YouTube Works for Canadian Brands

The inaugural 2019 YouTube Works Awards highlight smart creative that drives awareness and consumer action.


Video advertising has become one of the most effective ways that marketers now communicate with consumers – and the 2019 YouTube Works Awards offer the proof. Developed and run in collaboration with research partner Kantar, the YouTube Works Awards celebrate and champion the brand teams that are producing the most innovative and effective campaigns on YouTube.

The judging was conducted by an experienced lineup of judges with specialized expertise and significant knowledge across industries and categories.

“Our vision for YouTube Works in Canada is to create a platform that celebrates and shares how brands are using innovative creative to deliver successful business outcomes on YouTube,” said Taylor Jenkins, YouTube marketing lead, Canada. “It was exciting to see how Canadian brands are embracing the uniqueness of the platform, and using it to deliver relevant and engaging ads to consumers.”

The awards confirm what consumer research has already discovered – YouTube works. Over 90% of Canadians say YouTube helps them discover new products or brands. Additionally, more than 36% of Canadian shoppers say they’ve purchased products that they discovered on YouTube.

So, it’s no surprise that YouTube has become an essential part of the media plans of Canada’s major brands like the grand prix Ruby Award winner, IKEA.

Ruby Award - IKEA

Ruby Award, Best Campaign, Best Creative Effectiveness:  IKEA, Rethink, Jungle Media

The Ruby Award recognizes the entry that best demonstrates the overall impact of YouTube on a company’s business results. The goal behind the IKEA Bedtime campaign was to drive consideration for IKEA mattresses by connecting with late-night YouTube viewers and reminding them about the importance of a good night’s sleep.

The always-on campaign consisted of individualized high-impact messages created with YouTube’s Director Mix tool that creates individual videos at scale. These personalized videos hit viewers between 10:30pm and 3:30am, calling out the exact time of night, the content being watched for each viewer, and how long until their closest IKEA opened.

The innovative execution really delivered results: alongside significant lifts in ad recall and a 673% increase in search interest for IKEA mattresses, the campaign converted over 50,000 viewers from online viewing to offline shopping.

The Ruby Award and the other award-winning campaigns all shared this common thread – a significant and measurable business impact.


Best Response Driven Campaign: Brita, WE, DentsuBos, OMD

The Brita Walkumentary won the award for the Best Response-Driven Campaign. The campaign centred around a YouTube pre-roll of 4 hours and 17 minutes that took viewers on the real-time journey of a Kenyan woman’s walk to retrieve water for her family. Where viewers would normally click the ‘skip ad’ button on YouTube, this ad strategically placed a button to ‘end her walk’ which prompted viewers to purchase a specially marked Brita bottle that would provide clean water to a person in Africa for one year. The creative was made for YouTube, and worked perfectly on the platform. The Walkumentary was a large part of a full marketing strategy that resulted in a sales increase of 10% year over year – the highest sales growth on record.

Best Full Funnel Campaign - A&W

Best Full Funnel Campaign : A&W, Rethink, Vizeum

The winner of the Best Full-funnel Campaign went to A&W for their Beyond Meat Burger Launch campaign.  A&W used a variety of YouTube formats including TrueView and Masthead to promote its new Beyond Meat Burger, showing real Canadians taste tests and reactions to learning that the burger is 100% plant-based. The campaign not only transformed the Beyond Meat burger from an unknown product to a household name, but also piqued Canadian interest to sample, resulting in over one million store visits.

Best Organic Reach - Interac

Best Organic Reach: Interac, Kin Community, Apex PR

The Best Organic Reach Campaign, the Interac $100 Challenge, leveraged a variety of YouTube ad formats and YouTube creators to create relatable video content and increase consideration for Interac Flash among millennials. The six-month content strategy reached over 75% of the Canadian millennial audience, and increased Interac Flash usage by 3% among the female millennial demographic.

Small Budgets Big Results - Texada

Small Budget, Big Results: Texada Software

B2B company Texada Software won the Small Budget, Big Results award for its Texada Spoof Bonanza brand and product awareness campaign. The company created two spoof videos – Ghost Expungers and Lord of the Rentals – and promoted both with only a $10 daily budget. The campaign successfully drove more than two million views, which resulted in a sales lift and increase in Texada’s market share.

Best Integrated Media Campaign - Oh Henry

Best Integrated Media Campaign: The Hershey Company, Anomaly, UM, Reprise

Oh Henry! 4:25 received the award for Best Integrated Media Campaign. The strategy was built around the premise that marijuana causes the munchies, and Oh Henry!’s 4:25 bars are the perfect hunger relief solution. Oh Henry! partnered with YouTube creators Epic Meal Time to unveil a 100lb 4:25 bar to fans on launch day, and announced the launch of 1 million limited edition bars on YouTube. Not only did the bars sell out, the campaign drove 69 million earned media impressions and sales growth across the entire portfolio.

The YouTube Works Awards showcased how Canadian brands are leveraging the opportunities of YouTube as a platform, and building creative that is targeted, personal, and impacting business results.

The full video case studies will be published on the YouTube Works website in January 2020.


The 2019 YouTube Works Award winners

Ruby Award, Best Campaign, Best Creative Effectiveness IKEA Bedtime

Best Response-Driven Campaign Brita Walkumentary

Best Full-funnel Campaign A&W Beyond Meat

Best Organic Reach Campaign Interac $100 Challengeadditional link

Small Budget, Big Results Texada Spoof Bonanzaadditional link

Best Integrated Media Campaign Oh Henry!  4:25