As explained in previous L2 posts, garnering a large view count for videos is a pay-to-play game. However, exceptions exist. Of the 200 brand channels analyzed over a one-year period, 56 brands achieved above average channel views, and 10 of those channels did so organically. Red Bull, Chanel, GoPro, and adidas have all managed to achieve robust YouTube viewership without relying entirely on paid advertising. L2’s 2016 Video study finds brands these brands fall into three categories.
Aggressive television advertisers: BMW and Apple spend more on television advertising relative to the competitive set. YouTube becomes a second-screen for those who want to view commercials or discover related content.
Brands as Media Companies: Hosting eight channels with 25,000 to 175,000 subscribers each, Red Bull is a content company that sells beverages. GoPro is another consumer company with a focus on media; it launched the GoPro Awards in October 2015, allocating $5 million a year to reward content creators that submit photos and raw video clips. GoPro Awards videos received on average 317,000 organic views in the first quarter of 2016, 17,000 more than other GoPro YouTube Content.
Celebrity Powerhouses: Chanel and adidas are particularly adept at leveraging celebrity power. For example, Chanel’s #EyeCanBe campaign featuring actress Kristen Steward received no spend on YouTube and accumulated 842,000 organic views on YouTube.