The Game Episode 3 - Video Channel Deathmatch | DMA

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The Game Episode 3 - Video Channel Deathmatch


Circa 2014, I was sitting in a Facebook Marketing Partner presentation (back then, Adtech partners were called DSPs – Demand Side Platforms) and I was intrigued by the insistence of the Facebook product marketer; who looked about the same age as my son, that Facebook was now firmly a ‘video channel’.

I liked how they differentiated themselves from YouTube, which Facebook described as a ‘Search’ channel - YouTube is still the second biggest search engine for sheer volume of searches (after their parent company, Google, of course!)

Facebook on the other hand, saw themselves as a ‘Discovery’ channel. After all, we don’t go looking for cats playing keyboards, we tend to discover them because a friend shares it on their newsfeed… Well, some of us do search for cats playing keyboards I suppose - but that’s a whole other blog post.

Facebook’s product marketers were excited by the concept of the recently launched sequential video ads, where you could define which ads were served to your audiences based on how much of your video they had actually watched, which was quite interesting at the time.

For example, if you know that someone has watched 100% of your video, you know that engagement is high, and that they had seen all of your messaging. This enabled you to laser in with an offer in the ads that followed to that specific audience based purely on engagement. However, if you knew someone had watched, say, only 50% of your video, and perhaps missed your key hook, you could target them with a different set of adverts that re-positioned that carefully crafted message that they had missed first time round.

Anyway, everyone in the room was very excited by the new opportunities to talk to customers about Facebook’s video ad capabilities. I remember thinking to myself that it would be interesting to see how Facebook video stacked up against YouTube for advertisers.

Fast forward two years-ish.

The Game

Our web series, The Game, not only ensures I iron my firefly t-shirts (I have about 15 and counting), it also means I get to test things in the channels with budget.

Of course, we are doing this every day for clients, but The Game means we don’t have to avoid being candid about who the advertiser is, and we can talk about the results warts and all, because we are shining a light on Lab’s own marketing activity. Great idea, Tom Head!

The Rules

Same budget, same creative (video).

All things being equal, which channel provided the highest value from paid video ads - Facebook or YouTube? We’d assess it based on a number of metrics, but ultimately, what was the cost of reaching people who watched 100% of our video teaser; and as we are passionate about performance marketing, how many leads did each channel deliver?

To see the winner of this Video Channel Deathmatch, watch Episode 3 of The Game here.

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