One State’s Foray into Video Advertising on YouTube Paid Off

/ Jul 2, 2014

California

Back in February, Visit California embarked on a digital campaign that entailed YouTube takeover ads featuring a new video showcasing the state’s tourism opportunities every hour for 24 hours. Now, Google has released a case study that shows the impact of the state’s initiative.

As it turns out — and unsurprisingly — it seems that the ad campaign worked.

Visit California, a nonprofit that works with the state’s travel industry, and its record agency, MeringCarson, went to a Google BrandLab workshop in 2013 to learn how to better optimize their digital media presence. The February 2014 YouTube ad initiative became the manifestation of this workshop. Called the Dream365 Project, the launch went by the name “24 Hours, 24 Dreams” and featured on the YouTube masthead in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

The Dream365 Project included Lightbox Ads, full videos in TrueView, and banners in the Google Display Network. Traci Ward, the director of consumer marketing at Visit California, said of the effort, “YouTube is the biggest video platform out there. From a sheer eyeballs perspective, there really isn’t another choice that could’ve done what YouTube was able to deliver.”

And deliver it did, with statistics pointing to a 17% increased likelihood to visit California along with a 7% lift in considering a visit to the westernmost continental state. Google saw a 21% increase in search volume when it came to California travel during the week of the project, and those who saw the ads became much more likely to take a look at the Visit California website. For example, viewers who had seen the ads in the US were 306% more likely to visit the site than their unexposed counterparts, with a whopping 920% increased likelihood for viewers in the UK.

Some of the campaign’s videos even attained viral status. The skateboarding Bob Burnquist’s video achieved over 800,000 views and continues to gain more.

Calling this the “best-received campaign we’ve ever launched,” Ward suggested that the organization will continue to place content on YouTube through the Visit California channel, where the videos from the Dream365 Project currently reside.

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