DIY Pizza Kits And Choose-Your-Own Ad Pitches: A Look Behind YouTube’s First Virtual Brandcast

By 06/25/2020
DIY Pizza Kits And Choose-Your-Own Ad Pitches: A Look Behind YouTube’s First Virtual Brandcast

Tubefilter’s coverage of the 2020 IAB NewFronts is brought to you in partnership with– an entertainment AI company that integrates brands into influencer, streaming, TV, music, and film content. You can check out all our NewFronts coverage right here

YouTube’s Brandcast presentation is traditionally the centerpiece of each NewFronts week, held at illustrious landmarks like Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, and headlined by musical performances from some of the biggest musical acts in the world — from Ariana Grande to Katy Perry.

So this year, in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, the video giant retooled with great agility for Brandcast Delivered, a virtual, customizable showcase that YouTube billed — in something of a shot to linear television — as “personal primetime.”


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This means that, upon registering for the event, attendees were able to customize their own 20-minute Brandcast presentations with different settings — and with their names appearing in various title cards (pictured above). For instance, participants could select: the soundtrack to their experience (with options including Lizzo and Dua Lipa); the creator that would serve as their de facto Brandcast host (from among Gordon Ramsey, Lilly Singh, and Josh Gad); and the type of content they were most interested in learning about (be it food or comedy).

Interestingly, all of these personalized Brandcasts lived on the YouTube Advertisers channel, with the platform apparently having created thousands of unlisted clips to accommodate all of the individualized videos.

To be fair, there were some commonalities among all the presentations — including a recap by YouTube’s longtime head of culture and trends, Kevin Allocca; an advertising state of affairs courtesy of Allan Thygesen, Google’s president of Americas; and an update on the YouTube Music product from its global head Lyor Cohen.

Viewers were mailed DIY pizza-making kits ahead of ‘Brandcast Delivered’.

But Cari Arkin-Hickler, who serves as executive producer of events and experiences at Google, tells Tubefilter that in order to keep viewer attentions spans trained during the back-to-back presentations this week, her team decided to drastically shorten the length of Brandcast, and to reimagine the format to reflect the nation’s current state of quarantine.

“We took our show, which is traditionally 90 minutes, and flipped it on its head,” she said. “Instead of a one-to-many experience, we created something personal.”

In terms of Brandcast Delivered’s conception and turnaround, Arkin-Hickler added the event was developed in a “very short amount of time” after gathering a team of creative directors, producers and strategists across the company. She added that their ultimate vision was an “experience that brings the magic of our platform to life through a dynamic interactive registration, physical packages shipped to guests, and customized content tailored to individual guests and their business needs.”

Those physical packages that Arkin-Hickler is referring to (pictured above) sought to further drive home the customizable nature of the event. Prior to the show this afternoon, attendees were mailed different at-home kits. Some attendees received DIY pizza boxes (pictured above), while others received packages full of swag (pictured below), including Singh’s How To Be A Bawse book, a Google Chromecast device, and comfy socks and popcorn.

Now, in the event’s conclusion, registered viewers can flock to a dedicated Brandcast Delivered hub comprising all of the company’s different NewFronts-related news — from its latest advertising products and stats to the just-announced additions to its original content slate to a ‘trends’ and ‘creator’ hubs and more.

More Brandcast swag.

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