Google just nabbed 20 million real impressions with a fake ad. The company pieced together stock footage to cook up a fictional pizza brand called “Doctor Fork” that was then displayed as a series of ads on YouTube. The brand might be fake, but the experiment revealed what kind of content best whets the appetite of viewers—something food brands might want to keep in mind.
Unsurprisingly, close-up shots of food tempted viewers more than just people eating food. Appealing to all the senses by mixing up audio, visual, and text cues also drives better recall than single sensory ads, according to the experiment’s results; explicit instructions to “imagine” in an ad also resulted in increased recall and favorability.
YouTube is a popular place for food manufacturers to spread awareness. While Facebook accounts for the majority of video views for food brands, YouTube comes in second, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Food. However, brand videos on YouTube tend to be reused television commercials rather than original content. While this may be practical, brands should make sure their repurposed ads are as suitable for their YouTube audience as they are for their TV audience.
While it’s no secret that video is an essential ingredient to a healthy digital presence, just putting out video content is not enough. If a brand wants to have an impact on viewers, it would be worth giving some of Doctor Fork’s digital teachings a try.