YouTube’s launching a new “Spotlight Moments” ad option, which will enable advertisers to place their promotions within the most popular content around certain themes, like, for example, Halloween, the NBA playoffs, The Oscars, etc.
As explained by YouTube:
“YouTube connects the world during cultural moments and global events. Every day, billions of viewers turn to the platform to engage with content before, during and after major moments. They watch behind-the-scenes footage, highlight reels, fan analysis and more. That’s why this year, we're continuing to innovate on moment-based ad opportunities. We’re introducing a new AI-driven package called Spotlight Moments, automatically identifying the most popular, relevant videos, making it even easier for advertisers to own the moment around key events, when viewers are most engaged.”
It works like this:
Using AI-based video identification and sorting, Spotlight Moments will enable advertisers to maximize ad placement within content that’s related to key cultural moments. YouTube’s system will identify a selection of top-performing thematic uploads, then pull them into a branded content hub, complete with the advertiser’s logo.
“Our AI-powered packaging technology identifies popular YouTube videos related to a specific cultural moment. Take the Halloween example above: an advertiser wants to drive awareness for its brand during the spooky season. Spotlight Moments enables the advertiser to seamlessly serve ads across Halloween-related content on YouTube and curates them into dynamically-updated playlists that will live on the sponsored hub. Brands will automatically appear alongside the most relevant and engaging content associated with the moment.”
So it’s your own, in-stream branded activation, without you having to create all the content, and giving you the additional reach and exposure related to these already popular clips.
It’s a more high-end option, so it’s probably not for smaller businesses and brands. But for those that can afford it, it could be a good way to create more native-looking, in-stream promotions, which may help to enhance brand association, and drive more product interest.
Of course, that does also mean that you’re trusting AI to do a lot of the work for you, in curating your custom playlists. But AI systems are improving all the time, and choosing the best-performing videos around a theme is unlikely to be a highly contentious use of the option.
It’s an interesting addition to YouTube’s expanding AI ad tools.
You can learn more about Spotlight Moments here.