YouTube Selects ‘Epic Rap Battles,’ Vice News for Next Wave of Ads

/ Jun 12, 2014


Next up on YouTube’s ongoing campaign to market its top channels and creators across traditional and digital advertising outlets: Vice News and Maker Studios’ “Epic Rap Battles of History.”

Starting today, YouTube plans to air TV ads promoting “Epic Rap Battles,” the hit music series from creators Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist, during every game of the FIFA World Cup. These ads will air in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.

TV spots for the Vice News channel will follow in the coming weeks, also airing in those markets. Vice Media had previously announced its inclusion in YouTube’s marketing push for creators during its Digital Content NewFront presentation in May.

This is the second wave of top channels/creators to be promoted by YouTube outside of its platform. Creators Bethany Mota, Michelle Phan, and Rosanna Pansino were feted with ads throughout the spring.

Both “Epic Rap Battles” and Vice News — as well as Mota, Phan, and Pansino — are “Google Preferred,” a new program created by the search giant to highlight the top 5% of channels on YouTube across categories like news, comedy, music, beauty and fashion, and food. The goal of Google Preferred, which was showcased during YouTube’s Brandcast in April, is to make it easier for advertisers to buy premium content on the world’s biggest video site.

In addition to the TV spots, YouTube will also place out-of-home ads on billboards, buses, subways, and metro stations in major US cities.

By running these ads, YouTube hopes to drive more mainstream awareness for its top content, while also capturing the attention of advertisers in those markets.

On the latter front, YouTube plans to go even more direct with Vice News and “Epic Rap Battles.” The company has bought outdoor placements in Cannes, to be present during the annual Cannes Lions festival, according to Ad Age. YouTube will also place ads during VidCon in Anaheim. Both festivals take place at the end of this month.

As with the first group, it won’t be all traditional. YouTube will also run ads across various websites and mobile apps, including YouTube, Hulu, ESPN, Xbox, PlayStation, and Roku.

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