Beverage marketers today are faced with the ongoing challenge of finding their way through the ever-growing thicket of media opportunities and getting their ads watched by consumers. Boy, how times have changed since the ’70s when Coke tried to teach the world to sing or offered Mean Joe Green some refreshment! Yes, things were relatively easy back then when there were just a handful of channels and no internet.
Actually, beverage brands, at least for now, have been relatively lucky. While many viewers already record their favorite shows and fast-forward through the commercials, they still tend to tune in to live television events, especially sports. And, as we all know, beer and soda go great with that Sunday game.
But advertising against live sporting events can only go so far. So increasingly, beverages have turned to YouTube, video games, smart phones and any number of other emerging media to reach consumers.
But now comes word that many of the major brands have a lot of work to do when it comes to at least one of these powerful new channels—YouTube. According to a study from digital media company Touchstorm, large beverage brands like Coke are trailing smaller brands when it comes to harnessing the powers of YouTube for marketing. In fact, only 74 brands rank among the top 5,000 YouTube publishers in the Touchstorm Video Index: Top Brands Edition. Says Alison Provost, CEO of Touchstorm: “With only 74 brands appearing in the YouTube top 5,000, it’s clear there’s a significant brand fail on one of the most important platforms today. YouTube has provided a content testing ground where celebrities, users, brands, content producers, retailers, and YouTube stars all have the same tools available to attract audiences. And while brands can afford to buy views and advertise their content, they’ve made very little progress in the organic viewership ecosystem.”
Among the study’s key findings:
•Big brands need to study small brands. Blendtec is in the top 10 yet Coke and Pepsi are not; the Mormon Church ranks yet top global brands Apple and Microsoft do not; Ford Models ranks higher than Ford Motors and Little Tykes overwhelms Toys ‘R’ Us.
Brands need to define the competition broadly. The other 4,926 publishers, which include musicians, teenagers with webcams, and professional content producers, have vastly out-performed brands in finding an audience for their content.
Brands can’t spend their way to the top. About one-third of the brands made the list by buying a significant amount of YouTube advertising, but the other two-thirds got there through organic growth.
International brands build audiences. Brand channels from Brazil, Latin America and Japan make the list, beating out tens of thousands of English-language brand channels.
- And finally, there are two routes to the top. Some brands made the list on the backs of a viral video or two; others made it by publishing less spectacular content more regularly.
The list of 74 brands that place inside the top 5000 channels on YouTube is available at Touchstorm.com.