exactly where its audience wants it (predominantly through YouTube). While other movie studios and TV networks have found success releasing small samples of video content on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, Warner Bros. has deliberately stuck with YouTube, supplementing that platform strategy with videos spread across other sites. Unless something drastic happens, we suspect Warner Bros. to have continued success as a YouTube publisher for years to come.

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How Jungle Creations is Winning Sponsored Video on Facebook

How Jungle Creations is Winning Sponsored Video on Facebook

In the whirlwind proliferation of publishers uploading video content to Facebook, the story of Jungle Creations stands out as particularly impressive. In just three years, the company’s social video stock now gets over 3.7 billion views per month, and as one of the world’s most-viewed media properties, its solid stable of Facebook Pages averages an extra billion views a month compared to this time last year. With its flagship Facebook channel, ‘VT‘, generating an average of 3.8M views per video, it’s no wonder the industry is sitting up and taking notice.

So successful has the media publisher been in tapping into the public’s insatiable appetite for engaging video content, it has grown far beyond its initial offering. Jungle Creations has firmly established itself as a leading producer of sponsored video content both in the UK and beyond, and is working with some of the world’s leading brands on a range of innovative campaigns aimed at reaching a wider audience. We talked to Jungle Creations about its programming and distribution strategy around social video, and how it has grown its sponsored video package so that the big brands are flocking to work with them. But first, a little about the company and the impact of sponsored video on the UK market.

Jungle Creations: A Viral Phenomenon

So, who are Jungle Creations? One title I had in mind for this post was ‘the biggest media publisher you’ve never heard of’, which while catchy, is no longer strictly true. If you spend any time on Facebook then the chances are a Jungle Creations video has popped up in your News Feed – either because you have subscribed directly to one of its Pages, or because one of your connections has engaged with one of their video uploads.

The publisher has an enviable portfolio of Facebook properties including ‘VT’ (fka Viral Thread), ‘Twisted’, ‘‘Food Envy’, ‘‘Nailed It’, ‘‘Four Nine’, ‘‘Bosh‘,  ‘The Aardvark’, and ‘Joystix’, and it consistently appears in Tubular’s leaderboard of most watched media and entertainment properties, alongside BuzzFeed, Disney, and The LADBible group. Not bad for a company that founder Jamie Bolding started from his bedroom, right?

Top Media & Entertainment Properties – Global August 2017. All data via Tubular

Bolding kicked off his multi-million pound venture with a listicle post (“Twenty People You Will Meet at Fresher’s Week” for you fact fans), and the brand has since grown to employ well over 100 people. It operates out of East London, with state of the art video production, and post-producion facilities all under one roof. The fact that all its operations are in-house is a huge plus not only for the publisher, but also for the brands and partners they work with.

The company has fully embraced the verticalization of content on social platforms, and now offers a huge variety of video to many different audiences. Its original channel, ‘VT’, has been joined by a range of others including ‘Twisted’, ‘Bosh’ and ‘Food Envy’ which cater to food lovers, ‘Nailed It’ which uploads videos around DIY, and ‘Joystix’ which is all about the gaming community.

Viral Thread rebranded to ‘VT’ in August, and is shifting its focus to producing more original content. However, engaging viral content uploaded to the page remains a firm favorite with its 18.3M followers, and the views generated on the page made ‘VT’ the third most-watched property on Facebook in August 2017.

The most viewed, and most engaged ‘VT’ upload of the past 90 days is  ‘When you meet someone new and find out they’re rude’. To date, it has attracted 115M views (47.4M in the first 3 days!), and 3.7M engagements in the form of likes, shares, and comments.

Sponsored Video Content in the UK: £100M Industry

The UK market for Facebook branded content is growing at a blistering place, and Jungle Creations are perfectly positioned to bridge that gap between consumer demand and brand outreach. According to a brand new report from Tubular Labs on UK Facebook Sponsored content (which you can download by clicking on the blue button below), the number of UK partners and sponsors publishing branded content on Facebook has grown nearly 300% year-on-year.

Facebook branded content in the UK is estimated to be worth over £100M per year, with the British market for this form of branded advertising is growing at nearly 500% year-on-year. You can get the latest insights on sponsored video in the UK by clicking the link below.

Download the NEW DealMaker UK Sponsored Video Content Report Now

Jungle Creations is one of the major players in the UK sponsored video ecosystem,  partnering with household-name brands to publish sponsored content on its Facebook properties. Partnerships with brands are an important part of the Jungle Creations business model, and successful campaigns with Oreo, Stork, and Baileys among many others mean that the publisher tripled its share of sponsored views between Q1 and Q2 2017, and grew their share of sponsors by 65%.

Data for sponsored Facebook videos uploaded during Q2 2017 by UK partners only. Source: Tubular Labs DealMaker

Jungle Creations and Sponsored Video

We spoke to Mitch Strong (Commercial Partnerships Director), and Melissa Chapman (CCO) about how the Jungle Creations works with partners to create sponsored video campaigns while remaining faithful to the JC brand.

Tubular: What sponsored video brand campaigns have you been really excited to work on?

JC: Oreo was our first really big campaign, and we worked with them as part of our ‘Twisted’ channel, to create engaging content around the promotion of two new flavours – Mint Choc Chip and Strawberry Cheesecake. We created 6 recipe videos for the ‘Twisted’ channel, plus two video articles, and a live stream with an influencer to help raise awareness for the new flavours. We guaranteed 8M UK views but actually generated 13M, and the added value of global views was huge because we didn’t cage the campaign.

Note: You can read more about the Twisted/Oreo case study here. The video below, for Mint Oreo Dirt Deserts has generated 3.4M Facebook video views to date:

The brand was so pleased with the return on investment they become a repeat customer, and we recently worked with them on another successful campaign. We created an idea, and sent it over on spec to see if it was something they might be interested in us creating for them. They confirmed they had some budget money left off the back of a different campaign so asked us to create a set of videos based on our idea. We turned the videos around in 3 days and the videos went live the week later. The whole process took only about 3 weeks which is an incredibly fast turnaround for this type of campaign. We continue to work with Oreo to get their brand message out across the UK.

With ‘Twisted’, we also worked with Stork on a new baking range they were launching. The target audience was Millennial women, and housewives with children, which is very much aligned with the ‘Twisted’ audience who are 63% female, mostly aged between 18-35. We created some really cool recipes, for grown-ups, and for grown-ups to create with children. In the past, their digital campaigns have tended to be very traditional but they trusted our creative process.

Tubular: Are most of your campaigns UK focused?

JC: We’ve built up a massive global reach so can support any client that wants their campaigns to go active around the world.

Tubular: Do you have all the resources you need in-house?

JC: Yes, we have everything here – sales, creative, social, video production, post-production, distribution, analytics, paid advertising, and more. We don’t outsource anything, and that’s the USP to agencies and brands. We keep everything under one roof and all departments feed into each other, and fully support each other. Because we immediately see the results from our pitches and our campaigns, we can go directly to the teams involved and discuss what did or didn’t work, and fix anything we need to. It also speeds up the process, both for us and the client, and with the help of Tubular software and data, and our own social team, we have access to all the analytics data we need.

Tubular: Do you put a lot of paid resources behind campaigns?

JC: We can but we try not to. Most of the time we can achieve the results we set out to via organic distribution and promotion. They way we see it, if sponsored content is going to live on any of our channel properties, we are acutely aware of the audience for those channels, and that content should do fantastically well based on the audience we have built up. If we have to put money behind any content we publish to our channels then we haven’t done enough organically to get it where it needs to be.

Tubular: What’s your strategic plan behind building your social channels?

JC: As we’ve expanded over the past 4 years, we’ve created 14 different verticals for very specific audiences, so we can offer almost any one of those verticals as a good fit for a particular brand. That’s a huge advantage because we don’t have to rely on just the one channel, and then constantly adapt that channel to fit the content.

With ‘Twisted’, we saw the opportunity to work with major food and drink brands, keeping in mind there always has to be a consumer, B2C demand too, because you need that growth for it to be sellable to brands. So we keep both those goals in mind when we launch a channel – that there’s a market for this vertical, and also an audience for it. We had a very specific goal for ‘Twisted’ which was to focus on the ‘wild and wacky’ side of food, and that really hit a nerve with our audience.  We built up a following on Facebook of 1 million in just 8 weeks – and we didn’t pay for any kind of promotion! Our audience just got it right away, especially with content like our ‘Camembert Hedgehog Bread’ video.

Our clear goal is to build something that we can take to the agencies and brands and say look at what we’ve got and understand how we can leverage that for you. We are really dedicated to building these channels as the stats look so great on sales decks (for example: 1 million followers in 8 weeks for ‘Twisted’). Our social and content teams love growing the channels and find it very rewarding. So, we put a lot of investment, time, and effort into growing the channels, not only to be able to sell them to brands and agencies, but also to build a solid brand and a voice for Jungle Creations, and that’s invaluable to us.

Tubular: If you’re creating video content for a brand, does it always have to sit on one of your own channels?

JC: 99% of the time it does, yes. We usually state in the contract that we would post any sponsored video content on our channel although we can set the brand up as an advertisers so they are able to carry out digital targeting to hit a niche audience. But we also sometimes supply white-labelled content that they can post on their own channels, which sets us apart from a lot of our competitors.

But influencer/recommendation channels are much better in terms of reach and engagement. For instance, Oreo has many followers but we can generate significantly more engagement for Oreo content on Twisted. Our content team makes sure that when sponsored videos are published, we are nurturing that engaged audience on our channels so there’s that build-up of trust in all our posts. People don’t mind being advertised to, as long as it’s good, entertaining content, and that has always been our mantra. It’s also why we consistently get high engagement on an advert, and that’s why we are confident in selling our service to brands and agencies.

“People don’t mind being advertised to, as long as it’s good, entertaining content”

One bad campaign can effectively ruin your chances with other brands, particularly when we are reliant on a central group of agencies to broker on our behalf. We have faced a few stumbling blocks where the brand has wanted a little more creative control, and we’ll work closely with those brands to gently confirm why their ideas may not work with our audience. We back those assertions up with insights and data and build that trust. We’re not saying no to be arrogant, we saying no because we know what works. It would be very easy to take the money for some of the distribution deals we have been offered, but we also have to consider our channels and the impact one misguided ad can have.

Using Tubular’s Dealmaker software, we can mine the data to find sponsored partnership opportunities and also confirm which brands our competitors are working with. Of course, we’re also aware that our competitors can use the software to mine the details of our campaigns, and we don’t want to give any deals away due to poor performance or judgement on our part – the JC brand is too important. We have such a good track record with all the brands we work with because we don’t just approach a deal from a sales perspective. We’re also going to be looking after that brand from a content perspective and make sure those campaign goals are achieved.

You can find out how Tubular’s Dealmaker software has helped Jungle Creations gain a competitive edge when it comes to brand partnership deals:

Right now, we don’t really create independent video content for brands where it doesn’t feature on our own channels. But as a production house, we may consider this more and more in the future.

Download Our New Report About Sponsored Video in the UK

If you want to know more about how sponsored video in the UK is performing then please download the full report below. It contains invaluable insights for any brand, video marketing team, or creator who wants to know more about about sponsored video opportunities. The research was produced as part of the new Dealmaker software from Tubular Labs.

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