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New tools for creative storytelling on YouTube

Every year at the Cannes Lions festival, the world gathers to celebrate creativity in marketing, design, tech and entertainment. The festival is a great source of inspiration, with thought-provoking programming that awakens the creative senses of people and brands alike.

YouTube’s creative canvas represents an exciting opportunity for brands and agencies to reimagine their approach to video. To help, we’re creating a new set of tools.

Today, we’re introducing YouTube’s creative suite, a collection of resources to help you tell great stories on YouTube, test creative variations and measure creative impact. Kellogg’s is already tapping into tools like YouTube Director Mix to harness the power of personalization, while 20th Century Fox is pairing experimentation with Video Ad Sequencing to give viewers story-driven introductions to new films.

Let’s meet the suite.

Video Experiments

Testing video creative can be expensive, time-consuming and not always indicative of real-world performance. That’s why we’re launching Video experiments, a head-to-head testing tool in AdWords that works with brand lift measurement and allows you to measure the impact of creative on key metrics like awareness, consideration, purchase intent and more. Cleanly segmented experiments run on YouTube at no extra cost beyond media investment and deliver results in as few as three days. Video experiments, launching in beta later this month, convert non-working media spend typically used for focus groups in simulated ad environments into working media spend in real ad environments. On YouTube, people only watch what they want, making it an ideal testing ground for actionable results you can trust.

Video Creative Analytics

Generating reports on creative performance can be a repetitive and manual process for AdWords users, so we’re launching new features to make the process of uncovering quantitative creative insights easier. Our initial launch brings audience segmentation to retention reports so you can better understand how your creative captures the attention of different groups. Later this year, we’ll introduce the ability to annotate key moments within your video ― like logos or product shots ― and show you what percent of your audience saw these key moments. In doing so, you can keep track of how different creative elements influence campaign performance and use that to develop ideas for your next creative brief or video experiment.

Director Mix and Video Ad Sequencing

Telling relevant stories that command attention is challenging, especially at scale. That’s why we’re committed to building tools that enable great storytelling on YouTube. YouTube Director Mix, currently in alpha, lets you create many versions of a base video and set elements to be swappable ― customizing text, image, sound and video elements to assemble the right video for the right audience and context. Video Ad Sequencing, also in alpha, lets you tell your brand story over a series of ads set in a specific order, or showcase your product message across multiple pieces of content. By showing your story in sequence, you have the potential to drive deeper engagement, awareness or consideration.

We’re excited to see how you use these new tools.