A few years back, advertisers regarded YouTube as simply a place where the life of their TV ads might be usefully extended. But as the platform has developed, so too have the ways in which advertisers use it, including the new ad formats devised by YouTube and recruiting influencers to promote products and services. But these only scratch at the surface. “What are the possibilities of what we can do here rather than what’s the most obvious thing to do?” asked Alison Hoad, chief strategy officer at BBH and chair of the YouTube Works for Brands Awards 2018.

At Advertising Week Europe (London, March 2018), she quizzed last year’s judges on what they had learned from the inaugural awards, established to build a body of case studies that enable people to understand how YouTube can deliver effective campaigns.

Gaby Bell, CEO at Hall & Partners, had anticipated reading how the platform delivers engagement with younger audiences and acts as a complement to other channels, but she was surprised at the speed at which brand building results were achieved in many cases. “Brands were able to exploit all that mental equity immediately in terms of net sales,” she reported. She now expected to see more brands using YouTube as “a strategic tool to drive business results”.