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Are Brands F#@king Up YouTube Advertising?

Are Brands F#@king Up YouTube Advertising? David Murdico
Okay, so I wrote this post about 10 minutes ago, in a hurry... because I'm pissed. I run a prominent Los Angeles marketing agency / production company, I write lots of articles. I'm a "thought leader."  (air quotes intended). I contribute articles to  iMedia Connection, AdAge and Business Insider, speak on panels for MediaPost and Digital Hollywood. I'm an "expert" (quotes intended) in video, PR and social media marketing, according to the trades that interview me and allow me to write for them. I also work with big brands and startups, have zero ego and wonder why they even listen to me... but they do... a lot. Maybe because I'm unabashed, I know what I'm talking about and I speak the truth.

I'm also an ex-rocker - that's why I came to LA - to be a rocker, and I still love to take time playing guitar, learning new songs and singing, which brings me to explaining the point of the title of this post. Are Brands F#@king Up YouTube Advertising?

About an hour ago, I started listening on YouTube to Bette Midler's "The Rose" - an amazingly inspirational song for anyone afraid to follow their dreams. I worked out the chords and sang along. A lovely Friday evening.

Then YouTube let me know that Janis Joplin did a version... very excited... but as soon as I clicked, being a Joplin fan as well, I was treated to two ads - one in the lower third and one in the top right showing a big happy President Obama's face promoting gun control.

I don't even have a strong opinion about guns, or their control, honestly they scare the crap out of  me and I don't want one, unless I'm in a war or find myself on The Walking Dead, but according to our constitution, as currently interpreted, we get to have them and use them.

If The anti-gun gang wants to go after that issue, that's fine. It's America. Do what you want.

BUT, why in the middle of my search for versions of one of the most beautiful songs ever written, am I treated to these types of ads? Doesn't make sense, but I know the answer - bad targeting. Horrible targeting.

Guitar in hand, ready to play and sing along with Janis' version, it tore me out of the peace, love, roses, dreams, aspirations, Bette Midler, Janice Joplin vibe I was in, and made me look at Obama's happy face and consider gun control. Then it made me angry... I was being forced by a very prominent public figure to make an important decision about something that had nothing to do with what I was doing or searching for... and I was actually just trying to relax.

There's a place and time for everything, and I can't imaging what douche agency decided that running that type of ad against The Rose was a good idea, unless they equated Bette Midler and Janis Joplin with activist = gun control. But that's a stretch.

So anyway,  guitar still in hand, I refreshed the page and tried the Janis Joplin version again. This time I was treated to a laundry detergent ad in the lower third that showed a variety of scents... none of which I remember, much less the brand itself.

I'm not one to cast dispersions on anyone, but Janis Joplin is the last person I would place laundry detergent ads against, unless you were making an anti-hippie statement that Woodstockers should bathe more, but Woodstock is over and I think Coachella is cleaner.

So, I got through it, played some more guitar - and will play even more after I post this article - but I really felt the need to write this right away and stress the need for advertisers to target ads and REALLY think through who's watching the content you're placing ads against and WHY their watching it.

I was interviewed recently on Onlinevideo.net about Metrics, Mobility, More: 2015 Online Video Marketing Predictions where I predicted that 2015 will be the year of marketing accountability. That means sales via video, social media and online advertising ... like YouTube.

Those ads I endured sold me nothing. They only only pissed me off. I'm annoyed at Obama (or in all fairness, his people) for "commercially interrupting" my musical experience, and I don't even remember what detergents were being advertised, because I didn't need detergent and clicked out right away to go write this post.


David Murdico is the Executive Creative Director and Managing Partner at Supercool Creative Agency - video & content production, social media marketing, PR and consulting for some of the cooest brands and businesses on the planet. Connect with...

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