This guy is known as Pewdiepie. You can decide he’s a weirdo (he is). You can think his videos aren’t interesting because they’re mostly “let’s play” coverage of video games (currently one of the top watched video categories of YouTube). He also makes $12 million a year from YouTube. However, recently, YouTube implemented some changes to appease the complaints of their advertisers (the reason YouTube exists) and they “forgot” to tell their top creative people like Felix -er- Pewds that the changes were coming. Changes that cost YouTubers money. There’s some news here to think about.
Advertising Hits a Hurdle
First, if you want, watch Pewdiepie’s comments about the change (language not safe for work – which will become one of the points):
Can’t see the video? Click HERE
Basically, YouTube reserves the right to cherry pick where they place advertiser’s stock and they are saying they can choose not to post ads on YouTube uploads that contain swearing, drug references, nudity (I didn’t know nudity was even allowed on YouTube, but okay), excessive violence, and war (I listed these off the top of my head so might have missed a few).
Completely fair. Advertisers might not want to put their stock on a post that shows a booty shaking contest or a guy posting videos selling special “supplements” with a wink wink.
My Big Point
Advertisers are going to have to get involved with these choices to decide whether and where their brand match ups ARE appropriate. Let me break this down for a moment.
Using Pewdiepie as an example is a bit flawed. He’s doing okay. If he loses a few ad bucks, he’ll survive. But think about people barely scratching out a living but trying. You’d think that they should create with advertising in mind if they want advertising money, right?
What advertisers are buying is ACCESS TO that creator’s relationship with the community he or she nurtures. (Pretend I’ve put yellow highlighter on this part.)
Advertisers should spend their money by seeking the best potential brand synergy between their product and a content creator’s shared experience with his or her community.
Why DON’T advertisers think this way? Because it takes time. Because it doesn’t fit as neatly into a spreadsheet.
The fundamental hurdle of what will move advertising forward in the new world of content creation and content marketing is that DECISIONS WILL REQUIRE MORE THAN A SPREADSHEET. Understanding the relationship data will be every bit as important as learning the new marketing technology data.
Said another way, advertising is a lot more tricky than it ever has been because the blank faced “audience” of yore exercises its opinions a LOT more directly these days.
One Last Point
We have to get past our own internal knee-jerk feeling of “I can’t understand why anyone would ever watch/read/listen to this guy.” If you’re not into it, that’s cool. It’s not made FOR you. You’re not the target audience (using outdated advertising language). That’s the HUGE point here. We can find where we belong now. We can choose. There’s a nearly unlimited supply of options for what we spend our eyeball and earball time doing.
But that means reaching those people and connecting with them will take a LOT more work. It’s time to dig into that learning and thinking and adding a few more success criteria to how advertisers choose where to spend their money.
Brofist that, Pewdie haters.