During the IAB Newfronts, digital platforms and publishers show off new programming, formats, and advertising capabilities to advertisers. For the past decade, YouTube's NewFront, Brandcast, has entertained thousands of clients in iconic New York City venues with special guests, presentations, and musical performances to showcase the platform’s content and products.
This year’s NewFronts were a bit different. Due to COVID-19 and the global pandemic, gathering in real life was out of the question. With NewFronts pivoting to digital, YouTube took on the challenge firsthand: how do you reimagine the NewFront experience among a sea of livestreamed keynotes?
On June 25th, we launched YouTube Brandcast Delivered, our 9th annual NewFront presentation and first-ever personalized digital experience for top advertisers, brands, partners, press, and YouTube creators.
Throughout the completely reimagined virtual event, we celebrated the diversity of YouTube’s voices and content. Featuring appearances from creators like Patrick Starrr, Questlove, Emma Chamberlain and Alex Rodriguez, we constructed a “personal primetime” for each attendee based on their passions and shared how YouTube’s deep connection to people’s lives means better results no matter a marketer’s goal – from reach and awareness to action.
In a very short amount of time, we created Brandcast Delivered, an experience that brought the magic of YouTube to life through a dynamic interactive registration, physical packages shipped to guests, and customized content tailored to individual business needs.
In pivoting YouTube Brandcast to a digital activation, the team leaned heavily on YouTube’s narrative—Primetime is Personal—and developed the first ever personalized NewFront, a Brandcast Delivered to you and made just for you. Each invitees’ personalized Brandcast Delivered was packed with the latest YouTube trends, tools and insights to help them be successful, and was streamed straight to their living room TV’s served with a DIY pizza kit on the side.
We took our show, which is traditionally 90 minutes, and flipped it on its head. Instead of one spectacular show witnessed by thousands of people, we created something personal; thousands of completely custom 20-minute shows with custom graphics, soundtracks, and content, each to an audience of one. To achieve this, we had to push the limits of technology and creativity. Each show had to be rendered, quality checked, and then uploaded to a personalized website for them to access on show day.
The magic of Brandcast Delivered started with the registration process. Through an interactive website, guests were instructed to create their own unique show. This informed the customization of the content, tailoring every Brandcast to each client’s selections. They had the option to choose from one of five YouTube trends: comedy & entertainment, food & recipes, learning & education, lifestyle & fashion, and sports -- as well as the YouTube talent of their choice - Gordon Ramsay, Josh Gad, Lilly Singh, or Rosanna Pansino -- to deliver their Brandcast to them.
Amongst a sea of purely digital presentations, this was a true mixed reality experience. To help create the perfect watching context–on your couch at home–we sent out physical kits to all guests. Inside was a pizza kit (with–you guessed it–custom ingredients) and a series of context-creating objects like socks, popcorn, a google chromecast and gifts from your chosen YouTube creator. In total, there were 209,952 different possible combinations of the fully customized Brandcast Delivered kits.
More than a cool experience, Brandcast Delivered was our chance to truly embody what makes YouTube unique and real for people.
The intended goal of Brandcast Delivered was to bring awareness to the value of YouTube for advertisers and highlight the deep connection between YouTube and the billions of people who consume content on the platform every month and how that correlates to better marketing results for any advertiser.
Brandcast Delivered was a huge success, engaging 40% more clients YOY and was ranked as the #1 Most Impactful NewFront and Upfront overall, according to the Independent Advertiser Perceptions Upfront and NewFront Impact Report.
Online, Brandcast Delivered generated over 1.2M+ social impressions, 1.6K+ press mentions, and tens of thousands of video views, leaving a lasting digital footprint.