IKEA wins top award at first YouTube Works Awards

An IKEA campaign that sent highly targeted and contextual ads to people who might have been having trouble sleeping won the top award at the first ever YouTube Works Awards in Toronto Thursday.

The Rethink-created “Bedtime” campaign for IKEA’s mattresses with Jungle Media included YouTube pre-roll ads that seemed to directly address the viewer, providing the actual time and asking why they were watching videos so late at night. The ads then suggested viewers might sleep better with an IKEA mattress, and told them exactly how many hours until their nearest store opened.

Google launched the awards in Canada this year in partnership with Kantar to recognize the most effective advertising content on YouTube. Winners were chosen by a jury of top Canadian ad experts, led by Cossette’s chief creative officer Peter Ignazi.

“Our vision for YouTube Works is to celebrate and champion YouTube campaigns that combined smart creative and media strategies to drive strong business results for brands,” said Jamie Gargatsougias, head of brand strategy, YouTube.

The jury concluded “Bedtime” best met those criteria.

“IKEA took reaching the right people at the right time with the right message in a literal and brilliant way, capitalizing on key consumer insights and YouTube trends and leveraging innovative ad formats,” said Kantar Canada president Scott Megginson in presenting the night’s top honour, the Ruby.

The campaign boosted ad recall, search interest and drove business results, he said. “IKEA was able to convert over 50,000 viewers from online viewing to online shopping.” According to IKEA and Rethink the campaign also resulted in 672% lift in product interest and 108% increase in brand interest.

“Broadcast was a big part of the media mix,” said Aaron Starkman, Rethink’s managing partner, creative. “The concept we landed on for TV took aim at the reasons people stay awake. And one of those reasons is to watch YouTube videos, so it just made sense to extend our message in a highly targeted way.

“People were generally a little freaked out and also entertained by the fact that IKEA knew what they were doing online late at night,” he said.

The campaign also won in the Best Campaign and Best Creative Effectiveness categories. Rethink also won for A&W (see all the winners below).

The greatest potential of YouTube as a channel is that it can be highly personalized, said Ignazi.

“I think [IKEA] was the one that really lived up to the power of this medium the best,” he said. “It was a fantastic creative idea, and then that whole brand experience was brought to life using YouTube.

“The fact that people were up and this was a problem for them, or they may want to think about [not sleeping]. And then hitting them with a really targeted message that was really personal, in a way that was charming and funny and informative, right down to the details of when the nearest IKEA was opening.”

“We saw a few interesting things in all the winning campaigns,” said Gargatsougias. “Nearly every finalist used consumer insights to shape their strategy, campaigns embraced the uniqueness of YouTube as a platform to bring insights to life in an actionable way, and that personal and relevant ads are incredibly effective at capturing attention.”

Other winners on Thursday night were:

Brita and Me to We, with DentsuBos and OMD, for “Walkumentary” in Best Response-Driven Campaign—A four-hour pre-roll video documenting a woman’s walk to get water for her village in Kenya. Skipping the ad equated to helping the woman skip the walk by buying a special water bottle, with proceeds going to digging wells in Africa.

A&W with Rethink and Vizeum for “Beyond Meat” in Best Full-Funnel Campaign—A&W introduced its Beyond Meat burger to consumers with a campaign that included using audience data to target millennials looking to reduce meat consumption.

Interac with Kin Community and ApexPR for “$100 Challenge” in Best Organic Reach Campaign—Used popular YouTube influencers to document a shopping trip that cost less than $100.

Texada for “Spoof Bonanza” in Small Budget, Big Results—Demonstrated how marketers can produce DIY YouTube content that is funny, entertaining and cheap.

The Hershey Company with Anomaly and UM for “Oh Henry! 4:25” in Best Integrated Campaign—Included video content tied to the special chocolate bar for those who get the munchies just after 4:20.

David Brown