Today, Pixability announced ÜberTube, a long overdue, independent summit for major brand executives using YouTube as a marketing platform. This post, however, isn’t about ÜberTube (although you can find specifics about the April 29th event here); it’s about the motivation behind the event and why:

  • There’s a fundamental shift in the digital marketing ecosystem
  • YouTube isn’t about video; it’s really about marketing
  • Most brand marketers and their agencies are blowing the opportunity to capitalize on YouTube’s potential

I first thought of the concept of a brand-centric YouTube event nearly two years ago. At the time, YouTube was getting significant attention for nurturing and funding the online video creator community. YouTube’s initiatives were an important catalyst for a more reasoned and disciplined approach to content creation and audience development.
But as I worked with major brands over the past several years, I noticed a disconnect between many great companies and their ability to leverage YouTube for effective and measurable brand marketing.  Don’t get me wrong: brands are using YouTube, but most fail to maximize its tools and analytics to put meaningful points on the board for their organization. Our recent study of the beauty industry, which is the leading edge of YouTube, highlighted this disconnect. Further details are in the report.
Arguably, many of the issues marketers face may in fact be symptoms, forcing us to ask some important questions to get to the root cause:

  • Are the creative agencies leading their brands down a television path in the digital world?
  • Are the media companies failing to use new targeting?
  • Are Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs) bridging the gap with brands or widening it?
  • Is the evolution of ad measurement not occurring fast enough, forcing misguided legacy metrics on a digital world?
  • Is advertising transparency an oxymoron?
  • Are video hosting providers confusing marketers as they strain for relevance?
  • Is the quest for the viral video distracting brands from video marketing?

The core problems are most likely a bit of everything above… plus a whole lot more. It’s time for a group of intelligent brand executives and marketers to get together to solve for common issues encountered by teams as they approach online video content, advertising, and results. That’s why ÜberTube is happening.
The final trigger for me, however, was at an event last fall in Southern California when a television advertising executive ranted about why the digital world should use television metrics. (Both a symptom and a problem.) When I strongly and publicly challenged his claim, he retorted, “Who the hell are you? You’re not from my business!”
Exactly. I’m not from his business, I’m from the digital world that has different growth, different content, different metrics, and different results. Great brands are determining their ad allocations for 2014 and beyond at the April 2014 TV Upfronts and Digital Newfronts. I think attending ÜberTube and walking away more informed about YouTube and what it has to offer marketers should be a prerequisite.