My Thoughts on YouTube Promoted Videos and Using It for BMW MINI

Posted: November 5, 2010 in All About Cars, BMW Mini, Course Work, New Media Drivers License, New Media Road Trip, Online Video
Tags: , , , , , , ,

YouTube’s Promoted Videos Program claimed a success in hitting five million views this months. The program achieved this records in two years. I read about this on Mashable. As an assignment for New Media Drivers License Course, I chose a brand to express my thoughts on this promoted media.

Simplicity is the first impression I had on YouTube Promoted Videos. Three steps can make a promotion:

  1. Upload/Choose your videos;
  2. Write some descriptions;
  3. Choose keywords.

However, I find it actually not that easy to buy a real promoted video for a brand.


Courtesy of VIA

The brand I chose is BMW MINI. It is a very unique brand who offers small-sized but exquisite vehicles. MINI has a classic and cute style as well as excellent maneuverability. The brand markets itself with the concept of fun, uniqueness, and agility. Based on my research, MINI has already occupied most of the top search results on YouTube (as the screenshot showed below).


Screen shots by Lexie – Zi Liang

So when it employs promoted video, the choice of keywords can be more broad and creative. Options include “fun drives”, “cute cars”, etc. Besides creative commercials, MINI could also promote some videos like interesting events, creative driving tests, and driving experience shared by owners. The purposes of using YouTube Promoted Video are to increase the exposure of MINI brand on the video site and also direct more traffic to MINI’s official YouTube channel.

Some Pros & Cons of using YouTube Promoted Videos are identified below.


  • Lower expense to start and maintain;
  • Potential, large viewership can be generated;
  • Increased flexibility of promotion;
  • Broaden audience through creative keywords.


  • Reputation can be put on a risk if some promoted videos have problems.
  • Wrong keywords may waste time and money without reaching the key audience.
  • Promoted videos may not be able to drive the traffic to the brand’s landing page or official website.

Besides, I’d like to share a post about the interview with Jay Akkad, Product Manager of YouTube Promoted Videos. The interview gave me more insights into this new advertising product.

1) The standard Google Rules still apply on YouTube Promoted Video. For example, you can’t put multiple videos on a particular page by using the same keyword. I think we better understand how Google advertising works (e.g. AdWords) before diving into YouTube promotion.

2) Promoted Videos are connected with Google content network. Hence advertisers get a chance to show up in related AdSense spot. The premise is you have to opt into the content network.

3) Successes are seeing everywhere. Based on the ad format and YouTube’s large viewership, there have been many successful cases in various industries like auto, entertainment, publisher, etc.

Can Promoted Video be the new arena of online advertising? I think so, but creating videos takes much more time than a few words (like Google AdWords). We also need more information about users on YouTube if we want to craft our strategies better.


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