YouTube's Top Product Manager Tells Us How To Create Great Video Advertising

Business Insider

This is the third of a four-part series called "Video Revolution." This series brings you up to speed on innovations in the video advertising industry. "Video Revolution" is sponsored by Innovid.

"We don't rent eyeballs," was YouTube, Group Product Manager, Phil Fahri's key point during a recent chat he had with Business Insider.

Success in video advertising is about more than just placing catchy messaging in the right place, at the right time. It's about dynamic content that draws people to it, rather than forces them to watch it.

"In the '90s, we all sat around the TV together at 8 p.m. to watch the Cosby show. Everyone at the same time. All of our video consumption was very scheduled. So advertising was the same way," explained Fahri. In other words, networks rented those Cosby-consuming eyeballs to advertisers, and in turn, advertisers created messaging fit for that specific audience.

Things have changed. "As an advertiser you now have a tremendous opportunity: moving from forcing the impression or message to inviting users to engage."

Fahri went on to describe how, "content consumption is all on demand, it's about watching what you want, when you want, on what screen you want. So, YouTube is creating ad experiences that mirror how people interact with content in a multi-screen world."

Fahri oversees a team of product managers and sales people that are all responsible for monetizing YouTube. In his pre-Google life, Fahri worked as an engineer developing background interface designs for speech systems before attending business school. After which, Fahri joined Google spending his first two years in the search-advertising department, before moving over to YouTube advertising where he has been for the past four years.

Since working at Google, he's had a front row seat to the quickly evolving digital advertising landscape. "Video has traditionally been a one-way conversation; with YouTube it becomes more of a two-way conversation. Brands are really developing insights out of how their campaigns perform now."

It's the TrueView family of advertising products that he is referring to, which allow viewers to skip ads and only charges advertisers if a viewer clicked and watched 30 seconds of their spot, giving advertisers real feedback about who is clicking, watching, and interacting with their ads.

This is even more relevant in terms of mobile. TrueView for mobile was just released this August. "The elegance of the mobile model is that advertisers only have to just create and upload the video to YouTube. We take care of the rest." YouTube optimizes the videos for mobile screens, so advertisers can rest easy that their ads are being properly viewed on the smaller touchscreens.

In the end, for Fahri, online video all comes down to one thing: "on the go creative — a lot of challenges don’t apply because of the power of sight, sound, and motion."

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