Why Fortnite Pulled Their Ads From YouTube
Arguably the most important part of advertising is ensuring that your promotional campaigns reach audiences that are interested in your product or at least involved in your industry. But when it comes to advertising on social media, big brands have many things to consider besides accurately targeting potential consumers. Much like typical forum websites back in the day, larger profiles on social sites need moderation to maintain control over the patrons they attract. Without the technology or resources needed to maintain a level of control over the content surrounding a given channel or platform, advertisers become fearsome of negative publicity brought on by mere association. A combination of dangers such as these led to the PPC management company handling Fortnite’s digital advertising to pull their pre-roll ads from YouTube in 2018, and there are many things we can learn about this bold, wise strategy.
With all due respect, if you have not heard of the video game, Fortnite, you may have spent 2018 and 2019 beneath a rock. It not only has revolutionized the video game industry improving upon the new and beloved gameplay style called “battle royale” mode, but it has also remodeled how online marketing tactics are carried out within the gaming industry. For example, music and sports artists have collaborated with Fortnite to produce in-game loot that players can purchase straight from their controllers. Additionally, and most impressively, the game is free to play; a tactic which has effectively attracted upwards of 125 million unique players between 2018 and 2019.
Yet with such a whirlwind of current attention, you may be wondering why Fortnite’s PPC management company elected to pull their advertising from YouTube, such a major platform for spreading awareness and growing a brand. One might believe that a game that gained notoriety with a video game genre that requires players to survive, scavenge and explore until they are the last player left alive would not be overly concerned about bad PR. After all, teenagers made up the largest segment of their customer base and aren’t a demographic group known for being outraged or dismayed from a brand because of a brand association that is the fault of the advertising platform and not the Fortnite itself. The reason is that after a certain point, videos containing Fortnite as the subject became a nesting ground for criminal behavior in the comment sections. Naturally, pre-roll ads unleashed by Fortnite’s online marketing squad matched up with these videos, and when parents of Fortnite gamers noticed the connection, they were outraged. Such an unforeseeable occurrence left the digital advertising team for Fortnite in quite a difficult situation, where they had to choose the safety of their consumers and the reputation of their brand over a quick buck. While it can be argued that no brand should have to be responsible for the community surrounding their ad placements, it’s no question that if your brand name or image hangs around negativity for long it will become inseparable from it.
What We Can Learn
Understanding the quality of the community your work will be associated with has become half the battle of digital advertising or content placement today. It can be increasingly difficult because there are so many platforms available to affiliate with that no one marketer can delve into each of them to determine all potential land mines. Hiring a PPC management company such as Smashed Media can reduce the headache of misplacing ads where they don’t belong. Our thorough research of the tasteful communities that lead each industry allows us to execute digital advertising with excellent form. By staying on top of relevant industry news, we can help your brand to avoid potential online marketing hiccups as Epic Games experienced. In any case, making a bold decision for your audience instead of your pocket is a respectable decision for any brand to make.