Google is placing its bets on the future of data-driven video in Australia, according to two senior executives at the company.

In Australia alone, 15.4 million people watch an average of 22 hours of YouTube content a month, with 70% of YouTube content consumed via tablet or mobile phone.

This represents data that is shaping the future of video content, according to Dave Bowman and Matty Burton, the heads of Google’s Creative Zoo, who provided insights at the recent Advertising Week APAC event in Sydney. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: The unskippable future for advertising – Google’s video strategy.)

“We need to move away from finding the audience and interrupting them with what we’re talking about and instead start thinking about all of the data we’ve got that we can leverage,” said Burton.

“Then we can infuse that with storytelling and the craft we’re really good at and we’re going to have something pretty amazing,” he added.

Long-form content is growing in popularity. In 2017, the average length of the top performing ads on YouTube, which Google owns, was one minute and 40 seconds – more than double the length of the year before.

“We’re becoming more and more discerning with what we actually give our attention to, and the 30-second spot is trapped somewhere in the middle. If your audience doesn’t want to watch your ad, they literally cannot skip it fast enough. If they do, often 30 seconds is not long enough. They want to spend more time with your story,” Bowman said.

Google has also been testing ways to produce different versions of creative that appeal to different audiences. “What we’re seeing working now is this new emerging story arc,” said Bowman.

“It’s all about jumping people into the story. Start with a high. Maybe incorporate some branding, but it’s subtle. From there, you keep people guessing with lots of subtle twists and turns,” he explained.

“If you start thinking about what’s going to be possible if we apply a little bit of storytelling, a little bit of creativity…. There’s a real business opportunity here when you start looking at the fact that personalised creative has been shown to give you a 63% increase in purchase intent.”

Sourced from WARC