Google’s Suzie Reider Gives Sneak Preview of YouTube’s Halftime Show

suzie-reiderDuring Sunday’s Super Bowl, digital marketers can watch the YouTube Halftime Show, which will be live-streamed on the AdBlitz Channel, or they can watch the NBC Halftime Show on the TV network’s local channel. Suzie Reider, Google’s managing director of brand strategy North America, of course hopes you’ll watch the YouTube Halftime Show.

Reider leads the strategy and planning team for all things brand advertising in Google’s North American business organization. She has been with Google for more than seven years, engaged in YouTube, video, brand, and display advertising.

Reider was hired as the chief marketing officer (CMO) of YouTube in the summer of 2006 and prior to that served as senior vice president and general manager for the Games and Entertainment Division of CNET Networks (now CBS). Before joining CNET Networks, she spent 14 years with Ziff-Davis publishing, where she leveraged her expertise in advertising sales, promotions, events, research, and marketing for various computer and video gaming publications.

Reider is a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont. A native of Cambridge, Massachusetts, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband and two YouTube fan daughters. She also serves on the board of the San Francisco Film Society.

I interviewed her Thursday afternoon. Here are my questions and her answers.

Greg Jarboe (GJ): Last year, people watched more than 6.3 million hours’ worth of Super Bowl ads on YouTube. That’s enough time to watch every NFL game in history 138 times, or listen to Katy Perry’s “Roar” 84 million times. So, why did YouTube decide to host a Halftime Show for the first time?

Suzie Reider (SR): It’s a great opportunity to feature our popular YouTube celebrities and musicians in a unique way that dovetails nicely with what the YouTube AdBlitz channel is all about. AdBlitz has become the destination for brands to showcase all their Super Bowl creative, and for fans to discover, watch, and vote for their favorite ads. This marriage of content and ads is already something we’re seeing from this year’s advertisers like Nissan and Coca-Cola, who have partnered with YouTube celebrities on some of their teaser ads. Plus, the show is going to be really fun!

GJ: The YouTube Halftime Show is being produced in collaboration with Collective Digital Studio and will be live-streamed on the AdBlitz Channel. Filmed at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles, the show will feature more than 20 YouTube creators and musicians with more than 60 million combined subscribers, including Harley Morenstein from EpicMealTime, Freddie Wong, Rhett and Link, and Toby Turner. Can you reveal the other creators and musicians who will be there?

SR: We can’t reveal too many details, but it should be very exciting. The show will play with the idea of what makes a great Super Bowl ad, and will feature stunts, musical acts, interaction with a live audience at YouTube Space LA, and with fans watching online who can get involved by using #AdBlitz.

GJ: There have been several reports that we’ll see fake Super Bowl ads mixed in with the real ones on the AdBlitz Channel. Apparently, one of the fake commercials, a riff on advertisements for sugary drinks popular in the 1990s like Capri Sun and Sunny Delight, was produced by Freddi Wong. Are there others that you can reveal at this point?

SR: Yes! These are great fun, and several have been released throughout the week including from Mars Rising, Bad Weather Films, and AdBlitz channel.

GJ: The YouTube Halftime Show was announced shortly after several media outlets reported that the number of Facebook video posts per person has increased 75 percent globally in just one year. Several media outlets have also reported that brands are uploading more videos to Facebook directly instead of sharing YouTube videos. How long has the YouTube Halftime Show been in the works?

SR: Every year, we look to bring something new to the AdBlitz program. Last year, we introduced the teaser gallery for the first time, as more and more brands were planning to release teaser ads in the run-up to the game. This year, we decided to highlight our talented YouTube creators in a celebration of what makes Super Bowl ads so unique, and to showcase YouTube as the destination for fans to come and watch all their favorite ads.

GJ: With TrueView video ads, advertisers only pay when someone chooses to watch their ad, so they don’t waste money advertising to people who aren’t interested in their brand. By comparison, Premium Video Ads on Facebook start playing without sound as people scroll past. If people tap the 15-second Facebook video ad, it will expand into a full-screen view and sound will start. However, Premium Video Ads on Facebook are bought based on Targeted Gross Rating Points, not taps. So, advertisers are charged even when someone scrolls past their ad but doesn’t choose to watch it. Am I correct?

SR: I can’t speak to what other companies are doing, but what I do know is that brands love our TrueView format because they’re only paying for what really matters: an engaged view from a consumer who has chosen not to skip their ad. This is why more than 85 percent of our in-stream video ads are now skippable.

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