HomeBlogGoogle Gives Advertisers the Ability to Target Cord-Cutters Through YouTube

Google Gives Advertisers the Ability to Target Cord-Cutters Through YouTube

Author: Allen Finn
Last Updated: November 23, 2021 | Paid Search Marketing

Live television audiences might not be what they used to, friend, but that doesn’t mean millennial eyeballs aren’t glued to screens during primetime (and every other hour of the day). As such, businesses that once leaned on commercials to build brand awareness and promote new products—whether nationally or regionally—are looking for impressions elsewhere.

Enter Google.

youtube trueview cord cutter targeting

Everyone’s favorite monopoly-haver just released a suite of new features designed to help advertisers reach the coveted cord-cutting subset of humanity (i.e. people who don’t pay for cable) while they catch up on the latest episode of SVU. Why? Because, per Google, “18- to 49-year-olds in the US are either light viewers of TV or do not subscribe to TV; but over 90 percent of these people watch YouTube.”

Here’s what’s being rolled out to help you ply your prospects away from the NBA playoffs.

Target YouTube Audiences on TV Screens

Despite not having a cable box tucked into the entertainment center, people are still using televisions. While recent years have seen mobile devices take the forefront as the medium for video viewership, things are swinging back towards TV.

This is due, in large part, to the rise of gaming consoles-as-entertainment-hubs and the proliferation of services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and, of course, YouTube (where Google reports that more than 150 million hours of video are consumed each day…on televisions alone!).  In response to advertisers clamoring to reach these show-binging, sport-crushing viewers, Google has rolled out a new device type to target…

TV Screens.

youtube device targeting tv screens

At some point within the next few months, Google will add a TV placement option to the current list of targetable devices available in both AdWords and DoubleClick. That list currently includes computers, phones, and tablets. In beta tests, ads targeted to TV’s yielded an average lift of 47% in ad recall and a 35% uptick in purchase intent.

Not too shabby.

New Audience: Light TV Viewers

This one’s probably going to matter more to the majority of the advertising community…

If you’re looking to reach cord cutters—either as a standalone audience or paired with other traits that might help you define your target demographic—Google will now offer a new audience segment in AdWords.

It’s called light TV viewers.

Unfortunately, it’s only available as an audience on YouTube. Personally, I’d love to see it rolled out across the Display Network, too; I’d wager that if it sees use on YouTube, it’ll be opened up across the GDN. By pairing the light TV viewer audience with other affinities, geotargeting, and gender/age targeting, you’ll be able to get even closer to homing in on granular subsets of the clicking population, a la Facebook.

And finally, the pièce de résistance.

…. YouTube Gets TV Commercials! (sort of)

One for the big boys.

After launching YouTube TV in 2017. To say the service sees its fair share of use would be the understatement of the century. YouTube TV now reaches 85% of US households and has partnerships with a handful of pro sports leagues; it also just announced a partnership with cable networks to bring even more programming to the platform. As such, it makes complete sense for Google to begin offering advertisers the ability to interrupt the viewing experience of millions of Americans with the commercials they thought they’d left behind.

google preferred youtube trueview premium placements

If you currently leverage television commercials in any capacity—or would like to fold them into your brand-building efforts—you can now use Google Preferred (a pre-packaged set of 12 high-quality channels designed to help advertisers succeed in the coveted 18-34 year-old group) to advertise on both top-performing YouTube content and traditional TV content from one place.

Game. Changer.

More Toys for Advertisers

With Facebook’s recent suite of community-centric tools and AR integrations across Instagram and Messenger, it makes complete sense for Google to begin leveraging their most valuable subsidiary (YouTube) in ways that improve targeting while providing a more engaging, relevant industry for consumers.

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Meet The Author

Allen Finn

Allen Finn is the co-founder of Toasted Collective, a cannabis-focused digital agency. Many moons ago, he worked at WordStream, where he reigned as fantasy football champion for some time.


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