End to end brand safety, suitability & performance on YouTube

Manage Your Placements

Completely customized video environments allows you to protect your brand on YouTube and control advertising with global scale across multiple languages, cultures, and borders.

Protect Your Reputation

Brand reputation is paramount, and its protection has to be tailored to each brand’s specific preferences. What is brand safety at Channel Factory? We use the deepest video data in the industry to build brand safety profiles specific to each advertiser.

Customer Aligned

Industry studies show an overwhelming majority of consumers will turn their backs on brands appearing on content unsuited to their brand. Channel Factory uses ideal videos chosen by the brand to build consumer-aligned video environments.

Maximum Performance

Our constant optimizations harness the speed of YouTube publishing to ensure brand safe alignment and huge scale. Content alignment has been shown to deliver up to 50% higher ad recall than traditional targeting approaches.

Channel Factory’s Methodology

Channel Factory’s human-guided proprietary technology indexes and categorizes every angle of YouTube video and channel content 24/7 and harnesses it to create highly customized YouTube campaigns at scale.

Extensive Video Data

Proprietary software analyzes all video metadata, including audio transcripts, to identify every video and channel element that either works for or against a brand.

Extended Exclusion Lists

100,000+ keywords, videos and channels across 15+ safety categories are updated daily by experts. These exclusion filters scan and index YouTube videos according to unique brand safety profiles.

Custom Inclusion Lists

Our proprietary recommendation algorithm analyzes videos personally selected by brands and builds brand-ideal YouTube ad environments which human reviewers confirm align with their specific needs.

Local Languages

Multiple local language customizations enable brands to specifically tailor their brand campaigns to include or exclude content based on market, language, and cultural customized brand safety sensitivity.

Frequent Optimizations

24 hours can define a YouTube campaign. Channel Factory content packages are constantly refreshed to maintain competitive CPVs against newer, trending inventory for maximum scale and customized brand safety in the world’s most populous, rapid online video environment.

Expert Curators

Human curators stationed across the globe and native speakers attuned to local languages and culture guide immediate safety trend identification and content package personalization.

How to Work with Us

Channel Factory handles YouTube ad campaigns for brands and agencies from start to finish. Our proven approach uses advanced brand safety, guaranteed cost and performance, and full reporting analytics to help advertisers maximize their YouTube ads from first view to checkout.

  • Managed Services

    Fully managed YouTube campaigns with performance and cost guarantees, expert insights and 24/7 support.

  • Self-Service Solutions

    Self-service, curated Trusted Walled Garden content packages fully integrated with Google Ads and DV360.

  • Customizable

    Completely tailored end-to-end software and curated content packages to maximize YouTube advertising.

The Brand Suitability Guide

The complete download on on brand safe advertising on YouTube.

Download it here.


1. What is Custom Brand Safety?

Custom Brand Safety is the mitigation of risk in a brand’s advertising supply chain. It requires brand customization to ensure their ads are seen in environments that align with their profile, message and audience.

2. What Does Custom Brand Safety Include?

Custom Brand Safety curates content within the grey areas left behind after publishers and platforms have removed dangerous and illegal content. It includes a range of categories which brands must establish their approach towards, such as level of profanity, comedy, news and political commentary, sexually-suggestive content. In short, any content that has the capacity to offend, sideline or alienate depending on the brand’s image and customer-base.

3. Why Is Custom Brand Safety Important In General?

  • Brand Reputation: customized brand safety ensures brands stay away from content that could damage its particular persona. A 2019 Channel Factory study showed 33% of U.S. ad executives flagged polarizing social issues as an extreme content risk.
  • Brand Relevance & Ad Effectiveness: customized brand safety helps advertising stay relevant to the content they run on which impacts ad recall, brand awareness lift and consumer response. In a 2017 Google Study, contextual alignment was found to increase Ad Recall by up to 50%.
  • Consumer Perception/Engagement: people infer a link between an ad and where it appears. When there’s a mismatch, consumers alter the way they see that brand. TAG/BSI found in their 2019 consumer survey that 82%+ of consumers would lessen their spend on products advertising in contexts inappropriate for their brand.

4. Why is Custom Brand Safety Important On YouTube?

Custom brand safety on YouTube is vital when you think of the extent of content and rapidity of publishing on the platform. Custom brand safety systems need to be implemented for every market a brand is present in which means adapting to local languages, cultures, and regulations.

  • YouTube is a User Generated Content (UGC) platform with 500hrs of new video uploaded each minute by 50+ million creators, media companies and multi-channel networks (MCNs)
  • 1 billion hours of video is consumed every day
  • YouTube caters to 80+ languages, with 91 localized language platforms
  • YouTube enables free speech across extensive topics and interests
  • People engage with videos with “likes/dislikes” and extensive comments
  • Content can gain rapid, viral traction in minutes

5. What Should Brands Consider?

  • Brand Persona – brands must think about their image and consider what type of content that image aligns with online, especially on platforms like YouTube with rapid publish models.
  • Local Regulations – regional legal and regulatory obligations affect advertising placements and various targeting choices.
  • Local Languages – language is nuanced. Many brands need a foreign language strategy for scale, which means they need a customized brand safety approach for each language, with its own idiomatic peculiarities.
  • Sector-Wide Brand Safety  – every sector has its own specific content issues (think airplane crashes for airlines)

6. How Do You Manage Custom Brand Safety?

  • YouTube brand safety solutions are extensive but it’s up to the brand to work out what’s right for them amidst the remaining content grey areas and build out a custom plan.
  • Proactive, smart brands have customized brand safety strategies in place for every market they’re present in, which includes a framework for what content they choose to exclude as well as actively seek out
  • To build YouTube campaigns which achieve customized brand safety, alignment, scale and engagement, brands should build proactive media plans which identify the video, channel and audience signals which indicate customized brand safety
  • Custom brand safety plans need to include multi-language keywords, contextual and content themes, and assess both videos and overall sites/channels individually.
  • Optimize once campaigns are running to ensure scale and ongoing customized brand safety in a rapid publishing environment.

7. Best Practices for Customized Brand Safety

Brand Safety Guidelines

Brands should develop safe brand guidelines across individual markets, and bear the following factors in mind:

  • Industry sector safety factors in addition to brand-specific ones
  • Customer preferences 
  • Details on content to include and exclude in their media plans which should include plans for regions and local languages
  • Specific directions to stay on the right side of regional regulations and policies, for example COPAA for children’s content and LDA for the alcohol industry in the U.S.
  • Cultural variations in specific countries the brand is present in, which includes local language considerations

Media Research & Planning

Effective media plans are vital to delivering scale on major UGC platforms like YouTube, and include one of the following campaign customizations:

  • Inclusion + Exclusions:  detailed multi-language inclusion lists (comprehensive list of safe, proven videos/channel placements) run in parallel with detailed, local-language optimized, video/channel/keyword exclusion list (videos/channels/keywords ads will avoid)
  • Traditional Contextual Targeting + Exclusion Lists: detailed topic, interest, keyword and other contextual/behavioral targeting run alongside exclusion lists

Media Buying & Optimization

Customized Brand Safety guides both media planning and campaign optimization. Essential elements to include into mid-campaign customized brand safety are:

  • AI/Artificial Intelligence: Video and channel metadata signals which include transcripts of video audio, audience engagement signals, comments, viral traction as an indication of trending topics, etc.
  • Machine Learning: Human curators train technology to guarantee every item of content is proactively vetted, tagged for review and excluded/reintegrated in line with more subjective human decision-making.
  • Human Curation: experts who have the final subjective human say over content inclusions and exclusions and who curate content environments ideal for the brand’s customized safety approach.

8. Customized Brand Safety ROI

Customized Brand Safety is a media buying strategy that delivers optimal advertising outcomes.

While it takes a human and technological village to pull it off, the results pay off. Brands see reputation protection and amplification, improved performance as well as:

Glocal and localized scale unhindered by customized brand safety parameters

Improved ad relevance and engagement

Forward-looking, non-reactive, customized brand safety on rapid-publish platforms

Cost/ad-spend management and savings