In 2016, L’Oréal USA had the exclusive stateside rights to utilize a pilot program titled YouTube Labs, a marketing initiative whereby Google itself is now connecting creators and brands to create sponsored videos.
While such relationships are typically forged by third party influencer marketing companies, YouTube Labs is an alpha test that sees the company taking this business into its own hands, Google’s president of client and agency relations, Kirk Perry, told AdAge. And more companies in the U.S. beyond L’Oréal are slated to experiment with the program in 2017. In Europe, BMW, Johnson & Johnson, and Mondelez have created branded content as part of YouTube Labs.
Google doesn’t take a commission from linking up these partnerships, but simply benefits from ads that run against its creators’ videos, according to AdAge — though creators are compensated by brands for the content that they create. Creators are also allowed to share their videos on competing platforms, such as Facebook.
Perry told AdAge that the larger aim of YouTube Labs is to get brands more comfortable using Google media. As for third party influencer marketing companies — including FameBit, which Google itself acquired last October for an undisclosed sum — Perry noted that YouTube has a level of data to offer that these platforms simply can’t. “We obviously have a little insight on the YouTube business and the creator ecosystem. We also have access to a lot of data and analytics about where consumers are and what they’re watching. So we have that unique insight others wouldn’t have,” he told the outlet.
Check out one of the ads to have emerged from YouTube Labs, an Essie video that delves into the backstory of how a nail polish shade was selected, right here: