Google Ads

YouTube Uses AI to Connect Brands With Viral Moments

YouTube has begun incorporating Google AI as an advertisement tool. Google’s streaming platform has introduced a new “Spotlight Moments” package that leverages AI to find a video relevant to a holiday or major cultural moment like the Super Bowl or Oscars, and push ads across videos relevant to that topic or within a branded YouTube channel to produce a dynamic playlist.

Dream Screen

The AI embedded in Spotlight Moments takes up the role of an advertising researcher to identify trending videos around big events so brands can sponsor curated hubs. The platform is leveraging its technology to help advertisers tap into culture and engage audiences during impactful real-time moments. The AI can instantly detect viral and relevant content around occasions like the holidays or the Olympics and then enable sponsors to serve ads across associated videos as well as compile them into dynamic branded playlists on a YouTube hub.

For example, as seen above, a Halloween campaign sponsor would automatically promote their brand alongside the hottest Halloween-themed videos as users flock to YouTube for related entertainment. The hub would be updated continuously with the most engaging real-time content. YouTube says over half of its viewers now prefer watching creator commentary around big events rather than the events themselves. Spotlight Moments lets advertisers capitalize on these cultural moments as audiences seek out related video content.

Spotlight Moments gives brands a high share of voice across video content surrounding the world’s biggest cultural moments. And it’s all housed on a dedicated YouTube hub, branded with the advertiser’s logo,” YouTube brand advertising managing director Austin Wignall wrote in a blog post. “With Google AI, YouTube is making it even easier for advertisers to show up next to the content where viewers are most engaged. From generating brand association with the biggest cultural moments to driving reach and views – explore new ways Google AI is helping you show up where the world watches.”

Brands can also augment reach by adding other ad products like YouTube Masthead and In-Stream Displays. The platform increasingly leverages its AI capabilities to simplify advertising around impactful moments. Last year, YouTube launched First Position Moments, which similarly prioritizes ad visibility immediately when a user starts a session. Advertisers saw an average 26% ad recall lift in testing.

Spotlight Moments is the latest in a suite of AI-powered ad solutions from YouTube. It joins Video Reach Campaigns designed to boost awareness and Video View Campaigns optimized for brand consideration. In tests, Video Reach delivered 54% greater reach at 42% lower cost by incorporating different ad formats beyond just in-stream ads. Video View Campaigns drove 40% more views at a 30% lower cost per view.

The new features fit with YouTube’s ongoing efforts to make AI a feature across the platform. The company recently debuted a synthetic image and video generator for YouTube Shorts videos called Dream Screen, analytics and brainstorming service YouTube Studio, and a mobile app called YouTube Create that comes with a suite of AI-assisted video creation and editing tools.


YouTube Shorts Previews Generative AI Features for Creating Video Backgrounds

Vimeo Adds Generative AI Video Tools

Generative AI Startup Runway Raises $141M