How to Align Your Brand with GARM Standards [What to Know]

Today’s brands are increasingly concerned about responsible and conscious advertising, recognizing the value of showing their ads with digital media content that promotes a safer and more positive online environment for all. And doesn’t get them into trouble by avoiding possible brand safety issues. However, without clear frameworks and standards in place, it’s difficult for brands to understand exactly what they should and should not avoid. 

The Global Alliance for Responsible Media set out to change this, initially forming in 2019 to create a forum for brands, advertisers and tech companies to partner to combat safety issues and craft safety standards that can be easily adopted. 

What Is GARM and How Did It Start?

GARM stands for Global Alliance for Responsible Media, a cross-industry initiative formed by the World Federation of Advertisers. GARMtackles the challenges of harmful content on various digital media platforms and its monetization through advertisements.

These standards aim to unite media companies, platforms, marketers, agencies, and industry organizations in creating a safer digital media ecosystem by limiting the presence of harmful online content. But to achieve such a collaborative effort, there has to be a clear definition of harmful, sensitive content using consistent and concise language.

The GARM standards identify 13 ‘evil’ categories to label content, a safety floor to prevent monetization of harmful content, and risk levels to describe acceptable exceptions on sensitive content for brands.

How Is GARM Related to Advertising?

GARM developed and adopted common definitions for classifying harmful content so that those in the advertising industry have the same understanding. By establishing the GARM standards, advertisers have solid guidelines to recognize unsafe and unsuitable digital media content and avoid sponsoring it. The definitions allow agencies and platforms to make strategic decisions crucial to the industry.  

What Agencies Use GARM?

Brands, advertising agencies, industry associations, and third-party companies have embraced GARM standards and encouraged adoption to promote responsible advertising on digital media. Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram have created brand safety metrics, but they continue to use their custom taxonomies as standards.  

How Can GARM Standards Be Utilized?

Platforms, agencies, marketers, and brands can use GARM standards differently. For example, platforms may adopt and enforce monetization policies by mapping these against the brand safety floor and suitability framework. On the other hand, agencies and marketers may leverage GARM standards when designing campaigns and choosing to invest in platforms. As for brands, they can utilize the framework to ensure they’re supporting the right type of content.  

4 Initiatives to Meet GARM Standards

As a company, how do you align your brand with GARM standards? Below are a few tips.

1. Understand the Framework

A clear understanding of the brand safety floor and suitability framework lets companies know what content is unsafe and sends the wrong message about brand values, impacting consumer perception. For example, you want your brand to be seen as aggressive and on the attack, so you pick these words and related verbiage as keywords for your campaign. However, your ads may end up in content with a pro-war sentiment.  

2. Examine Current Keyword Blocklists

Utilizing keyword blocklists is not a cure-all for ensuring your brand complies with GARM standards; sometimes, they may be the reason you’re supporting limited content, affecting your ad reach.

The brand suitability framework sets risk levels at which sensitive content is acceptable or appropriate to balance freedom of speech and public safety. For example, the keywords attack and battle may be preventing your brand from accessing great content simply because these terms relate to war.  

Evaluating current blocklists and comparing these to GARM standards reduces the risks of over-blocking content, particularly from trustworthy creators. 

3. Ask for Consistency and Transparency

The challenge of meeting GARM standards shouldn’t be left on your shoulders alone; your vendors can also share the responsibility. Demand transparency and consistency by looking into their metrics, taxonomies, and how they measure compliance.

4. Collaborate with the Right Partners

Heavy reliance on keyword analysis results in false positives and low precision for your brand campaigns. That’s why tech providers have developed machine learning models to label content better and more thoroughly based on reviews, allowing advertisers to be more aligned with GARM brand suitability.  

Align Your Brand with Channel Factory

GARM standards provide a solid foundation for ensuring brand safety and brand sustainability, but it’s a foundation that can also be built upon. Channel Factory goes the extra mile in adding additional categories for suitability in addition to the Brand Safety categories instituted by GARM. This additional filtering ensures the highest customization possible for your brand. Contact us today to see how we can partner with you, or visit the rest of our site to learn more.  

The Future of Video Ads

Youtube video ads and video for social media ads are becoming increasingly popular in the advertising world. You can hardly watch something online these days without first seeing an ad. But are they just a passing trend?

We’re happy to report that the future of video ads is incredibly bright. In fact, Youtube video ads should absolutely be a part of your advertising strategy if they aren’t already. Here are just a few reasons why video ads are the future of marketing.


Here are just a few reasons why video ads are the future of marketing.

1. Video Ads Humanize Your Brand

More and more, we see that consumers prefer and respond better to a more personal approach to advertising. Video advertising is the perfect medium for this more personal, human method.

Video ads allow you to tell a story and influence your audience’s perception. You can show them around your warehouse to see the quality of your product firsthand or create a vlog to experience a “day in the life” with you. You can help your audience see you as human and relatable through video.

Forbes reports that customer testimonials, tutorial videos, and demonstration videos are the three most effective types of video marketing. Having influencers and consumers create testimonials, or how-to videos of your products associates an already trusted face to your brand. Rather than feel marketed to, consumers are more likely to feel that they are receiving a recommendation from a friend.

2. Video Ads Are Infinitely Shareable

Video ads are the future because they can be shared and gain traction on their own. Incredibly, 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others. Video advertising is the most likely content type to be shared on social media.

These are organic (free) engagements that push your content to more and more people. Not only can they be shared over and over, but when a video gains traction, your advertising costs can remain low because you aren’t paying users for engagement. A good video ad will spread by itself.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of video ads is the lasting impact they can leave. A Small Business Trends article reports that “80% of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days.” If you can create a video ad that goes viral or becomes a meme, your ad could remain popular on the internet for a long, long time. A Small Business Trends article reports that “80% of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days.”

3. Video Ads Provide a Better Return on Investment

The most compelling argument for Youtube video ads is in the numbers. Here are just a few statistics that demonstrate how profitable videos for social media ads truly are:

  • 88% of marketers are satisfied with the return on investment (ROI) of their video marketing efforts on social media. Here are just a few statistics that demonstrate how profitable videos for social media ads truly are:
  • 77% of consumers say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a video.
  • Businesses using video grow company revenue 49% faster year-over-year than organizations without video.

How could video not be the future of video advertising with numbers like these? It’s simple. Videos drive sales.

Find the Content for Your Brand

The future of TV advertising is changing because video ads have evolved to be much more personal than TV ads have ever been. It’s so much easier to target demographics and create personal and humanizing ads that your audience can identify with.

Before, audiences could only engage with TV ads by watching them when they ran during commercial breaks. Now, people can share, like, and comment on video ads.

It’s safe to say that the future of video ads is incredibly profitable and is perhaps the most effective advertisement mode on social media.
For more information about using YouTube video ads as part of your advertising strategy, check out the rest of our site or contact us today.

Why is Diversity Important in Advertising?

Diversity and inclusion are key industry topics right now in advertising. More than ever before, consumers are better informed, and they have more available choices. Data we are seeing states that 69% of consumers want brands to support diverse causes.  This generation cares deeply about diversity and diverse representation in advertising, and their purchases reflect that.

Diversity is important in advertising because media should more accurately reflect the American consumer population and because consumers are more likely to buy something from a company that commits to diversity.

The World Is Changing

If you only experienced the United States through its commercials and ads, you might get the impression we are composed of a nearly homogenous population. While things are greatly improving, there is still room for highlighting diverse voices. 

In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that only 57.8% of the population identified as white alone on the 2020 census. That is barely more than half of the population, indicating that the remaining 42.2% is racially diverse. 

Despite our extremely multicultural population, an article from Forbes reported that “only 26% of African-Americans, 10% of Hispanics and 3% of Asians feel represented in advertising.” 

Part of this may be because 85.4% of the ad industry is white and are simply reflecting their own experiences and subconscious biases in the ads they create. Whatever the cause, this is an issue that needs to change. It is time for advertising to reflect the reality of the beautiful, diverse world we live in. 

Consumers See Themselves

Another reason why diversity is important in advertising is that it allows consumers to see themselves within an ad campaign. Rather than merely sympathize with the actors in a commercial, when consumers see people who look and act like them, that shared experience translates to something stronger: empathy. 

Consumers will be able to make a deeper connection to your advertisement—and to your brand—when they feel seen and understood. On the other hand, when consumers feel they are consistently left out, underrepresented, or misrepresented, it can create negative feelings about you and your company. 

Failure to represent diversity in your advertising may even send a message to your consumers that you only value the business of certain groups. Making a conscious effort to include diversity does not need to be an act of tokenism; rather, it can demonstrate a commitment to equality and fairness within your brand. 

Diversity Is the Future

Perhaps the most compelling reason for companies to demonstrate diversity in their advertising is the increase in consumerism they may experience. Research from Google found that “people are more likely to consider or even purchase a product after seeing an ad they consider to be diverse or inclusive.” 

This was true among all the groups they surveyed, with some ethnic groups such as Black and Latinx reporting even higher percentages than the average. In other words, media diversity is important not just because it makes consumers feel good but because it also translates to more sales for companies. 

An even more sobering fact that shows why diversity matters in marketing is that in a survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults, slightly more than one-third reported ceasing to buy from a brand they felt did not reflect them in their advertising. When consumers feel that companies do not make an effort to include them in their marketing, they do not develop a feeling of brand loyalty. 

Channel Factory Supports Diversity in Advertising

Diversity and inclusion in marketing are important because consumers want to be seen and understood by the companies whose products they purchase. They want to feel as though they matter. When industries succeed at respectfully incorporating diversity into their advertising, they send a message to their consumers that they are heard and valued. 

We support diversity in advertising. We believe it’s the future and the right thing to do. 

To learn more about the future of advertising and doing the right thing by your audience, contact us today

No One Cares About Your Tech – The Art of Marketing to Marketers



B2B marketing has always been thought of as highly technical and crafted for a more sophisticated audience that was less focused on emotion and more driven by other things. Some B2B marketing can be lackluster, diving deep into the weeds with the expectation that the sophisticated human looking at what you’re promoting will be discerning enough to understand complex nuance in a quick image. I don’t believe that is the case.

A friend and fellow B2B marketer, Kevin Brown the CMO of Onbe, a digital payments company, recently said to me, ‘at the end of the day, we are all trying to sell things for our organisation. Whether it’s Skittles or Insurance, you need to make it compelling”.

B2B marketers do face unique challenges – crowded marketplaces, small nuances, time strapped clients, often a lack of category level awareness. For example, a consumer might think ‘why do I need this new, never before seen product when my business is running ok without it?’. I believe B2B marketers still have to inspire and appeal to human emotion.

In today’s fast-paced world, the amount of content and advertising aimed at marketers is overwhelming – an endless onslaught of information designed to prove each product or service is ‘the one’. In technical sectors there is a tendency to ‘blind with science’ – that is, to focus on the in-depth specifications of  a product to prove its worth. But, let’s be honest – does your business audience really care about your tech, or the science behind it?  No. Nobody cares about your tech.

So how can you create compelling content when marketing to marketers? 

Be Authentic

Human relationships are the building blocks for business success. This means building a brand that people want to engage with, by appealing to the human inside the marketer to evoke emotion. By aligning your brand with good, relevant causes and by being more conscious of the communities and greater world around you, is a step in the right direction. 

For example, recent research that we carried out on consumer and brand values shows that consumers actually prefer to buy from brands committed to socially conscious causes – demanding transparency, authenticity and relevant/relatable communications from the brands they engage with.

Speak the Language

Marketing is essentially about communication. B2B marketers are not developers or data analysts. If you are authentic in your approach and have proven results, there is no need to delve into the complex technicalities of a product. Keeping language simple to focus on the idea and the benefits, rather than the functionality, is imperative. 

One thing my boss always says to me is ‘make sure it passes the martian test’. The idea is that if a martian landed from Mars, he or she would be able to understand your message. If it’s too complex to understand the basic theme or idea, it’s too complex for your marketing.

Think Outside the Box

What are slogans that have stuck with you since childhood? Commercials you’ll never forget? One of the best B2B marketing campaigns I’ve ever seen involved an insurance company that created a Compare the Meerkat site with Meerkats that was actually a white label site for comparing insurance. Something that was boring and could have gotten only a few people to visit instead became a huge success. An ad that caught my eye recently was a company that made work so easy that people would just hug their bosses unsolicited. Ideas that grab your attention are not solely  for marketing to consumers. After all, marketers are people at the end of the day. 

My biggest success to date in marketing was when Covid hit and we could no longer do events in person – we pivoted. My team created a YouTube show interviewing other marketers and doing a ‘news of the week’ roundup of the latest in my industry. Product is not easy nor inexpensive, but for less than my monthly event budget, I now have a digital show that can connect globally with marketing and advertising executives. Check it out on YouTube if you’re looking for new ways to connect with audiences. 

To sum it up, my advice for B2B marketers is to not let the idea of marketing to marketers stop you from pushing the boundaries and testing new ideas. And for Pete’s sake, no one cares about your damn tech.








Contributing to a Safer Internet for Kids and Teens


In the age of smartphones and endless means of internet connection, it has become nearly impossible for parents to monitor or safeguard their children’s online activity. It is critical that operators of websites or services that are collecting personal information from an online source directed at children under the age of 13 to collect children’s personal data with parental consent. 

“There’s so much content trying to get our children’s attention. Some of it is really great, some of it isn’t. It’s increasingly difficult for parents to sort through all the content their children hope to consume…” says Shai Samet, the founder of kidSAFE 1. According to a 2018 Parental Controls Report 2, 70% of children (between the ages of 7 and 18) will encounter pornographic or overly violent content while simply regularly using the internet for research and homework. 

A report from the Thorn 3 found that 78% of children (ages 9-12) are using YouTube every day to learn new things, discover new topics, and feel connected to the world around them. While this is important for global understanding and development of interests and skills, it’s important that children have the safeguards around them to hone an experience that’s right for them. 

It is the responsibility of platforms, parents and governments to understand how children are using technology and develop solutions to protect them as they explore online spaces. For too long, tech companies have been able to set these problems aside by saying children are not allowed there. It’s time to take a look at the facts and recognize a need for change. 

Last week, Channel Factory was awarded the kidSAFE+ COPPA Seal 4, an independent safety certification service and seal-of-approval program designed exclusively for children-friendly websites and technologies. kidSAFE 1 reviewed Channel Factory’s targeting methodologies, technology, and data practices around children’s advertising and deemed them responsible, safe, and COPPA-compliant 5

Channel Factory connects with both kids and their parents on YouTube, running ads next to safe and suitable content, while giving brands reassurance that they are following all applicable guidelines and restrictions. The kidSAFE certification reinforces Channel Factory’s dedication to ensure brand safety and data privacy while driving top performance, especially when it comes to kids brands like LEGO & Spin Master.

“Safety online has become one of the most important considerations for brands and marketers when they are planning campaigns — especially when it comes to children’s brands,” said Tony Chen, CEO and founder of Channel Factory. “We pride ourselves on ensuring that brands are appearing in front of the right audience and alongside the right content. That is even more crucial when dealing with kids.”

“Ensuring the safety of children online is of the utmost importance to Spin Master, a leader in children’s entertainment. We believe in working with partners and technologies that are certified to ensure the safety of children through their advertising practices. Channel Factory’s kidSAFE certification 4 helps kids’ brands rest assured that an independent 3rd party has given their stamp of approval to the technology in use.” 

Channel Factory offers a number of benefits for brands that want to reach kids and their parents online. Brands have the freedom to choose content tailored to kids and completely customize video, channel, topic and keyword campaigns for kids. A partnership ensures that brands are in full compliance with regional and Google-level child privacy protection guides and are brand safe and suitable as measured by IAS and DV.

Our kidSAFE+ Seal is a promise to all stakeholders that our technology affects. This certification comes months after Channel Factory announced The Conscious Project, our fight to create a more suitable video ecosystem. Part of creating a better digital experience online is ensuring kids are safe.








What Consumers Think About Conscious Advertising


Conscious advertising has received a lot of airtime in corporate boardrooms this past year. Media agencies such as Havas, GroupM and M&C Saatchi, along with brands like the Body Shop and Channel Factory itself, have all become members of the Conscious Advertising Network, with brands like Coca Cola and Unilever even pausing ad spend to ensure they were supporting the right type of media across social platforms.

The question is, do consumers care whether brands are more conscious of the choices they make in their media investments?

We put that question to 1000 U.S. consumers in a survey earlier this year, and the results are conclusive: consumers want brands to vote with their wallets and ensure they are monetizing the right type of content.1

What Are Consumers Saying?

“What we hear from consumers is that they care what kind of content their favourite brands are funding, what they are supporting and how their investments reflect their values,” said Stevan Randjelovic, director of brand safety and digital risk with GroupM. 

Our research found that 69% of consumers would prefer to buy from brands committed to socially conscious causes such as donating to charities, taking a stand on climate change or ensuring their corporate culture supports inclusivity and diversity.1 

They also want brands to help make the web a safe and more positive place, with 68% preferring to buy from brands who are committed to making online environments more positive, while almost two-thirds would prefer to buy from brands who are committed to making online environments more diverse and inclusive.

Furthermore, they want brands to make more deliberate decisions about the relevance of their ads to the content they run on. Contextual targeting is key, as 73% of consumers would be more likely to buy from brands whose ads are relevant to the content they’re consuming on YouTube.1

How Does Conscious Advertising Work?

It starts with the brands and the agencies. “Brands are thinking about media investment in terms of their corporate social responsibility” says Joshua Lowcock, EVP, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer with Universal McCann Worldwide, who joined Channel Factory on stage at the Brand Safety Summit in 2020.”They are trying to reflect ethical, value-based decisions about what’s positive and good for society in their media buying.”

At Channel Factory, we look at conscious advertising like this: a conscious advertiser is one that contributes to a safer, more diverse and inclusive digital ecosystem – by making intentional decisions about media investments and considering relevancy when choosing the audience they wish to target.

What About Conscious Advertising on Social Platforms?

According to research we conducted last year, people are looking for more positive content online. 80% of consumers come to platforms like YouTube to improve their mood.1 On top of that, they want brands to serve them ads that both boost and align with their mood.2 

The mood-shifting allure of social platforms has a lot to do with the people responsible for the content – the creators. Conscious advertising, therefore, requires decisions about them. 58% of consumers would stop watching a YouTube channel if they discovered the creator supported causes they don’t agree with.1

Over half of consumers stated they would have a negative opinion of brands who run their ads on content made by creators whose social values they disagree with. It’s up to brands, then, to avoid creators whose content reflects values their target consumers can’t get on board with. 

It’s tricky though. Social media platforms allow users to post whatever they want. Platforms like YouTube remove universally agreed upon bad actors and content, but the rest is up to brands. 

Brands employ brand safety tools to avoid content which is universally agreed upon to be inappropriate, and brand suitability to ensure their ads run in content that aligned with their unique brand image. 

Conscious advertising requires brands to go one step further. It demands that they tap into their core values and ladder their monetization decisions to those values. Even if consumers disagree, the brand can remain confident in their position because the values are consciously written into their DNA. 

When brands run their ads on content, they monetize it. That monetization reflects a decision by them, and it reflects on what they stand for. And consumers, it seems, are paying attention.


1: Consumer Sentiment and Conscious Advertising, 2021, n1000, US 18-65

2: Content Consumption and Consumer Sentiment Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic, 2020, n1000, US 18-65

Google’s Privacy Move Will Make Contextual Targeting Key

Since Google’s privacy announcement last week, the advertising industry has been discussing what it means for the future of advertising, targeting and measurement. One thing that is certain with Google ads, contextual targeting will become a more important targeting tool. Although the latest announcement sent ripples through the digital advertising industry, brands have already begun to focus on contextual targeting strategies either in lieu of or in addition to their audience targeting.  The trend is clear: we’re headed towards a privacy-first, cookieless future where contextual will again be a major contextual targeting tool in the marketing toolkit.

What You Need to Know

It’s important to know that brands’ YouTube, Google Search and Gmail advertising strategies will remain the same. Logged in users on these platforms will still be individually tracked by Google and brands will still be able to target them. The changes are focussed on the open web, on media inventory that Google doesn’t own but which can be targeted using Google’s AdX ad exchange or the Google Display Network. 

Google’s March 2021 update shed more light on its plans for a cookieless future, having already committed to ending support for 3rd party cookies on its Chrome browser by 2022.  That move followed a growing tide of privacy-first moves by Apple, Safari and Firefox. They all have the goal of stopping users from being tracked across the web and targeted with ads based on the content they’d viewed.

Brands buying ads on non-Google properties using contextual targeting on Google’s ad systems will have to target using audience clusters. Otherwise known as the Federated League of Cohorts (or FLoC) method, this approach aggregates audiences rather than allowing individual people to be tracked and targeted.

On certain publisher sites, such as the New York Times, brands will be able to use their first-party data to target people, as well as the new FLoC options.

The changes will cause brands to re-evaluate their media strategies, and they’ll be looking to contextual targeting ads on Google for some of the answers. 

What Is Contextual Targeting?

Contextual targeting is all about respecting consumer privacy while augmenting the consumer experience. Brands use contextual targeting to run their ads on content that is relevant to their brand, service or product, and consumers receive a more relevant ad experience. 

Behavioral audience targeting finds consumers based on the consumers previous activity online. Focusing exclusively on that type of targeting has downsides. Primarily, it ignores the context people are in when online. Imagine you’re being retargeted for office supplies when you’re looking at restaurant reviews or recipes online. You’re less likely to click on ads relating to printers. However, you’re more likely to engage with a brand like Hello Fresh or McDonalds whose services coincide with the content you’re consuming (and most likely the kind of buying mood you’re in).

In a survey we ran among 1000 U.S. consumers, almost one-third of consumers are all about advertising supporting free content. They just want the ads to be relevant to the content they’re consuming.1 That’s what contextual targeting is all about.

Why Brands Should Prioritize Contextual

Our research shows that when brands align their ads with the context of the content people consume, it makes their ads up to 93% more memorable.2 

Contextual also makes campaigns more effective. We ran a head-to-head test of audience vs. contextual targeting for a major US pizza chain to drive customers to order online. Our custom contextual inclusion list (a list of YouTube videos and channels) drove up to 8.6x more conversions than the audience targeting strategy. Not only that, it drove a 50% decrease in the cost-per-conversion.3 

When brands use contextual targeting, and optimize towards the best performing contexts during their campaign, we’ve seen on average 30% cost efficiencies over time. 

The latest privacy shift is part of a much larger trend towards more consumer friendly experiences. By focusing on content that is contextually relevant to what consumers are consuming online, brands waste far fewer impressions and make their campaigns more efficient and effective. And they give consumers what they’re asking for.


1: Content Consumption and Consumer Sentiment Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic, 2020

2: Contextual Alignment in Video Advertising, 2020

3: Channel Factory Internal Data

Why Luxury Brands Should Be On YouTube in 2022

Luxury brands and glossy magazines have historically been the perfect pair. When the web took over analog content, many luxury brands did what they do best, they bought against that luxury ad inventory online. Now luxury brands own the lion’s share of a few key publications’ digital inventory, as well as the YouTube and programmatic inventory. This strategy helps retain control and ensure safety, relevancy, and audience targeting when it comes to luxury ads. This in turn limits the risk inherent across the web and in particular, on user generated content platforms. 

The challenge with this content strategy, especially on YouTube, is that it can restrict scale and limit growth. That also limits new customer acquisition by missing out on key audiences that engage with a multitude of content. So how can you buy in premium environments on YouTube for luxury brands without sacrificing scale? By being selective, but not overly restrictive in your approach. 

1. Premium Environments & Premium Scale

Up to 27% of YouTube content is broadcast quality. When you think about how vast a platform YouTube is, the number seems small, but it actually reflects millions of videos and billions of views. With the right strategy, it’s possible to run in premium environments and limit non broadcast quality inventory. And within your content targeting strategy, it is important to be prescriptive about the type of content you want to run ads against. YouTube is not a one-size-fits-all platform for advertisements, and luxury brands should expect a level of customization and contextual targeting that matches their brand voice and ethos. 

Channels like Beauty Insider and the Luxury Travel Expert are examples of the type of content that we have suggested certain luxury brands include in their targeting strategies. Channels like these make it possible to run ads on content which reflects a specific image of a luxury fashion, automotive, alcohol or beauty brand.

2. Luxury Consumers Are on Digital

Between 20 and 30% of luxury sales are generated by consumers making luxury purchases outside their home countries.  Restricted tourism, as well as cancellations of fashion weeks and trade shows, impacted luxury brands’ ability to market their brands in the same way.

Meanwhile, watch time on YouTube increased by 80%. And while people watch more, they also are influenced by digital, with more than three-quarters of all luxury brand purchases influenced by digital touchpoints like Google and YouTube. In fact, 48% of affluent consumers use Google to learn about products, and over 40% of shoppers say that they’ve purchased products they’ve seen on YouTube.

3. YouTube is Tailored for Luxury Brand Experiences

The pros of working with YouTube are significant: scale and eyeballs. The challenge with a user generated content platform is that it is an ever evolving sea of content, with 500 hours uploaded every minute. This means that proactive content selection and content targeting is important, particularly for luxury brands. 

Strategy is Key

If a brand is thoughtful about their content strategy, YouTube can be an awesome platform for delivering messages by running exclusively against premium content.  Without a strategy for proactive contextual alignment, we’ve seen luxury brands running up to 23% of their media spend on content that’s not right for their brand, reducing efficiency and potentially opening up risk.

An example of this strategy? Video-gaming channels, while very popular, are not brand suitable for a lot of luxury brands.

CTV Market and Ads

Another benefit of YouTube is the platform’s dominance of the connected TV market. It’s the second largest app for time spent on CTV, and luxury brands are perfect for a bigger screen. 

According to research by Google, CTV ads can drive up to 47% lift in ad recall vs other formats. In a recent campaign we ran on YouTube via CTV, we saw a 97% video-completion rate, which is 10% higher than Google benchmarks for the average video-completion rate.

The Results: Luxury Success with Channel Factory

Channel Factory has worked with many premium and luxury brands from beauty to autos to fashion. We have leveraged our premium content targeting solution to find top creators and videos on YouTube which tastemakers, trendsetters and high net worth individuals are watching and engaging with. 

Through constant optimization of these targeting strategies, we have been able to increase quality scale over time while delivering against the right content for the luxury brand and beating Google click through rates, view through rates, and video completion benchmarks.

YouTube is the ideal destination for premium content and luxury brand experiences. If luxury brands team up with the right partner, they can reduce media waste against the wrong content, and deliver on their KPIs (such as view-through rate and click-through rate) against their audiences.

How to Drive Online Conversions with Trueview for Action

YouTube’s TrueView for Action (now evolving into “Video Action”) campaigns are known for helping to drive down funnel action. YouTube audiences are uniquely engaged and attentive. According to Google, consumers are 2X more likely to pay attention to ads on YouTube vs. on other social media platforms,1 and users are 3X more likely to pay attention to online ads vs. ads on TV.2

What’s even more interesting, YouTube can drives purchase decisions for consumers. Over 40% of global shoppers say they’ve purchased products they discovered on YouTube or from YouTube creators.3 And it all happens at scale, with over 2 billion monthly logged-in users on YouTube.

What does Youtube Trueview for Action do?

YouTube released its  TrueView for Action tool to help brands reach customers in the lower segment of the marketing funnel. It includes audiences, extensions, measurements, and smart bidding machine learning which helps drive ad conversions. 

86% of consumers use Google to search for ideas about what product to buy. YouTube’s TrueView for Action tool helps you grow your business by allowing you to reach audiences who have been searching Google for what you offer.4  Viewers see ads that promote your business with a way for them to take immediate action, and when compared with standard TrueView the results are significant. In some case studies, we’ve seen a 200% increase in conversions and reduced CPA cost vs standard TrueView.5

86% of people use Google to search for ideas about what product to buy. YouTube’s TrueView for Action helps you grow your business by allowing you to reach audiences who have been searching Google for what you offer.4 Viewers see ads which promote your business with a way for them to take immediate action, and when compared with standard TrueView the results are significant. In some case studies, we’ve seen a 200% increase in conversions and reduced CPA cost vs standard TrueView.5

How Does True View for ActionIt Work?

Advertisers can use a variety of different Google property audience types to reach customers based on action, intent, and interest. This is made possible by tracking and consulting the digital marketing ecosystem as well as the goals for brand perception

High Intent Audiences

Mid-Funnel Audiences

It’s smart because even the strongest search campaigns miss undecided shoppers

Brands can layer these audience targeting options with custom inclusion lists that allow them to run in brand-suitable environments contextually aligned with their brand, as well as find high intent consumers.

Pairing these audience approaches can drive effective lower funnel results. Google’s own research shows that TrueView for action campaigns using Custom intent generates 30% higher conversion rates.

How to Use Trueview?

A few top tips on how to use trueview for a for creative approaches that workworks best for TrueView for Action ad campaigns:

  1. Introduce the brand/product early and as a solution to a problem
  2. Show & tell how the brand works and what makes it great
  3. Include a clear call to actioncall-to-action or offer
  4. Use both sight and sound because YouTube ads are 95% viewable & 95% audible.
  5. Build for small screens by using close framing, big text, and bright footage to stand out

Company Examples 

Airbnb wanted to get people thinking about and booking their 5 million listings in 81,000 cities around the world, especially in markets where they face stiff competition. 

They used YouTube for action to drive a 14% increase in bookings, proving a brand campaign can impact sales, as well as a 142% increase in branded search terms.

What this really means

TrueView for Action enables brands to convert intent into action. In conjunction with a strong brand image and plan it can help you meet your goals for reach and conversion. To learn more about YouTube, check out our Ultimate Guide to YouTube and schedule a consultation to learn more about the services from Channel Factory to get your brand in front of the right people. .


1: Google/Ipsos, Video Mobile Diary, US, 2017, n of 4,381 (saw ads occasions). Online video includes video platforms such as YouTube & Hulu, social platforms such as Facebook & Snapchat and TV Full Episode Players like

2: Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, Video Ad Cross-Platform Biometrics Research commissioned by Google. Conducted in the US using 8 advertisements, 4 platforms and 400 participants, 18-35 year olds, Nielsen CNS Lab, Boston, US 2016

3: Google/Ipsos, Global (U.S., CA, BR, U.K., DE, FR, JP, IN, KR, AU), “How People Shop with YouTube” Study, 18–64-year-olds who go online at least monthly and have purchased something in the last year, n=24,017, July 2018.   

4: Google Internal Data, 2020

5: Google Internal Data, 2020   

Brand Suitability Best Practices

Up to 90% of marketers think appearing next to unsuitable content impacts a brand’s reputation1. Building a brand suitability strategy is essential. But where do you start? 

Brand suitability takes a little more thought than brand safety. Brand Safety is about avoiding content that people universally agree should be blocked. Think sexually suggestive, profanity riddled, drug-related or violent content. 

On the other hand, brand suitability is all about the content which, while brand safe, may not be appropriate for a specific brand. Every brand has a unique image, customer base and even geo-location.  Those all factor into their brand suitability profile.

Think ASMR, pranks, or slime.  As we closed out 2020, ASMR counted amongst the most highly viewed channels and videos of the year. But this Internet oddity doesn’t work for every advertiser.

We put together 5 tips to help brands build out their brand suitability strategy.

Tip 1 – Determine the type of content that makes the most sense for your brand

Ask yourself – what audience are we looking to connect with? What types of content might they be watching, and don’t just focus on the obvious stuff. If you’re an auto brand, car buyers may well be watching auto content. However, when launching your new SUV spot, you’re likely considering content new parents might be watching.

Begin by picking 5 channels or videos that you want to surround. Use that as a starting point to build an inclusion list. Companies like Channel Factory use algorithms designed to take that selection of videos and scale them up. We turn them into contextually aligned, brand suitability optimized lookalike video and channel lists you can run ads against.

Tip 2 – What does your brand want to avoid specifically?  

Most brands stand for something, and have a sense of mission, culture, and values. Think about your brand values and what type of content may not make sense for you. That’ll become your brand suitability profile. Are you an auto brand that does not want to appear next to alcohol content, for example?  It’s best to echo your brand values in the content you choose to run ads on and stay away from any themes that may be harmful.

Tip 3 – Think about the types of content that you would consider suitable versus those you would not

Have a think about content which, while brand safe, might be brand unsuitable specifically for your brand. Examples may include ASMR, pranks, video games, music with expletives, primitive/hunting, slime etc.  

While a lot of this is harmless, entertaining content, always be thinking:– if my ad showed up before, during or after this video, what would that association say about my brand?

Tip 4 – Tailor

Brands in multiple markets will want to tailor their strategy by considering local language and cultural factors. Countries like Italy take a much more relaxed approach to nudity, for example, so running ads against slightly racier content might be fine for your brand’s strategy there, but when building your U.S. media plan, that content may be struck. It’s the beauty of culture that it’s so different everywhere – but that same diversity can endanger brands taking a one-size-fits-all approach to their brand suitability profile.

Tip 5 – Consider any applicable laws

Each country has its own laws and advertising standards and that can impact brand suitability. Make sure to be read up on national/regional laws and industry trade bodies who might put limits on the sorts of things you can claim. That might also include what audiences you can target. For example, in the US COPPA laws govern how brands can advertise to kids and LDA laws govern alcohol marketing. Be sure your inclusion list avoids any legal pitfalls around certain audiences and content.

Added Value Tip – Select the Right Partner

Not all media plans are created equal. YouTube contains a lot of video content: sorting, categorizing and evaluating each video and channel’s brand suitability requires sophisticated technology. It only takes one ad to cause headaches for your brand, so choose wisely.